Reps. Sean Casten, pictured here, and Mark Takano urged colleagues to fund and revive the Office of Technology Assessment. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Reps. Sean Casten and Mark Takano appealed to their colleagues Tuesday to fund and restore a Capitol Hill technology agency that was defunded more than 20 years ago, as advocates say it could help Congress’s capacity to understand emerging technology and its social and policy implications.
The Office of Technology Assessment, often referred to as OTA, provided Congress with objective analysis of complex technology issues from 1972 to 1995. The agency’s mission was to ensure the lawmakers had information they needed on new or expanding technologies and objective information assessing impacts, policy proposals and scientific expertise “to match that of the executive branch.”