National Institute of Standards and Technology Reauthorization Act of 2018

Floor Speech

Date: Sept. 25, 2018
Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. COMSTOCK. 6229, the bill now under consideration.

Mr. Speaker, I take this opportunity to speak on behalf of my bill, H.R. 6229, the National Institute of Standards and Technology Reauthorization Act of 2018.

NIST's mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve all Americans' quality of life.

Since its establishment in 1901, NIST has helped position U.S. technology at the leading edge, making contributions to innumerable products and services that rely in some way on technology, measurement, and standards.

Such technology ranges from developing biometric standards for law enforcement or new materials for protective equipment of our Nation's firefighters to atomic clocks and earthquake-resistant skyscrapers. This legislation authorizes NIST's industrial technology services, construction activities, and bolsters the scientific and technical research and services lab activities for 2 years.

NIST has the mission and capabilities to contribute to areas critical to the U.S. global competitiveness. To this end, this legislation authorizes increased investments in four emerging technology areas: quantum science, artificial intelligence and data science, advanced communications and the Internet of Things, and composites research and standards development.

These investments will launch discoveries and technical advances that will significantly affect the Nation's economy in the coming decades. As we have heard in our committee, the potential for artificial intelligence to help humans and further scientific discoveries is immense.

By advancing our ability to store and process large and complex data sets through AI and machine learning, computers are able to refine and enhance future predictions. This advanced technology is already creating tremendous developments in many fields, including medicine, manufacturing, and finance.

This legislation also directs NIST to capitalize on its deep and varied expertise in advanced composites. NIST is directed to connect research that will provide the evidence and data needed to set industry standards and design guidelines to encourage the safe adoption and application of composite materials in U.S. infrastructure projects.

NIST plays a very important role in protecting the Nation from cyber threats through its ongoing cybersecurity research. NIST is examining the applications of blockchain technology, and creating voluntary frameworks and standards to help reduce cyber risks to Federal agencies, multiple industries, and critical infrastructure. Its cybersecurity technical standards and risk management frameworks are widely regarded as one of the best and most comprehensive in the world.

I want to thank Ranking Member Lipinski for cosponsoring this important legislation with me. As the chairman has mentioned, he has been an essential partner with us in getting so many of our bipartisan bills put forward.

I would also like to thank Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Johnson for assisting in ushering this bill through the Science, Space, and Technology Committee on a bipartisan basis.

As industry's national laboratory, NIST is dedicated to supporting research and technology development in the areas of national importance from communications technology and cybersecurity to advanced manufacturing and disaster resilience.

This bill supports NIST's critical work of helping U.S. industries and improving Americans' quality of life by developing new measurement tools, providing authoritative data, and bringing stakeholders together to find solutions to ensure U.S. competitiveness in the 21st century economy.


Mr. Speaker, I want to thank you again for the opportunity to speak on this important piece of legislation and to thank my colleagues and Ranking Member Lipinski for their support.

Mr. Speaker, I strongly urge my colleagues to support this bill, and I yield back the balance of my time.