Quick Hits

*** Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawai'i) are once again offering the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates Act, which would give federal employees on average a 3.5% raise in 2021.

"After years of pay freezes, furloughs, and Trump Shutdowns, federal employees understand better than most that we simply cannot let our guard down while this president is in the White House. The FAIR Act is much-needed, and well-deserved, recognition of our government's greatest asset—its public servants," Connolly said in a statement.

*** NASA CIO Renee Wynn will retire at the end of March after 30 years of government service. Wynn announced the decision in a Jan. 28 email to staff, she confirmed to FCW.

Wynn spent the first 25 years of her career with the Environmental Protection Agency, rising to the rank of deputy CIO and acting CIO. She moved to NASA in 2015, and was named CIO after just a few months in the deputy role. Wynn won a Federal 100 Award in 2019 for strengthening security and IT management at the highly decentralized space agency, and has been active in a wide range of cross-government initiatives. She also served as president of the American Council for Technology (the government half of ACT-IAC) until late 2019, when she was succeeded by Small Business Administration CIO Maria Roat.

Federal News Network was the first to report Wynn's planned departure.

*** To counter China's influence, the United States must invest more in research and development for advanced technologies, secure critical aspects of the technology supply chain, open up government datasets and computing resources to AI researchers and further cut off Beijing from access to U.S. tech components, according to a new report from the Center for a New American Security.

The report argues that fostering tech innovation at home while curtailing Chinese intellectual property theft and its use of American parts and components are key components in a larger security strategy abroad. It calls for the creation of a new U.S. domestic base for refining rare earth minerals used in many tech products and urges the Department of Commerce to increase export controls for some technology products sold to China, including "those that infringe on internationally accepted human rights standards, enable surveillance or cyberespionage, and are involved in domestic security activities."

NEXT STORY: FCW Insider: Jan. 28

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