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Public Statements

America Competes Reauthorization Act Of 2010

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. BAIRD. Madam Chair, I think one of the best things that can happen to a Member of Congress is the privilege to serve on a committee you are passionate about and with a chairman and ranking member who you have deep respect for, and that certainly applies to the Science Committee chairman and ranking member.

America COMPETES is about jobs; it is about energy independence; it is about better foreign policy; and it is about leaving a cleaner, healthier environment for our children and our grandchildren. Contrary to some of the things some of the opponents have said, this is, in fact, one of the very best investments we can make in our future. Every day and in this room today are young Americans watching this process. This bill is about their future. It's about whether they'll have qualified, well-trained scientists, engineers and mathematicians as professors and mentors. It's about whether this country will have the technology to lead the world in the next century and the rest of this century on energy independence. It is about discoveries that will transform lives and transform this Nation.

I'm particularly proud of the authorization work in this to reauthorize the DOE Office of Basic Science. They produce outstanding work, as my colleague Mrs. Biggert said earlier, but I am also particularly impressed with some of the new programs of the original America COMPETES, notably the ARPA-E program. If anything this Congress does is going to turn around the economy not just for the short term but for the long term, it is innovations like that which will result from the authorization of the America COMPETES Act, ARPA-E, NSF reauthorization, NIST, and all of the other elements. This is critical legislation, absolutely critical for the future strength, national security, economic health and jobs of our citizens, and I urge its passage.

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