On Tuesday, the U.S. House overwhelmingly passed U.S. Rep. Neal Dunn’s, R-Fla., bill to usher more veterans into the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields is gaining steam on Capitol Hill.
Last month, Dunn unveiled the “Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act” which would make the National Science Foundation (NSF) “develop a veterans outreach plan and publish data on veterans’ participation in its annual ‘Indicators’ report.” Dunn’s legislation also reforms several NSF scholarship and grants to help more veterans. The bill also would have the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy research strategies that will increase the number of veterans working in the STEM fields.
Dunn’s bill sailed through the House on Tuesday on a 420-1 vote with only U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., voting against it. Ten members of the House, including U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., did not vote.
After getting his bill through, Dunn weighed in on why it was important and praised U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, the chairman of the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, for helping move the bill through.
“In the next five years, more than one million members of the U.S. Armed Forces will leave the military and transition to civilian life. Our nation’s veterans deserve every opportunity to succeed and this important legislation will connect veterans with educational and job opportunities in the STEM fields,” Dunn said.
“By having veterans fill these 21st century jobs, we will continue to keep America on the cutting edge of innovation," Dunn added. “commend Chairman Smith’s leadership on this issue and his continued support of our veterans.”
Other cosponsors besides Smith include U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., and U.S. Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., the number two Democrat on the U.S. House Veterans Committee on which Dunn also sits.
So far, there is no version of Dunn’s bill over in the U.S. Senate.
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