Committee on Science and Technology
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Member Speeches :: May 12, 2010

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson's Floor Speech on H.R. 5116, the COMPETES Reauthorization

As prepared for delivery

Madam Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 5116, the America COMPETES Act Reauthorization.

My colleagues and I on the Committee on Science and Technology have held numerous hearings and markups to prepare the legislation that is before the House today.
It puts the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy’s Office of Science on a path to double their research budgets.
It will help to prepare thousands of new teachers and provide current teachers with better materials and skills through reauthorizing the Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program.
H.R. 5116 also reauthorizes grant programs to increase the number of advanced placement teachers in high-need schools and provides students in high-need communities with access to laboratory experiences.
As women and minorities continue to be underrepresented in the Sciences, the America COMPETES Act includes many provisions that will strengthen diversity in our nation’s scientific enterprise. Of great importance to us are funding and programmatic focus on high-need areas, low-income populations, and underrepresented groups.
I am pleased during committee we prohibited the consolidation of programs that serve certain minority institutions and students. I also applaud the committee for including the Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Act, important legislation I have sponsored for two Congresses.
I also applaud many of the other provisions in this legislation that ensure America COMPETES, includes all Americans.
These provisions will help schools around this nation elevate their math and science programs so that they can achieve the standard exemplified by the School of Science and Engineering at Townview, in Dallas.
This school is rated the best in the nation among public schools.
Madam Speaker, I want to commend Chairman Gordon and Ranking Member Hall for their hard work on this legislation.
This bill was put together in a bipartisan fashion. It represents a concerted effort to create a more competitive science and engineering workforce.
I support this bill, Madam Speaker, and I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of it.
Thank you, and I yield back.

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