Wicker: Key Senate Committee Advances Legislative Priorities
Rural Wireless Access, Ocean Monitoring, Cybersecurity, and Masonry Bills to Be Considered by Full Senate
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a senior member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today announced that four bills he has either authored or cosponsored have been approved by the committee and will soon be considered by the full Senate.
The four bills included:
Rural Wireless Access Act of 2017 (S. 1621);
Coordinated Ocean Monitoring and Research Act (S. 1425);
Cyber Scholarship Opportunities Act of 2017 (S. 754); and
Concrete Masonry Products Research, Education, and Promotion Act of 2017 (S. 374).
The Rural Wireless Access Act of 2017, introduced by Sens. Wicker and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., would require the FCC to standardize its wireless coverage data. With better coverage data, the FCC could ensure that funds provided for expanding broadband infrastructure are equitably applied between rural and urban areas. Supporters expect the legislation would help close the digital divide between rural and urban communities.
The Coordinated Ocean Monitoring and Research Act, introduced by Wicker, would reauthorize support for the U.S. Integrated Ocean and Observing System (IOOS). IOOS is an innovative network of national and regional observing systems that collects critical research data about America’s coasts, oceans, and Great Lakes.
The Cyber Scholarship Opportunities Act of 2017, introduced by Sens. Wicker and Tim Kaine, D-Va., would expand the CyberCorps program at the National Science Foundation to community colleges and K-12 institutions across the country. The legislation would also expand the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program to help local education agencies recruit and train highly effective cybersecurity teachers to address the critical need for educators at elementary and secondary schools.
The Concrete Masonry Products Research, Education, and Promotion Act of 2017, introduced by Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and cosponsored by Wicker, would authorize the concrete masonry industry to create a commodity check-off program that would support industry research, education, and promotion. The bill would have zero cost to taxpayers.