(Washington, DC) – Today, the House of Representatives began consideration of H.R. 5116, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010.
“If we are to reverse the trend of the last twenty years, where our country’s technology edge in the world has diminished, we must make the investments necessary today,” said Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN). “The statistics speak for themselves. More than half of our economic growth since World War II can be attributed to development and adoption of new technologies. The path is simple. Research and education lead to innovation. Innovation leads to economic development and good paying jobs and the revenue to pay for more research. And as private firms under-invest in research and development because the returns are too far off in the future, there is a clear and necessary role of government to help our nation keep pace with the rest of the world.”
Over 750 organizations have endorsed the legislation including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Business Roundtable, the Council on Competitiveness, the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the National Venture Capital Association, TechAmerica, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the American Chemical Society, and others, including nearly a hundred universities and colleges.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the Information Technology Industry Council consider this a key vote, which means it may be factored when the organizations rate how Members of Congress voted on a given issue.
In a letter to all Members of the House of Representatives dated May 10th, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce urged them to support reauthorization “without reduction of its authorization levels.” The letter also stated, “The Chamber believes that H.R. 5116 would strengthen U.S. competitiveness by improving America’s scientific and economic leadership, and making stronger investments in science, innovation, research, and education.”
In a letter from the National Association of Manufacturers to all Members of the House of Representatives dated May 11th, NAM stated: “Our economic future relies more than ever on our ability to innovate, and reauthorizing the COMPETES Act will help manufacturers prosper in a globally integrated and highly competitive marketplace. We urge your support for H.R. 5116.”
The Information Technology Industry Council stated in a letter: “ITI has also designated H.R. 5116 as a key vote due to the significance of this legislation to the information technology industry.”
The reauthorization has over 100 cosponsors and passed Committee with bipartisan support on April 28th.
For more information on the Committee’s work on COMPETES, please visit our website.