Yesterday the House passed HR 5312, the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Modernization Act of 2016. The bill was ‘debated’ for twenty minutes, but nary a negative word was heard. The final vote was a strongly bipartisan 385-7, with most of the negative votes coming from Republicans.
The bill does add the term ‘cyber-physical system’ to the definition to the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991 (15 USC Chapter 81), but it limits it to large, complex systems “whose networking and information technology functions and physical elements are deeply integrated”. No additional funding is provided for the research that this bill supports. This means that the existing funding is being diluted by expanding the areas of research authorized.
With no serious opposition to the bill, it is likely that, if the bill is considered in the Senate (not a forgone conclusion by any means), it would likely be considered under the unanimous consent process.