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Ranking Member Johnson’s Opening Statement for Quantum Technology Hearing

Oct 24, 2017
Press Release

(Washington, DC) – Today, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s Subcommittees on Research and Technology and Energy are holding a hearing titled,American Leadership in Quantum Technology.”

Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson’s (D-TX), opening statement for the record is below.

Thank you Chairwoman Comstock and Chairman Weber for holding this important hearing, and thank you to the witnesses for being here today.

Quantum technology is an emerging field that will likely have a large impact on our nation’s competitiveness in the industries of tomorrow. Its current and potential applications are frankly too numerous to list, as they range from enabling vast improvements in our ability to discover and develop new pharmaceuticals to ensuring the security of our most critical infrastructure.

So, as the Committee of the future, this is exactly the kind of area that we should be focusing our attention on, and I would encourage our Majority to hold many more hearings that follow this example. I also believe that we should strongly consider developing a National Quantum Initiative, and I look forward to engaging with my colleagues on the other side of the aisle in the hope that we can put together bipartisan legislation to make this happen.

I would note that it will be much more difficult to ensure U.S. leadership in this crucial field if we don’t at least provide sufficient resources to maintain our current rate of progress. Yet the Administration is proposing significant cuts to the agencies and programs that are at the vanguard of this effort. This would include an 11% cut to the National Science Foundation, a 6.6% cut to quantum science research at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and a 16% cut to the Department of Energy’s Basic Energy Sciences program.

I look forward to hearing more about the impacts of these proposed cuts from both of our witness panels. Based on their written testimony alone, I expect that we will hear more than enough justification for substantially increasing our support for these quantum R&D efforts over the next several years. 

Thank you again and I yield back.

115th Congress