New Democrat Coalition Endorses Legislation on Technology and Artificial Intelligence

October 15, 2019 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – The New Democrat Coalition endorsed a pair of bills and a resolution Tuesday that they believe will keep the U.S. at the forefront of technology and artificial intelligence development.

Coalition chair Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., vice chair Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., and the NDC Technology Task Force co-chairs Reps. Sharice Davids, D-Kan., Kendra Horn, D-Okla., Harley Rouda, D-Calif., and Darren Soto, D-Fla., said Tuesday’s announcement represented just the first round of technology-related endorsements they’ll make this session.

The package of bills is forward-looking, responsive to the realities of our rapidly advancing technological world, and consumer- and worker-focused while also promoting innovation, the group said.

The two bills and resolution are:

  • H.R. 2013 – The Information Transparency & Personal Data Control Act. This bill will give people control over their most sensitive information and improve enforceability. This legislation requires the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to mandate disclosure from companies on what information they are collecting and why, especially if it is being shared with another party. This bill has 25 cosponsors.
  • H.R. 827 – AI JOBS Act. This bill will authorize the Department of Labor to work with businesses and educational institutions to create a report analyzing the future growth of artificial intelligence and its impact on American workforce.
  • H.Res.153 AI has the potential to transform the economy and dramatically alter industries including health care, retail, finance, energy, transportation, law, education, and manufacturing over the coming years. This resolution will support the development of guidelines for ethical development of artificial intelligence in consultation with diverse stakeholders.

“I’m very pleased The Information Transparency & Personal Data Control Act has received the support of my New Democrat colleagues,” said Rep. DelBene in a statement. 

“Our coalition is about finding solutions to tough problems, and my legislation is an important step toward ensuring that consumers have more control over their most sensitive information,” she continued. “This endorsement creates momentum in Congress to finally protect consumer privacy. The bill has received positive feedback from key stakeholders, consumer advocates and my colleagues. Congress must act to protect consumer privacy.”

Rep. Soto, who introduced the AI JOBS Act, said the bill, which enjoys bipartisan support, will “help our workforce prepare for the ways artificial intelligence will shape the economy of the future.

“Technological advances will continue to present both challenges and benefits for American workers in industries ranging from transportation to cybersecurity to advanced manufacturing,” he said. “The AI JOBS Act is bipartisan legislation that will help American workers better understand and prepare for the emerging job opportunities created by artificial intelligence and to adapt to changes in our evolving economy.”

“I’m pleased to join my New Democrat colleagues in endorsing this forward-thinking package of bills that support our workers and economy, while also fostering innovation in technology,” said Rep. Davids. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advance these important pieces of legislation.”

“Artificial intelligence continues to grow and evolve at a rapid pace. It is important that Congress acts to ensure this promising technology is handled responsibly, minimizes bias, and protects consumers and workers,” added Rep. Horn. “I look forward to working in a bipartisan manner to address these important issues.”

The coalition said that it will continue to fight to foster innovation and support investment in groundbreaking emerging technologies to spur societal benefits and widely shared economic prosperity; improve technological infrastructure and bridge the digital divide; and update out-of-date laws that fail to protect Americans’ privacy. 

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