Twin science bills authored by Rep. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, passed the House Tuesday and are headed to the Senate for consideration.
H.R. 4376, the Department of Energy Research Infrastructure Act, allows for national laboratories that focus on material sciences and advanced photonics to receive infrastructure improvements and upgrades. Several of the national labs are in California.
“The facilities that this bill is upgrading are working on some of the most cutting-edge research in the world.” Knight said in a statement. “Not only will this help us create a better understanding of the natural world, but has the potential to ignite a generational leap in applicable science.”
The second bill, H.R. 4376 or the Building Blocks of STEM Act, was a Democrat-backed bill with Knight as the lone Republican co-sponsor, congressional records showed. The bill would require the National Science Foundation to emphasize science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM programs in early childhood education programs.
“Research has shown that when you engage kids at a young age, their minds latch on to ideas and they develop lifelong passions in a particular subject” Knight said. “STEM training and education will be the deciding factor in who leads the world economy of the future. This bill will help ensure we continue to improve how we teach these critical subjects so our schools can graduate more students who pursue these high-skill jobs.”
Knight serves on the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee and is the Vice-Chairman of the Energy Subcommittee.
“American scientific discovery has provided immeasurable benefits to people across the globe,” he said. “The legislation passed (Tuesday) will reassert America’s role as a world leader in science.”