R Street Policy Paper: Congress desperately needs technology help
In a new policy paper, R Street associate fellow and head of policy at the Lincoln Network, Zach Graves, gives an overview of the OTA model, offers a look at different arguments for and against the revival of Congress’s technology assessment function and explores some of the challenges involved in bringing it back.
The paper argues that Congress’s capacity to understand science and technology has drastically declined in recent decades. In fact, Congress faces an increasing array of high-tech policy challenges, such as infrastructure cybersecurity, election hacking and artificial intelligence regulation. It is essential for Congress to rebuild its capacity to understand technical issues, so it can adequately oversee major tech regulatory policies and clear the way for America’s leadership in innovation.
The author laments: “Unfortunately, rather than adapting to the increased demands of the 21st century, Congress’s internal staffing and support has significantly declined in recent decades, leaving our elected representatives woefully underprepared for contemporary policy challenges.”