The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology completed the markup of its legislative language for the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package Sept. 9 and included in that measure nearly $1.2 billion of funding to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for cybersecurity and other emerging tech research.

The print was ultimately passed by the committee by a 21-17 vote and favorably reported. The committee’s bill also includes $7 million for NASA cybersecurity and IT security. Those two inclusions are just a drop in the bucket of the $45.51 billion the committee is responsible for under the reconciliation bill instructions.

“I strongly believe that the investments made in the Print before us today will lead to a new golden era of American research and development and help ensure our Nation’s competitiveness for decades to come,” Committee Chair Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Tex., said in her opening statement.

The $1.195 billion the committee appropriated for NIST would be used for scientific and technical research into the areas of artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, quantum information science and tech, biotechnologies, and a few other emerging tech research areas.

The $7 million for NASA is appropriated for cybersecurity measures would be used to help secure some of the other inclusions in the print – including $4 billion for NASA infrastructure and another $388 million for NASA climate change research and development.

Several other House committees are still in the process of drafting reconciliation legislative language and marking it up before next week’s Sept. 15 deadline. The House Oversight Committee has already submitted prints that would fund the electrification of the Federal vehicle fleet, and an amendment that will tack on $3 billion in funding for Federal IT modernization efforts.

The reconciliation bill is still a long way from completion, and will still need to be approved by the full House of Representatives along with the Senate. House committees have been instructed not to pass anything that is unlikely to receive Senate approval to make the process a little smoother.

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Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.