Lummis Pressures Biden Admin to Remove Barriers for Rural Areas to Participate in the Tech Hub Program

May 10, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) sent a letter to Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo urging her to remove the requirement that the Economic Development Administration (EDA) restrict the geography of a Tech Hub to a single Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which would remove eligibility for most potential Tech Hub programs in Wyoming. 

In the letter, Senator Lummis wrote, “Congress recognized that the capacity for innovation exists in every state, and that unlocking this innovation is key to US leadership in technology. To reflect this, the text of the CHIPS and Science Act defines promoting geographic diversity of innovation as a criterion for designating Tech Hubs. At multiple points, the statute also calls for EDA to include small cities and rural areas. It was therefore disappointing to see the EDA define the geography of a Tech Hub to be a single Metropolitan Statistical Area. By defining the eligibility criteria in this way, the EDA is putting rural areas like Wyoming at a disadvantage when competing for Tech Hubs.” 

The CHIPS and Science Act included funding for the Regional Technology and Innovation Hub (Tech Hubs) Program. This was meant to encourage U.S. companies to invest in research and development efforts that created jobs in their communities. Senator Lummis, along with Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and John Thune (R-SD), urged her colleagues to include language that protected the opportunity for rural states to participate in this program. Senator Lummis is calling on Secretary Raimondo to honor the intent of Congress and ensure rural states are not disadvantaged. 

Full text of the letter can be found here