With the session starting to wind down, U.S. Rep. Neal Dunn’s, R-Fla., bill to usher more veterans into the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields is getting a final push on Capitol Hill.
Back in November 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 in December 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.
U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., is championing the bill over in the Senate. Last week, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation passed Heller’s bill.
“As a senior member of the U.S. Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I am committed to passing legislation into law that creates meaningful job opportunities for our nation’s veterans,” said Heller after the committee vote. “With the influx of drones, autonomous and electric vehicles, and other technology companies in Nevada, there continues to be a high demand for individuals to meet STEM specific job requirements. The Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act addresses this need by offering an effective partnership between veterans and career opportunities throughout the state. I look forward to supporting this critical legislation through the U.S. Senate and working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to send it to the president’s desk.”
Dunn weighed in on the bill on Friday.
“Our veterans deserve every opportunity to succeed when they enter civilian life and this important legislation is a step in the right direction by expanding educational and job opportunities for our heroes. With the surge in technology over the last decade, we desperately need more experts in the science and math fields. Our veterans are equipped to take on this challenge and many have already worked in the technology field while serving our country,” said Dunn who sits on the U.S. House Veterans Affairs Committee.
“Thank you to Senator Heller for working with me on this important legislation and getting it one step closer to President Trump’s desk,” Dunn added.