Bipartisan legislation was introduced in the House last week to boost U.S. supply chains and foster domestic manufacturing of “critical goods” by creating a Supply Chain Resiliency and Crisis Response Office in the Department of Commerce.

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Space NASA Satellites
Department of Commerce

The Department of Commerce’s (DoC) Bureau of Industry and Security published a request for comments to gain feedback on what should be included in a report on supply chains for critical sectors and subsectors of the information and communications technology (ICT) industrial base.

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Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., ranking member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, wrote a letter to the Department of Commerce’s (DOC) Bureau of Industry Security (BIS) asking for details on implementing a “Final Rule” restricting access by China-based network equipment maker Huawei to U.S. technologies, and whether companies are still seeking to sell restricted technology to the company.

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Department of Commerce

President Biden has nominated Alan Estevez to become Under Secretary for Industry and Security in the Department of Commerce – a position that helps decide which U.S.-made technology products cannot be exported to foreign countries, ensures treaty compliance, and promotes continued U.S. strategic technology leadership.

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Budget Federal spending
Blockchain link
modernization

A bipartisan group of senators has reintroduced the Rural STEM Education Act, which would provide Federal support for STEM training in rural schools and instruct the director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide grants to support training for rural STEM teachers.

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Department of Commerce

The Department of Commerce’s Business Application Solutions (BAS) program – which aims to modernize the agency’s legacy financial systems – needs to develop a business practice reengineering plan and align its change effort processes with best practices, the agency’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) said in a management alert.

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Census 2020
Department of Commerce

Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and Bobby Rush, D-Ill., the ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and chair of the Energy Subcommittee, respectively, sent a letter on March 12 to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo urging the department to address the country’s need for increased leadership in the innovation and deployment of emerging technologies.

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supply chain

In a letter to Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, nominee for secretary of commerce, Republican Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Ben Sasse, R-Neb., requested that the Department of Commerce keep the pressure on Chinese telecommunications company, Huawei, during the Biden administration.

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Department of Commerce
Department of Commerce

The Department of Commerce Office of the Inspector General (OIG) announced last month that it will be conducting a review of the department’s cyber threat data sharing capabilities, pursuant to the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 which set up structures for sharing threat data with government and private sector entities. 

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After months with no movement and a weekend full of deal-making, Congress is expected to pass a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package as part of a broader Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) omnibus spending bill. The relief includes a new round of Payment Protection Program (PPP) funding, money for broadband deployment and emergency use, and money to remove banned Huawei and ZTE equipment.

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