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House Committee Unanimously Passes Waltz Bill to Improve STEM Opportunities for Minorities

On Wednesday, the U.S. House Science, Space and Technology Committee unanimously passed a bill by Reps. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) to improve STEM participation and opportunities for students at minority-serving institutions.

H.R. 4372, the MSI STEM Achievement Act, would increase capacity for students in STEM curricula, encourage partnerships with industry and federal laboratories and establish liaisons for MSIs within federal science agencies. The bill also directs the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Government Accountability Office (GAO) to better understand the challenges facing MSIs. The bill would focus federal engagement with MSIs on building research competitiveness and creating opportunities for minority students to pursue STEM careers.

The bill is now eligible for consideration on the U.S. House floor.

“Minorities make up 27 percent of the U.S. population but are severely underrepresented in STEM fields, only accounting for 11 percent of the STEM workforce,” Waltz said. “Minority-serving institutions are key to improving participation and retention in STEM fields and expanding the talent pool for STEM careers. I’m excited to see this bill moving through the legislative process and am looking forward to it passing on the House floor.”

To view the bill, click here.