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Should Congress revive the Office of Technology Assessment?

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Should Congress revive the Office of Technology Assessment?

March 6, 2019

I joined an expert panel on Capitol Hill to talk about improving science and technology expertise in Congress. Check out the full video and details below:

Following a series of news-grabbing exchanges with tech CEOs last year, there has been a renewed push to boost Congress's in-house policy expertise. The most prominent of these efforts has been centered around the revival of the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), a legislative agency that helped Congress understand complex science and technology issues from 1974 to 1995. The new Democratic House leadership has made addressing this expertise deficit a priority. Reviving OTA is now part of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s agenda, and has been promoted by other prominent Democrats. While there has been growing conservative support for the idea, particularly among right-leaning think tanks, many Republicans aren't yet convinced. And for any institution of this kind to last, it will need firm buy-in from both parties. Our expert panel will discuss the latest developments in this debate, and different approaches to strengthening the capacity of the legislative branch.

Featuring: Daniel Schuman, Policy Director, Demand Progress; Zach Graves, Head of Policy, Lincoln Network; Sasha Moss, Policy Counsel, R Street Institute; Maurice Turner, Senior Technologist, Center for Democracy & Technology; Robert Cook-Deegan, Professor, Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes at Arizona State University. Opening Remarks: Yuri Beckelman, Deputy-Chief of Staff for Congressman Mark Takano.

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