The American economy added 134,000 jobs in September, according to the US Department of Commerce. The unemployment rate sits at 3.7% - the lowest since 1969. On the other hand, earlier this week Verizon announced 44,000 layoffs to its global workforce, including a significant portion in the United States, and the outsourcing of 2,500-5,000 jobs to external contractors.
The bill will rebrand DHS’s main cybersecurity unit known as National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) as the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection Agency, spinning the headquarters office out into a full-fledged operational component of DHS on the same level as Secret Service or FEMA.
The rollout of 5G high-speed wireless networks are expected to usher in an era of super-fast internet speeds, but many experts worry that the new technology will only leave poor urban communities further behind.
The bill aims to do a number of things, including establishing an AI in government advisory board, directing the White House Office of Management and Budget to look into AI as part of the federal data strategy, getting the Office of Personnel Management to look at what kinds of employee skills are necessary for AI competence in government and expanding “an office” at the General Services Administration that will provide expertise, do research and “promote U.S. competitiveness.”
The first section of the FY 2019 budget to pass included funding for energy and water, the legislature, military construction and veterans’ affairs. While the year-over-year growth was not as strong for most initiatives as from FY 2017 into FY 2018, the average gain within the Department of Energy was about three percent.
“It does seem like it’s a fairly good initiative overall,” said Elsa Kania, adjunct fellow of the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for New American Security, or CNAS, and co-author of a report released the same day calling for greater focus on the quantum race against China. “It generally hits a lot of the right points.” But Kania also argued that the U.S. needs more specific guidance from Congress.
Last Thursday the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Quantum Initiative Act (NQIA) intended to accelerate quantum computing research and development. Among other things it would establish a National Quantum Coordination Office within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to oversee a “whole-of-government” effort.
Though economics might not favor nuclear power in the US, policy makers do. Last week, the House passed a bipartisan bill that originated in the Senate called the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act (S. 97), which will allow the private sector to partner with US National Laboratories to vet advanced nuclear technologies. The bill also directs the Department of Energy (DOE) to lay the ground work for establishing "a versatile, reactor-based fast neutron source."
Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) on Thursday unveiled legislation to create a Department of Labor grant program for apprenticeships in cybersecurity. The bipartisan bill, known as the “Cyber Ready Workforce Act,” would establish grants to help create, implement and expand registered apprenticeship programs for cybersecurity.
Seventeen years after the 9/11 terror attacks, lawmakers are stepping up their warnings about how the next assault on the U.S. could be a cyberattack. Airports and airlines increasingly rely on cyber networks to operate, yet there are no federal regulations specifically governing their use.