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                                                     Calendar No. 314
116th Congress      }                                  {       Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session        }                                  {      116-164
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     


                SUPPORTING VETERANS IN STEM CAREERS ACT

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                 S. 153






              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]






                December 5, 2019.--Ordered to be printed 
                
                               __________


                      U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE
                      
99-010                     WASHINGTON : 2019 
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
                     one hundred sixteenth congress
                             first session

                 ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi, Chairman
JOHN THUNE, South Dakota             MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
ROY BLUNT, Missouri                  AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota
TED CRUZ, Texas                      RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut
DEB FISCHER, Nebraska                BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii
JERRY MORAN, Kansas                  EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts
DAN SULLIVAN, Alaska                 TOM UDALL, New Mexico
CORY GARDNER, Colorado               GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
MARSHA BLACKBURN, Tennessee          TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin
SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO, West Virginia  TAMMY DUCKWORTH, Illinois
MIKE LEE, Utah                       JON TESTER, Montana
RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin               KYRSTEN SINEMA, Arizona
TODD C. YOUNG, Indiana               JACKY ROSEN, Nevada
RICK SCOTT, Florida
                       John Keast, Staff Director
               David Strickland, Minority Staff Director





















                                                     Calendar No. 314
116th Congress      }                                  {       Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session        }                                  {      116-164
======================================================================



 
                SUPPORTING VETERANS IN STEM CAREERS ACT

                                _______
                                

                December 5, 2019.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

       Mr. Wicker, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                Transportation, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 153]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 153) to promote veteran 
involvement in STEM education, computer science, and scientific 
research, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
reports favorably thereon with an amendment (in the nature of a 
substitute) and recommends that the bill (as amended) do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of S. 153 is to modify certain existing 
National Science Foundation (NSF) science, technology, 
engineering, and mathematics (STEM) research and education 
programs to enable and promote participation by veterans and to 
direct NSF to develop a plan to enhance its veteran outreach 
efforts. S. 153 also would direct the Office of Science and 
Technology Policy (OSTP) to establish or designate an 
interagency working group to coordinate and develop activities 
and programs to increase participation of veterans in STEM 
careers and education.

                          Background and Needs

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 
employment in occupations related to STEM was projected to grow 
to more than 10 million between 2016 and 2026.\1\ In addition, 
in the next 5 years, between 1 million and 1.5 million members 
of the U.S. Armed Forces will leave the military, according to 
the Department of Defense. By a large margin, veterans cite 
finding employment as their most important need when returning 
home.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Bureau of Labor Statistics, ``Employment in STEM Occupations''. 
April 10, 2019 (https://www.bls.gov/emp/tables/stem-employment.htm).
    \2\Congressional Research Service, ``Employment for Veterans: 
Trends and Programs''. February 20, 2014 (https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/
R42790.pdf).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Research shows that many military veterans have skills and 
training that align with STEM careers, particularly in 
information technology.\3\ However, research also reveals 
several systemic barriers veterans face as they re-enter the 
workforce, including lack of formal STEM education, lack of 
career guidance, and the difficult task of transferring 
military training or credentials to similar civilian 
occupations.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\National Science Foundation, Modeling IT Career Choices of 
Persons with Disabilities: The Case of Military Personnel and Veterans 
(Award abstract #1245195).'' June 19, 2017 (https://www.nsf.gov/
awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1245195; Vancouver Business Journal, 
``Research shows veterans may be answer to workforce gap.'' May 12, 
2017 (https://www.vbjusa.com/opinion/columns/education-workforce-
development-column/research-shows-veterans-may-answer-workforce-gap/).
    \4\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program provides 
scholarships and stipends to undergraduate STEM majors and 
professionals in return for STEM teaching service at the K-12 
level. The program, which allocated approximately $58 million 
for new grant awards in 2017, is intended to address the 
critical need for recruiting and preparing highly effective 
STEM teachers in high-need K-12 schools. The NSF Masters 
Teaching Fellowship track is a component of the Robert Noyce 
Teacher Scholarship Program, which offers awards for 
fellowships and programmatic support to experienced and 
exemplary certified K-12 STEM teachers who possess a master's 
or bachelor's degree in their field.

                         Summary of Provisions

    If enacted, S. 153 would do the following:
   Address the participation of veterans in STEM 
        fields, including by making veterans eligible for 
        certain NSF programs.
   Direct NSF to (1) encourage veterans to study and 
        pursue careers in STEM and computer science in 
        coordination with other Federal agencies that serve 
        veterans, and (2) submit a plan to Congress for 
        enhancing veterans outreach.
   Require the National Science Board to provide in its 
        biennial report on indicators of the state of science 
        and engineering in the United States any available and 
        relevant data on veterans in science and engineering 
        careers or education programs.
   Require NSF to consider the ability of an 
        institution of higher education to recruit veterans in 
        those institutions' applications to participate in the 
        Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, NSF 
        fellowships and masters fellowships for mathematics and 
        science teachers, computer and network security 
        capacity building grants, and traineeship grants 
        leading to a doctorate degree in computer and network 
        security research.
   Establish or designate a working group in the Office 
        of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to coordinate 
        and develop Federal programs and policies for 
        transitioning and training veterans and military 
        spouses for STEM careers.
   Direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to 
        conduct a study on the academic success rates of 
        student veterans pursuing STEM degrees and barriers 
        faced by such students in that pursuit.

                          Legislative History

    S. 153 was introduced on January 16, 2019, by Senator Rubio 
(for himself and Senator Klobuchar) and was referred to the 
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the 
Senate. Senators Daines, Gardner, Rounds, Rosen, Blumenthal, 
Cortez Masto, Fischer, Peters, Cramer, and Hoeven are 
additional cosponsors. On July 10, 2019, the Committee met in 
open Executive Session and, by voice vote, ordered S. 153 
reported favorably with an amendment (in the nature of a 
substitute) and two first degree amendments. Senator Klobuchar 
offered an amendment (in the nature of a substitute) to reduce 
the unnecessary bureaucratic layers created by the original 
bill. Senator Gardner offered a first degree amendment to 
require the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct 
a study and report on barriers faced by student veterans 
pursuing STEM degrees. Senator Lee offered a first degree 
amendment to reduce the amount of time an interagency committee 
created by this bill could exist. The underlying bill and the 
amendment from Senator Lee would not sunset this committee if 
an existing committee were used to implement this bill.
    A House companion bill, H.R. 425, was introduced on January 
10, 2019, by Representative Dunn (for himself and 
Representative Lamb) and was referred to the Committee on 
Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives. 
There are five additional cosponsors. On February 25, 2019, 
H.R. 425 was passed by the House of Representatives, and on 
February 26, 2019, that bill was referred to the Committee on 
Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate..
    In the 115th Congress, a similar bill, S. 3395, was 
introduced on August 28, 2018, by Senator Heller and was 
referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate. A companion bill, H.R. 4323, was 
passed on December 19, 2017, by the Committee on Science, 
Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and 
reported favorably with an amendment (in the nature of a 
substitute) by the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate on September 12, 2018.

                            Estimated Costs

    In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office: 


              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


    S. 153 would modify the requirements and selection criteria 
of several National Science Foundation programs to promote 
wider participation by veterans. The bill also would direct the 
Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to establish an 
interagency working group to improve participation by veterans 
in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) 
fields, and to develop a strategic plan to address barriers for 
veterans in those fields. Finally, S. 153 would require the 
Government Accountability Office to study the academic success 
rates of veterans pursuing STEM degrees.
    Based on the costs of similar activities, CBO estimates 
that implementing the bill would cost $1 million over the 2019-
2024 period; such spending would be subject to the availability 
of appropriated funds. Most of that amount would be for 
additional OSTP staff to manage working group activities and 
prepare the strategic plan.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Janani 
Shankaran. The estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, 
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:

                       number of persons covered

    S. 153, as reported, would not create any new programs or 
impose any new regulatory requirements. Therefore, it would not 
subject any individuals or businesses to new regulations.

                            economic impact

    S. 153, as reported, is not expected to have a negative 
impact on the Nation's economy.

                                privacy

    S. 153, as reported, would not have any adverse impact on 
the personal privacy of individuals.

                               paperwork

    S. 153, as reported, would not increase paperwork 
requirements for private individuals or businesses. S. 153 
would require the Director of the Office of Science and 
Technology Policy to modify an existing annual report to 
Congress.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 
rule.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title.

    This section would provide that the bill may be cited as 
the ``Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act.''

Section 2. Definitions.

    This section would define the terms ``Director,'' 
``Foundation,'' ``STEM,'' and ``veteran.''

Section 3. Supporting veterans in STEM education and computer science.

    This section would require NSF, in coordination with other 
Federal agencies that serve veterans, to encourage veterans to 
study and pursue STEM and computer science careers. This 
section would instruct NSF to develop and submit a plan to 
Congress that includes NSF's existing outreach activities to 
veterans, identifies best methods for NSF to leverage existing 
authorities and programs to facilitate and support veterans in 
STEM careers and education, identifies options for how NSF 
could track veterans' participation in NSF research and 
education programs, and describes any barriers to collecting 
such information on veterans' participation.
    Further, this section would require the National Science 
Board to provide, in its report on indicators of the state of 
U.S. science and engineering, any available and relevant data 
on veterans' science and engineering education programs and 
careers.
    Additionally, this section would require NSF to consider 
the ability of an institution of higher education to recruit 
veterans in those institutions' applications to participate in 
the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program and the NSF 
Masters Teacher Fellowship component. This section also would 
require NSF to use its computer and network security capacity 
building grants program to increase the number of veterans who 
pursue degrees in computer and network security fields, and 
allow program participants to use grant awards to create 
opportunities for veterans to transition to careers in computer 
and network security. This section also would require NSF to 
consider the likelihood that increased numbers of veterans 
would be recruited as students when considering the 
applications of institutions of higher education to participate 
in its graduate traineeship program for computer and network 
security.
    Finally, this section would require the Director of OSTP to 
establish or designate an interagency working group to 
coordinate Federal programs and policies for transitioning and 
training veterans and military spouses for STEM careers.

Section 4. Comptroller General of the United States study and report on 
        barriers faced by student veterans pursuing degrees in science, 
        technology, engineering, or math.

    This section would direct the GAO to study the academic 
success rates of student veterans pursuing STEM degrees as well 
as barriers facing these students in pursuing such degrees. The 
study would include an assessment of the current number of 
veterans pursuing STEM degrees, the percentage of those 
students who pursue such a degree but do not obtain it in 4 or 
fewer years, an analysis of the reasons why students are not 
able to obtain their degree and whether those reasons are 
barriers to veterans obtaining STEM degrees, and 
recommendations for Federal action to help more student 
veterans obtain STEM degrees.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
material is printed in italic, existing law in which no change 
is proposed is shown in roman):

         NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION AUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2002


[Public Law 107-368, enacted December 19, 2002; as amended through P.L. 
                  115-303, enacted December 11, 2018]

                          [42 U.S.C. 1862n-1]

SEC. 10. ROBERT NOYCE TEACHER SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM.

  (a) Scholarship Program.--
          (1) * * *
          (5) Awards.--In awarding grants under this section, 
        the Director shall ensure that the eligible entities 
        (and participating institutions of higher education of 
        the consortia, if applicable) represent a variety of 
        types of institutions of higher education. In support 
        of this goal, the Director shall broadly disseminate 
        information about when and how to apply for grants 
        under this section, including by conducting outreach 
        to--
                  (A) historically Black colleges and 
                universities that are part B institutions, as 
                defined in section 322(2) of the Higher 
                Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1061(2)); 
                [and]
                  (B) minority institutions, as defined in 
                section 365(3) of the Higher Education Act of 
                1965 (20 U.S.C. 1067k(3))[.]; and
                  (C) higher education programs that serve or 
                support veterans.
          (6) Supplement not supplant.--Grant funds provided 
        under this section shall be used to supplement, and not 
        supplant, other Federal or State funds available for 
        the type of activities supported by the grant.
  (b) Selection Process.--
          (1) * * *
          (2) Review of applications.--In evaluating the 
        applications submitted under paragraph (1), the 
        Director shall consider, at a minimum--
                  (A) * * *
                  (F) the ability of the applicant (and the 
                participating institutions of higher education 
                of the consortium, if applicable) to recruit 
                students who would otherwise not pursue a 
                career in teaching in elementary schools or 
                secondary schools [and students], students who 
                are individuals identified in section 33 or 34 
                of the Science and Engineering Equal 
                Opportunities Act (42 U.S.C. 1885a or 1885b), 
                and veterans.
  (c) Scholarship Requirements.--
          (1) * * *
          (2) Selection.--Individuals shall be selected to 
        receive scholarships primarily on the basis of academic 
        merit, with consideration given to financial need and 
        to the goal of promoting the participation of 
        individuals identified in section 33 or 34 of the 
        Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act (42 
        U.S.C. 1885a or 1885b) and veterans.
          (3) * * *
  (d) Stipends.--
          (1) * * *
          (2) Selection.--Individuals shall be selected to 
        receive stipends under this section primarily on the 
        basis of academic merit and professional achievement, 
        with consideration given to financial need and to the 
        goal of promoting the participation of individuals 
        identified in section 33 or 34 of the Science and 
        Engineering Equal Opportunities Act (42 U.S.C. 1885a or 
        1885b) and veterans.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                        [42 U.S.C. 1862n-1a(d)]

SEC. 10A. NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION TEACHING FELLOWSHIPS AND MASTER 
                    TEACHING FELLOWSHIPS.

  (a) * * *
  (d) Selection Process.--
          (1) * * *
          (3) Criteria.--In evaluating the applications 
        submitted under paragraph (2), the Director shall 
        consider, at a minimum--
                  (A) * * *
                  (F) in the case of the National Science 
                Foundation Teaching Fellowship, the ability of 
                the applicant (and participating institutions 
                of higher education of the consortium, if 
                applicable) to recruit individuals who would 
                otherwise not pursue a career in teaching [and 
                individuals], individuals identified in section 
                33 or 34 of the Science and Engineering Equal 
                Opportunities Act (42 U.S.C. 1855a or 1855b), 
                and veterans.
          (4) Selection of fellows.--
                  (A) * * *
                  (B) Promoting participation of certain 
                individuals.--Among individuals demonstrating 
                equivalent qualifications, consideration may be 
                given to the goal of promoting the 
                participation of individuals identified in 
                section 33 or 34 of the Science and Engineering 
                Equal Opportunities Act (42 U.S.C. 1885a or 
                1885b) and veterans.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


              CYBER SECURITY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ACT


 [P.L. 107-305, enacted November 27, 2002; as amended through P.L. 114-
                     329, enacted January 6, 2017]

                          [15 U.S.C. 7404(a)]

SEC. 5. NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION COMPUTER AND NETWORK SECURITY 
                    PROGRAMS.

  (a) Computer and Network Security Capacity Building Grants.--
          (1) In general.--The Director shall establish a 
        program to award grants to institutions of higher 
        education (or consortia thereof) to establish or 
        improve undergraduate and master's degree programs in 
        computer and network security, to increase the number 
        of students, including the number of students from 
        groups historically underrepresented in these fields 
        and students who are veterans, who pursue undergraduate 
        or master's degrees in fields related to computer and 
        network security, and to provide students with 
        experience in government or industry related to their 
        computer and network security studies.
          (2) Merit review.--Grants shall be awarded under this 
        subsection on a merit-reviewed competitive basis.
          (3) Use of funds.--Grants awarded under this 
        subsection shall be used for activities that enhance 
        the ability of an institution of higher education (or 
        consortium thereof) to provide high-quality 
        undergraduate and master's degree programs in computer 
        and network security and to recruit and retain 
        increased numbers of students to such programs. 
        Activities may include--
                  (A) * * *
                  (I) establishing or enhancing bridge programs 
                in computer and network security between 
                community colleges and universities; [and]
                  (J) creating opportunities for veterans to 
                transition to careers in computer and network 
                security; and
                  [(J)] (K) any other activities the Director 
                determines will accomplish the goals of this 
                subsection.
          (4) * * *

                       [15 U.S.C. 7404(c)(6)(C)]

  (c) Graduate Traineeships in Computer and Network Security 
Research.--
          (1) * * *
          (6) Review of applications.--In evaluating the 
        applications submitted under paragraph (5), the 
        Director shall consider--
                  (A) * * *
                  (C) the likelihood that the program will 
                recruit increased numbers of students, 
                including students from groups historically 
                underrepresented in computer and network 
                security related disciplines or veterans, to 
                pursue and earn doctorate degrees in computer 
                and network security;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                                  [all]