Few analysts would describe the recent elections as an upheaval. President Obama’s election to a second term, accompanied by Republicans retaining control of the House and Democrats maintaining the majority in the Senate, means the government will look much like it did pre-election.
During a webinar on November 19, TechAmerica public policy analysts offered up their assessment of how the nation-wide contest on November 6, deemed the “status quo” election, will impact technology policy.
Technology was called “transformational” in the 2012 election, as evidenced by the sharp spike in election-related social media activity, cited as a critical voter outreach tool. Not surprisingly, 2012 was the most tweeted U.S. election to date, with 327,000 tweets per minute on election night.
TechAmerica analysts noted that official party platforms from both Republicans and Democrats devoted more space than ever before to technology and telecommunications policy. Technology issues are expected to continue as a major focus area in Obama’s second term.
”It's clear that the president and the 113th Congress will promote an ambitious technology policy agenda,” said Kevin Richards, senior vice president for federal government affairs for TechAmerica.
Technology priorities are expected to remain fairly consistent over the next two years, since the election did not bring a major shift in power for the executive or legislative branches. Divided government, however, will continue to hamper the passage of major policy changes related to technology.
Despite the current flurry of activity in Washington, D.C.-related to the looming “fiscal cliff” crisis, TechAmerica expects the administration to work on formulating its technology agenda in the coming weeks. The agenda will likely concentrate on major issues like immigration reform, STEM education, cybersecurity, broadband deployment, cloud computing, clean energy innovation, procurement and transparency.
Government Technology editor Noelle Knell has more than 15 years of writing and editing experience, covering public projects, transportation, business and technology. A California native, she has worked in both state and local government, and is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with majors in political science and American history. She can be reached via email and on Twitter.