The America COMPETES Act, including provisions authored by Rep. Ed Perlmutter, was passed Feb. 4 in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Perlmutter’s contributions, The SAFE Banking Act and an additional wildfire research focus in the National Science Foundation for the Future Act, address issues that are top of mind for many in his CO-07 Congressional District.

In a press release about the Act’s passage, Perlmutter’s team said the America COMPETES Act will make transformational new investments in research, innovation and American manufacturing to ensure that America can continue to be a beacon of excellence in science and technology in the world.

The inclusion of the SAFE Banking Act in the America COMPETES Act marks the sixth time the legislation has passed the U.S. House. Most recently, SAFE Banking passed the U.S. House as part of the FY22 (fiscal year) National Defense Authorization Act in December 2021. Despite having 40 bipartisan cosponsors in the Senate, the legislation still has not been taken up for debate and a vote in the U.S. Senate.

“Cannabis-related businesses – big and small – and their employees are in desperate need of access to the banking system and access to capital in order to operate in an efficient, safe manner and compete in the growing global cannabis marketplace. The SAFE Banking Act is the best opportunity to enact some type of federal cannabis reform this year and will serve as the first of many steps to help ensure cannabis businesses are treated the same as any other legal, legitimate business,” Perlmutter said. “I’m glad to see it included in the America COMPETES Act and I will keep pushing to ensure it remains in the final package negotiated with the Senate.”

In addition to the SAFE Banking Act, Perlmutter was able to include an amendment during the Science, Space and Technology Committee’s markup of the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the Future Act to expand the NSF wildfire risk and resilience research.

Perlmutter’s amendment ensures NSF’s wildfire research includes a focus on wildfire science and the impact wildfires have on air quality, human behavior, and how to improve early detection.

“Colorado just experienced the most destructive wildfire in our state’s history, making it more important than ever we improve our understanding of wildfires so we can better prepare for and mitigate the effects of wildfires to protect peoples’ lives, their homes, and our natural resources,” Perlmutter said. “This amendment will ensure NSF supports researchers, like those at the University of Colorado, to further their work in wildfire science.”

According to Perlmutter’s press release, the America COMPETES Act will ensure a significant increase in funding for Manufacturer’s Edge, Colorado’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program as well as ensure science agencies such as the Department of Energy (DOE), National Science Foundation (NSF), and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are well-equipped to succeed in the 21st Century.