Luján, Tillis, Takano Introduce Legislation to Modernize Technology Access and Knowledge in Congress
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) joined U.S. Representative Mark Takano (D-CA) to reintroduce the Office of Technology Assessment Improvement and Enhancement Act. This bipartisan bill will strengthen the existing authorization for the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) by structuring the office to be more responsive and accessible to Members’ needs.
For more than twenty years, the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), an independent, bipartisan agency set up to provide information on technology and its potential impacts, supported Congress in its lawmaking activities until it was defunded in 1995. As Congress considers the use of technologies such as AI, facial recognition, quantum computing, and emerging energy storage and generation in both the private and public sectors, it is increasingly important that Members of Congress have access to unbiased assessments of what is on the horizon. A one pager on the bill can be found here. Full text of the bill is available here.
“Historically, the Office of Technology Assessment has been a vital, bipartisan resource that has provided critical technological information to Members of Congress and our staff. After being closed for nearly 30 years, Congress has lacked a major tool to help navigate the challenges of emerging technologies,” said Senator Luján. “As the power of technologies like Artificial Intelligence increases, lawmakers must be equipped with the knowledge needed to protect the American people. That’s why this legislation will relaunch the OTA to help deepen Congress’ knowledge and expertise on technologies of the future.”
“I am proud to join Senator Luján to reintroduce this legislation to revive and reform the Office of Technology Assessment to ensure Congress has access to reliable, nonpartisan research and analysis on technology issues,” said Senator Tillis. “Technology continues to develop at breakneck speeds, and this legislation will help ensure Congress has the tools, resources, and policy expertise necessary to make sound technology policy.”
“The American public has felt the consequences of Congress’s slow action on technology regulation including on data privacy and cryptocurrency. Now, generative artificial intelligence has emerged with the potential to significantly change the way we work and live. It is this type of exploding technology that requires an Office of Technology Assessment to provide unbiased and scientific assessments for Members of Congress and their staff,” said Rep. Takano. “It is imperative that we revive the OTA in order to legislate proactively and meet the technological advances of the future.”