WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Neal Dunn’s (FL-02) legislation to expand veterans’ job and educational opportunities in the sciences passed the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Senator Dean Heller (NV) introduced companion legislation in the Senate similar to Dr. Dunn’s bill. Dr. Dunn’s bill, H.R. 4323, Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act, passed out of committee today with minor changes authored by Chairman John Thune (SD).
“Our veterans deserve every opportunity to succeed when they enter civilian life and this important legislation is a step in the right direction by expanding educational and job opportunities for our heroes. With the surge in technology over the last decade, we desperately need more experts in the science and math fields. Our veterans are equipped to take on this challenge and many have already worked in the technology field while serving our country,” said Dr. Dunn. “Thank you to Senator Heller for working with me on this important legislation and getting it one step closer to President Trump’s desk.”
The Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act requires the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop a veterans outreach plan and publish data on veterans’ participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields in its annual “Indicators” report. The bill updates the NSF Noyce Teacher Scholarship program, fellowship program, and cyber grant programs to include outreach to veterans. Additionally, the bill tasks the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy with examining how to increase veteran participation in STEM career fields.
The Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act is cosponsored by House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (TX-21), as well as several veterans who serve on the committee, including Reps. Barry Loudermilk (GA-11), Mark Takano (CA-41), Jim Banks (IN-03), Brian Babin (TX-36), Ralph Abraham (LA-05), Steve Knight (CA-25), and Roger Marshall (KS-01).