Today, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the America COMPETES Act of 2010 (HR 5116), co-authored by Congressman Steve Rothman (D-NJ), by a bipartisan vote of 262-150. Congressman Rothman, a member of the House Committee on Science and Technology, supports this legislation because it will strengthen U.S. scientific and economic leadership, increase energy independence, support employers, and create jobs through investments in science, innovation, and education.
"America has been at the forefront of every technological advancement of the last century and we must continue to lead the world in science and technology. This legislation not only helps secure our economic future with the innovations of tomorrow, but is essential to ending our dependence on foreign oil and strengthening our national security today," said Congressman Rothman. "It is unacceptable that as the world's sole superpower, America is behind countries like China in clean energy -- China nearly doubled our $18.6 billion investment in this sector last year."
The America COMPETES Act will reauthorize funding for basic research programs, including the Nationals Science Foundation, the Department of Energy Office of Science, and the labs at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The measure further authorizes new programs like Innovative Technology Federal Loan Guarantees which will address the immediate need of small and medium sized manufacturers to access capital, become more efficient, and stay competitive. The bill also includes authorization of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy and Energy Innovation Hubs to help advance the U.S.'s transition to a clean energy economy and to support the growth of new sectors of the economy -- and the jobs that come with them.
The following groups have endorsed HR 5116: 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, and the American Chemical Society.
For more details on this landmark bill, please go to http://science.house.gov/