As prepared for delivery
Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong support of this bill, crafted under the exceptional leadership of Chairman Gordon. As an original cosponsor of the bill and chairman of the Research and Science Education Subcommittee, I firmly believe that it is critical to maintaining America’s global competitiveness. Passage of this bill will help produce a brighter future for our nation and our nation’s workers – or more simply, this bill means jobs.
As a former college professor, an engineer, and an unceasing advocate for American manufacturing, I want to focus on the National Science Foundation title, which comes from my bill, H.R. 4997. This Act keeps funding for the NSF on its doubling path, and it significantly increases support for basic research, STEM education, graduate education, and turning discoveries into jobs. It also contains a number of critical programs to support innovations in manufacturing.
In addition to the newly-created NSF manufacturing research program and a reauthorization of National Nanotechnology Initiative, it includes a big funding increase for the MEP program and a new innovative technology loan guarantee program. These provisions can help reverse the outsourcing of American jobs.
The COMPETES Act also includes provisions to address the serious deterioration in the state of our research infrastructure, both at universities and our National Labs, which threatens America’s competitiveness. In addition, it includes the GENIUS Act, a bipartisan bill I introduced with Rep. Wolf to allow the NSF to offer innovation inducement prizes.
The COMPETES Reauthorization Act takes a proactive and bipartisan approach to securing America’s position in the 21st century global economy and putting Americans to work, and I urge all of my colleagues to vote for this bill.