Priority Issues - 116th Congress, 1st Session (2019)

RESEARCH & INNOVATION – IEEE-USA will support federal research and development (R&D) appropriations and other innovation-related legislation needed to retain U.S. technological leadership, promote economic competitiveness, and create high-value research and engineering jobs in the United States.

Priorities include:

  • Increasing federal investments in science and engineering R&D, including university research and education initiatives
  • Advocating sound R&D policies that advance innovation in U.S. technology industries
  • Revitalizing U.S. high-tech manufacturing, including appropriate incentives for businesses to locate R&D and manufacturing operations in the United States
  • Urging appropriate changes to the U.S. export controls regime, including the deemed export rule

 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) – IEEE-USA will support coordinated federal policies that promote safety, privacy, cyber security and intellectual property protection – as well as assure the transparency and information necessary to allow the public to make informed decisions about the use of AI.

Priorities include:

  • Promoting the development of a well-qualified workforce in AI-related fields to support the needs of government, industry and academia
  • Supporting the R&D needed to ensure continued U.S. competitiveness in AI
  • Providing effective AI regulation I to ensure public well-being, while fostering a robust AI industry
  • Facilitating public understanding of AI rewards and risks

ENTREPRENEURS – IEEE-USA will promote and preserve entrepreneurial and small-technology businesses by focusing on small business legislation, standards and regulation fairness; and developing access and awareness to resources for small- and medium-technology enterprises.

Priorities include:

  • Expanding participation in small- and medium-technology entrepreneurship
  • Increasing IEEE-USA interactions with the federal government on small-technology business policies
  • Supporting robust, well managed SBIR/STTR programs
  • Improving membership access to small-technology business resources, through collaboration with IEEE and external organizations

ENERGY – IEEE-USA will support proactive energy policies designed to serve energy users’ needs in an economically and environmentally sound manner, while protecting American national security.

Priorities include:

  • Promoting economical electricity generation and utilization, by assuring reliable and cost-effective electricity supply to maintain U.S. competitiveness, and grow the economy
  • Developing a reliable and intelligent grid infrastructure, by improving facilities and developing new technologies needed to increase grid resilience as well as deliver reliable electrical energy
  • Increasing critical energy infrastructure security, by mitigating risks and managing energy system resilience in the national interest, through implementing tamper-resistant and resilient technologies to direct physical or cyberattacks
  • Promoting responsible environmental stewardship, to preserve America’s resources and increase the use of environmentally benign and sustainable energy supplies for future generations
  • Diversifying energy sources in the transportation sector, to increase transportation system security, improve its energy efficiency, and reduce emissions
  • Reducing institutional barriers to engineering solutions that involve technologies required to operate across jurisdictional and information architectural boundaries
  • Preparing a skilled engineering and trade workforce that has the necessary knowledge and skills to design, plan, construct, operate and maintain modern energy delivery systems.

IMMIGRATION – IEEE-USA will support public policies to ensure greater equity in recruiting, utilizing and compensating U.S.- and foreign–born high-tech workers.

Priorities include:

  • Increasing the availability of permanent, employment-based (EB) visas
  • Streamlining the immigrant admissions process
  • Facilitating the transition of foreign nationals with advanced degrees in STEM fields to Legal Permanent Resident (green card) status
  • Reforming the H-1B and L temporary work visa programs
  • Expediting short-term visitor visa processing

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY – The U.S. economy and American job growth and competitiveness depend on effective and balanced protections for intellectual property. IEEE-USA will promote intellectual property reforms that maintain the balance established in our constitution, and  equitably serve the entire cross-section of U.S. IEEE membership – including start-up companies, individual inventors, university faculty and corporations.

Priorities include:

  • Ensuring intellectual property laws and regulations support entrepreneurial efforts to develop and commercialize inventions and innovations
  • Clarifying technology policy associated with software and business method patents and copyrights
  • Considering alternatives to patent and copyright protection for fast-moving technology
  • Encouraging U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) operations that enhance examination and grant functions quality and management, to promote inventor and society rights.

ENGINEERING WORKFORCE – IEEE-USA will support public policy initiatives to foster engineering workforce continuing education and retraining;; improve access to affordable health insurance for individuals and small businesses; and preserve tax-favored opportunities to save for retirement.

Priorities include:

  • Proposing new continuing education incentives for technology professionals, to maintain their core competencies and competitiveness
  • Supporting tax and other incentives to retrain engineers and displaced, skilled high-tech workers
  • Enacting legislation to enable business associations and professional societies to offer affordable national health insurance plans for members and their families
  • Supporting changes in federal health insurance and employer-based health benefits tax treatment
  • Promoting improvements in K-12, vocation and higher education, to enable and encourage STEM career choices.

INTERNET, COMMUNICATIONS & OTHER NETWORKS – IEEE-USA will support public policy initiatives to provide nationwide access to affordable, high-speed, broadband data services – to facilitate new and demanding internet applications use. Such access will stimulate innovation, spur economic activity, increase national security, and contribute to increased productivity for the nation.

Priorities include:

  • Protecting personal privacy for U.S. citizens, in the face of growing digital data collection
  • Ensuring access to universal and affordable high-speed broadband networks
  • Fostering competition in facilities, services and content
  • Fostering innovation, new applications and new internet uses
  • Promoting education and legislation fostering cybersecurity for users, enterprises and national infrastructure

TRANSPORTATION AND AEROSPACE – IEEE-USA will work to advance the safety, efficiency, security and sustainability of surface, air and space transportation, with a view toward promoting U.S. technology leadership and competitiveness.

Priorities include:

  • Upgrading and modernizing the national airspace system – with communications, navigation, surveillance and air traffic management automation technology
  • Promoting intelligent transportation systems use, to improve transportation safety; and to optimize traffic flow to ease congestion, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce energy use
  • Advancing a technology-focused national space program that balances exploration, science, national security and international partnerships
  • Advocating controls, safeguards and standards development, to establish cybersecurity and safety in all transportation systems, and improve port and aviation security
  • Advancing UAV commercialization through technology policies that address autonomous control system safety, security and efficacy.


In addition to the issues listed above, IEEE-USA may contribute to other public policy issues of concern to the IEEE membership, when they arise.  IEEE-USA also works with other IEEE organizational units, to support their government relations needs in such areas as standards and publications; and it works in coalition with external organizations on issues involving shared interests.  IEEE-USA provides competitively selected Government Fellows to Congress, the State Department and USAID, to provide expert engineering, science and technology advice.


Do not hesitate to contact us and express your views about legislative or regulatory actions, in either your home state legislature, or Congress. Please let IEEE-USA know if opportunities arise that will  affect positive changes for the U.S. engineering community, as well as the industries that rely on engineers. If you have questions about these issues, please contact Erica Wissolik at

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Do not hesitate to contact us and express your views about legislative or regulatory actions in either your home state legislature or Congress. Please let IEEE-USA know if there are opportunities to affect positive changes for the U.S. engineering community and industries that rely on engineers. If you have questions about these issues, please contact Erica Wissolik at