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Foster Applauds Decision to Fund Office of Technology Assessment

May 2, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – This week, the House Committee on Appropriations announced that the fiscal year 2020 legislative branch funding bill will include $6 million to re-establish the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA).

The OTA was created in 1972 to provide Congress with nonpartisan policy advice on technology issues. It was defunded in 1995, but it remains a legally authorized organization.

“It is vital that Members of Congress are able to receive quality, nonpartisan policy recommendations on technical issues that affect us now and could impact us in the future,” Foster said. “We live in a world where technology has become increasingly important in our personal lives, workplaces, and democracy. From social media’s role in our elections to Artificial Intelligence and how technology will affect the future of work, Congress is not adequately prepared to lead on technical issues. The Office of Technology Assessment is the ideal organization to provide critical insight and assessments into the effects technology will have on our economy and everyday lives and allow us to make informed policy decisions that benefit our constituents and the country.”

From 1974 to 1995, the OTA was governed by a Technology Assessment Board of six Senators and six Representatives, split evenly by party. OTA studies were requested either by the chair or ranking member of a committee or by the Technology Assessment Board or Director.

In March, Congressman Foster and Congressman Mark Takano (D-CA) led a letter to the House Committee on Appropriations asking that the OTA be funded for fiscal year 2020. Last year, Congressman Foster introduced a resolution to restore funding for the OTA.