House Passes Portman, Gardner Bipartisan Legislation to Improve Federal Government’s Use of Artificial Intelligence

September 14, 2020 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) applauded the House of Representative for passing their bipartisan Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Government Act, legislation that would improve the effectiveness of the federal government by ensuring that the government’s use of AI and automated processes are ethical and accountable, and that the government has the necessary technical expertise to successfully use AI. The bill was also co-sponsored by Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Kamala Harris (D-CA). The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved the legislation on November 6, 2019 and it awaits action on the Senate floor. Once passed by the Senate it will be ready for the president’s signature. 

“Artificial intelligence will have significant impacts on our country, economy, and society,” said Senator Portman, Co-Chair of the Senate AI Caucus. “Ensuring that our government has the capabilities and expertise to help navigate those impacts will be important in the coming years and decades. This bipartisan legislation represents the most significant AI policy change ever passed by Congress.  I’m pleased the House has passed this measure and I urge my Senate colleagues to support it when it comes the floor for a vote.”  

“Artificial intelligence presents enormous opportunities for improving the world around us but also poses serious challenges,” said Senator Gardner. “Our bill will bring agencies, industry, and others to the table to discuss government adoption of artificial intelligence and emerging technologies. We need a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges these technologies present for federal government use and this legislation would put us on the path to achieve that goal.” 

NOTE: The AI in Government Act will: 

  • expand an AI Center of Excellence within the General Services Administration to provide technical expertise to relevant government agencies; advise agencies on the procurement of AI technology; and promote U.S. competitiveness through agency and industry cooperation;
  • direct the Office of Management and Budget to establish guidance for the federal government’s to ensure agencies to use AI systems in an ethical and accountable manner;
  • direct the Office of Personnel Management to identify skills and competencies for AI, and establish a new, or update an existing, occupational series for AI-intensive jobs in the government.