The House in Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union had under consideration the bill (H.R. 5116) to invest in innovation through research and development, to improve the competitiveness of the United States, and for other purposes:
* Mr. COSTELLO. Madam Chair, I rise today in support of H.R. 5116, the Reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act of 2010.
* I commend Chairman Gordon for his leadership in developing this important legislation and bringing it to the floor.
* In the three years since the America COMPETES Act was signed into law, we have made great strides in innovation, education, and technology. H.R. 5116 makes strong investments in science and education to strengthen U.S. competitiveness, support businesses, and create jobs.
* H.R. 5116 builds upon the recommendations of the 2005 report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm, and prioritizes science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at all levels.
* Since coming to Congress, I have been a strong supporter of STEM education at every age from pre-school through adult education. These investments ensure we prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers and maintain the most innovative, competitive workforce in the world.
* Specifically, investment in STEM education is especially important at the K-12 level, when students are first exposed to STEM curricula. It is vitally important to engage the interest of K-12 students in STEM and to attract and retain highly skilled teachers in the STEM field.
* It is my hope that teacher retraining and K-12 STEM education provisions included in the 2007 COMPETES bill will be reauthorized, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House Education and Labor Committee to achieve this goal.
* In addition, I am pleased the bill supports STEM education programs at community colleges and 2-year institutions and links community colleges with Manufacturing Extension Partnerships, other institutions of higher education, research institutions, and regional innovation hubs. This connection ensures that students will have the job training necessary to secure good-paying jobs in their communities and manufacturers have a workforce with the right skill set to promote innovation.
* I appreciate Chairman Gordon's willingness to work with me to include language in the bill that ensures that DOE's STEM education programs mirror the important research being conducted by the agency on carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) science. CCS represents a major advancement in the use of coal, the nation's most abundant and affordable energy source.
* The President's Fiscal Year 2011 budget invests over $400 million in CCS research at DOE, and universities such as the Southern Illinois University-Carbondale engage in cutting-edge clean coal research. Including CCS in DOE's STEM education programming will ensure we continue to expand research, development, and deployment of this important technology and train a new generation of CCS scientists.
* I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 5116.