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June 08, 2021

Senate Passes Bipartisan U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, with King-Led Policies to Drive American Innovation, Competitiveness in Global Economy

Legislation includes two Cyberspace Solarium Commission recommendations to strengthen cyberdefenses

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), co-chair of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, today applauded the Senate’s 68 to 32 vote to pass the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, bipartisan legislation that strengthens America’s competitive advantage against China by investing in American technological innovation, strengthening U.S. leadership in scientific research, and supporting the nation’s continued economic prosperity. The bipartisan legislation creates a new Directorate for Technology and Innovation at the National Science Foundation, which will receive $100 billion over five years to support research and innovation in technologies that have geostrategic implications for the United States. The legislation also includes number of provisions led and supported by Senator King, including investments in cybersecurity efforts and programs to support supply chain resiliency.

“America has long been at the forefront of global technological advancements, but that legacy of success does not guarantee that we will own the future,” said Senator King. “To sustain America’s continued economic and scientific leadership, we must keep innovating and making targeted investments in the industries that will define the 21st century economy. As China continues to steal intellectual property and exert control over private industry in an attempt to overtake the United States, this major piece of bipartisan legislation will help America stay on the cutting edge of research, development, and manufacturing.”

In addition to the creation of the Directorate for Technology and Innovation, today’s legislation includes two key Cyberspace Solarium Commission recommendations. The first would codify a “Cyber State of Distress and Cyber Response Fund” in the event of, or in preparation for, a significant cyber incident or series of incidents. This declaration – which Senator King recently outlined in the Wall Street Journal – would enable the Secretary of Homeland Security to coordinate asset preparation, response, and recovery operations, allowing responding Federal agencies to increase, scale up, or augment the capabilities through a cyber response and recovery fund. The second, which was cosponsored by fellow CSC Commissioner Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), would establish a National Risk Management Cycle, requiring a four-year cycle of risk identification and assessment to support critical infrastructure resilience, in order to make sure that our lines of defense are regularly refreshed and strengthened.

As Co-Chair of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, Senator King is committed to advancing American competitiveness in 21st century technologies and supporting research and development. Senator King is the co-chair of the Senate Semiconductor Caucus, and last year cosponsored an amendment included in the National Defense Authorization Act that supports the production and development of microelectronics in the United States. Following the passage of this King-backed provision, Senator King joined a bipartisan group urging the Biden Administration to fund to fund initiatives to strengthen semiconductor manufacturing on American soil. He has also cosponsored bipartisan legislation to support U.S. innovation in the race for 5G, introduced legislation to boost research into efforts to reuse and recycle batteries into green energy technologies, and urged top Department of Energy leaders to pursue carbon capture technologies.

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