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Neal Dunn's Bill to Get More Veterans Into STEM Fields Headed to House Floor

November 16, 2017 - 10:00am

U.S. Rep. Neal Dunn’s, R-Fla., proposal to usher more veterans into the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields is gaining steam on Capitol Hill.

Last week, 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 scored a win this week as the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee advanced his legislation. The North Florida congressman weighed in on Wednesday after his bill moved through the committee. 

“This bill is a common sense step to honor our commitment to America’s veterans,” Dunn said. “It also will bring highly trained servicemembers into innovative STEM fields, and help keep America’s economy on the cutting edge.”

Dunn praised U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, the chairman of the committee, for his help in getting the legislation through. Smith is co-sponsoring the bill. 

“STEM education and career development is the key to enhancing the workforce of today – and tomorrow – and to ensuring U.S. leadership in technology and innovation,” Smith said. “Today’s committee passage of Rep. Dunn’s Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act empowers us to promote veterans’ involvement in STEM education, computer science and scientific research. 

“I thank Rep. Dunn for his leadership on this important issue, and I look forward to considering this bill on the House floor,” Smith added. 

As Smith noted, with no other scheduled committee stops, Dunn’s bill now heads to the full House. So far, there is no companion bill over in the Senate. 

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.  


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