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Scoop: Senate Commerce to take up AI bills next week

Illustration of hands drawing red lines over the US Capitol. 

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The Senate Commerce Committee will mark up several AI bills May 22, sources told Axios.

Why it matters: Lawmakers are racing against the clock to pass tech bills as the election nears and legislative work winds down.

  • An AI report from a bipartisan group of senators tapped by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is expected to drop soon and spur committee action.

Senators will likely vote on:

Some bills have not yet been introduced but could be ready for a vote, including:

  • Cantwell's long-anticipated AI workforce bill, which sources said she's working on with Sen. Jerry Moran.
  • A proposal from Sen. John Hickenlooper for AI auditing standards, which a source told Axios that Sen. John Thune is likely to join.

Senate Commerce spokesperson Tricia Enright told Axios that "we don't have anything scheduled yet."

One industry source said movement on National Quantum Initiative reauthorization remains a priority.

  • But it's expected the final movement of the bill on the House floor will be during the lame duck period, so it's unlikely that it will be marked up this month by Senate Commerce.
  • There's broad support for the AI bills among industry, but companies also believe this could be an ambitious undertaking for the Commerce Committee, the source added.

What they're saying: Beacon Global Strategies' Divyansh Kaushik told Axios the markup "sends a strong signal to our adversaries that Congress views these technologies as critical to our economic and national security."

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a comment from Senate Commerce spokesperson Tricia Enright.

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