A bipartisan group of over 80 county elected officials from NACo sent a letter to Congressional leaders and other federal lawmakers urging the inclusion of key county provisions in the America COMPETES Act of 2022.
The United States Innovation and Competition Act, knows as the America COMPETES Act, “addresses U.S. technology and communications, foreign relations and national security, domestic manufacturing, education, trade, and other matters” (congress.gov). The Conference Committee, which is comprised of members from the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, are currently negotiating a final bill in hopes to pass it before the July 4 recess.
Members of NACo’s (National Association of Counties) Economic and Workforce Development, Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Public Lands, and Telecommunications and Technology Policy Steering Committees sent a letter to Congress on June 13 urging lawmakers include key county provisions.
According to a NACo blog, county priorities addressed in the letter include:
- Authorization of the National Science Foundation, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), to review federal programs that would support research, development, education and training on precision agriculture as well as identify opportunities to expand its use
- $1.5 billion for the Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund to fund research and development in future wireless technology solutions
- $45 billion for grants, loans, and loan guarantees to support supply chain resilience and manufacturing of critical goods, industrial equipment and manufacturing technology
- Creation of a Regional Technology and Innovation Hub Program through the U.S. Department of Commerce to foster regional technology and economic growth
- Passage of the Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act (PLREDA), which would expedite renewable energy development where appropriate on federal public lands
- $4 billion for the Economic Development Administration to launch a pilot version of the bipartisan Rebuilding Economies and Creating Opportunities for More People Everywhere to Excel Act (RECOMPETE Act)