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Biden Touches on Research in Address to Congress

MAR 12, 2024
The president emphasized the impact of the CHIPS and Science Act and ARPA-H, among other initiatives.
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Science Policy Reporter, FYI American Institute of Physics
President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol, Thursday, March 7, 2024, in Washington. Standing at left is Vice President Kamala Harris and seated at right is House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La.

President Joe Biden delivers the 2024 State of the Union Address.

(Francis Chung/POLITICO/AP)

In his State of the Union address last week, President Joe Biden mentioned a few of his priority research and technology initiatives in a speech focused on making his case for reelection.

Biden said the CHIPS and Science Act has helped boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing and claimed the U.S. is now “investing more in research and development than ever before.”

He called for Congress to continue supporting the new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA–H) as part of an effort to “do big things like end cancer as we know it,” the goal of his Cancer Moonshot.

He also highlighted the recent launch of the White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research, led by First Lady Jill Biden, which he said is motivated by the fact that such research “has always been underfunded.” In a brief mention of efforts to mitigate climate change, Biden reiterated his goal of cutting carbon emissions in half by 2030 and highlighted his nascent Climate Corps workforce training initiative.

Commenting on his stance toward China, Biden said, “I want competition with China, not conflict.” Alluding to his expansion of export controls, he said “I’ve made sure that the most advanced American technologies can’t be used in China.”

He also noted that he has worked to expand technological alliances with other countries in the region, such as the “Quad” partnership with India, Australia, and Japan. In concluding his speech, Biden urged Congress to pass legislation to “harness the promise of AI to protect us from peril,” in part by banning AI voice impersonations.

This news brief originally appeared in FYI’s newsletter for the week of March 11.

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