Monday, April 22, 2024

Review - S 3943 Introduced – ANCHOR Act

Last month, Sen Padilla (D,CA) introduced S 3943, the Accelerating Networking, Cyberinfrastructure, and Hardware for Oceanic Research (ANCHOR) Act. The bill would require the National Science Foundation (NSF) to submit a plan to improve the cybersecurity and telecommunications of the Academic Research Fleet. No new funding is authorized by the legislation. The bill is very similar to HR 7630. That bill was adopted without amendment by the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee on March 20th, 2024.

Differences From HR 7630

The major difference from the House bill is that Section 4 of the earlier bill is absent in the Senate version. That section authorized NSF to support cybersecurity upgrades described in the plan required in §3. Section 4 would have also required a report to Congress on progress made on the implementation of the plan.

Moving Forward

While Padilla is not a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee to which this bill was assigned for consideration, two of his three cosponsors are members. This means that there could be sufficient influence to see this bill considered in Committee. I see nothing in this bill, especially since it contains no new funding or regulatory requirements, that would engender any organized opposition to the legislation. I suspect that there would be bipartisan support for the bill. Unfortunately, this is yet another bill that is not politically important enough to take up the time to considered by the full Senate. If this bill is to move forward, it would need to be considered under the unanimous consent process (a politically fraught process) or be included in some larger, more politically necessary bill.


For more details about the provisions of this bill, see my article at CFSN Detailed Analysis - - subscription required.

No comments:

/* Use this with templates/template-twocol.html */