House defeats proposal to revive tech education office

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The House on Friday voted against a proposal to revive a nonpartisan agency designed to educate lawmakers about technology.

Republicans led the 217-195 vote to defeat the amendment, which would have allocated $2.5 million to reestablish the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA).

{mosads}The OTA was established in 1972 in order to “provide early indications of the probable beneficial and adverse impacts of the applications of technology and to develop other coordinate information which may assist the Congress.”

But lawmakers decided to scrap the office in 1995 in a budget-cutting spree.

There have been growing calls to revive the office as lawmakers ramp up their scrutiny of Silicon Valley.

When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress in April over a data scandal, some members appeared to struggle to grasp his company’s business model or understand concepts about the internet.

One hundred and eighty Democrats and 15 Republicans voted for the amendment, while 211 Republicans and six Democrats voted against it.

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