Ross, Babin, Obernolte Bipartisan Amendments to Bolster Quantum Computing Advance Out of Committee

Ross’ provisions will improve electric grid resiliency and promote America’s global leadership in technology

November 29, 2023

Today, two of Congresswoman Deborah Ross’ (NC-02) bipartisan amendments, co-led with Congressmen Brian Babin (TX-36) and Jay Obernolte (CA-23), to bolster quantum computing advanced out of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee as part of the National Quantum Initiative Reauthorization Act. Enacted in 2018, the National Quantum Initiative Act accelerated quantum research and development by establishing new activities, programs, and centers at the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Department of Energy (DOE).

Quantum computing is an emerging technology that can perform certain calculations faster than today’s supercomputers. For example, future quantum computers could exceed existing computational power in simulating chemical interactions, potentially reducing the time required for drug development.

“By better understanding and harnessing the power of quantum computing, we can work to solve some of our country’s most pressing issues faster and more efficiently,” said Congresswoman Ross. “To confront growing threats against our country’s critical energy infrastructure, it’s crucial that we innovate new ways to ensure our electric grid is more resilient and secure. At a moment of unprecedented international competition, the United States cannot afford to fall behind. This legislation will propel us forward and ensure our nation and federal agencies are prepared to address emerging challenges. I’m grateful for the partnership of Congressmen Babin and Obernolte on these critical issues and will keep fighting to see these amendments signed into law.”

“Strengthening our electric grid to meet an increasing demand is critical to ensuring America’s long-term security,” said Congressman Babin. “Quantum computing has the potential to assist in managing and optimizing the U.S. electric grid to make it more resilient, efficient, and able to meet the growing challenges ahead. I’m pleased to have worked with Congresswoman Ross to make sure this important legislation was included in the National Quantum Initiative Reauthorization Act.”

“Quantum computing technology will dramatically increase the speed at which computers run algorithms and solve problems, creating powerful new tools that enable the agencies within our federal government to better perform their missions,” said Congressman Obernolte. “Coordinating the deployment of quantum within the government will be essential in securing our national security and ensuring that the U.S. continues to lead the world in this critical technology.” 

The National Quantum Initiative Reauthorization Act includes the following two amendments introduced or co-led by Congresswoman Ross:


  • Co-led with Congressman Brian Babin (TX-36), one bipartisan amendment includes the language of the GRID Act that would require the U.S. Secretary of Energy to conduct research and development in cooperation with national laboratories, higher education institutions, and other relevant industries in fault detection and prediction; grid security and safety, including through post-quantum cryptography; integrated grid planning; grid optimization; enhanced modeling; energy storage; and energy market optimization.
  • Introduced by Congresswoman Ross with Congressman Jay Obernolte (CA-23), the other bipartisan amendment is a version of Congresswoman Ross’ Leveraging Quantum Computing Act that would direct the Subcommittee on Quantum Information Science to:
    • Establish a program of engagement with Federal agencies to identify potential use cases with respect to which quantum computing could advance the missions of participating agencies, including through on-premises, cloud-based, hybrid, or networked approaches.
    • Coordinate with relevant federal agencies to develop a plan to enable such agencies to address each such potential use cases of quantum computing.
    • Submit a report to Congress detailing the Subcommittee’s progress in outreach activities, potential use cases for quantum computing, the status of plans developed to address potential use cases, and any obstacles to addressing such potential use cases, including lack of funding. 

Amendment text is available here and here.

Congresswoman Ross previously introduced standalone versions of these amendments, the Leveraging Quantum Computing Act and the GRID Act. This Congress, Ross also introduced bipartisan legislation to address the rise in cybersecurity threats and attacks against energy infrastructure in the United States.