The Senate is on break until September 15, but while on recess major committees will be working on legislative language for the $3.5 trillion budget resolution passed August 11. While the bill largely looks to tackle “soft infrastructure” and climate change, there are a variety of tech objectives in the resolution as well.
Among those, Senate committees will be responsible for writing in cybersecurity objectives, science and technology research, and energy investments into the legislative language for the bill.
The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs will be responsible for writing legislation that totals $37 billion. With those funds, the committee is responsible for adding legislation that improves the nation’s cybersecurity infrastructure. The Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act that just passed the Senate has around $2 billion for cybersecurity measures.
The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Technology will have $83 billion at its disposal for legislative purposes and is tasked with writing in investments in technology and providing funds to the National Science Foundation for its research and technology directorate, among other objectives.
The budget resolution also aims to make a significant effort to tackle climate change, and a few committees are tasked with writing legislation to help with that cause.
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will have the second-largest amount of money to appropriate, with the reconciliation instructions giving the committee $198 billion to work with. With those funds, the committee has to help fund research infrastructure for the Department of Energy’s National Labs and finance domestic manufacturing of clean energy and supply chain tech for automobiles.
The Committee on Environment and Public Works is instructed to appropriate $67 billion with its top priority being to create a Clean Energy Technology Accelerator. The accelerator would fund “low-income solar” and other “climate-friendly” tech, according to a summary of the framework.
Perhaps the budget resolution’s greatest value – from a tech and legislative perspective – is that its passage satisfied House Democrats who had said they would not consider the infrastructure bill without the resolution passing as well. However, both tracks of President Biden’s American Jobs Act and American Families Plan figure to have significant tech items attached as well.
The House, which had previously been scheduled to be on summer recess until September 20, will now come back August 23 to vote on the budget resolution and work on other priorities.