Today, Congressman Sires joined his colleagues in the House of Representatives in passing H.R. 5116, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act, by a vote of 262-150 to invest in science, innovation, and education to strengthen U.S. scientific and economic leadership, support businesses, and create jobs in the short and long term. The bill will invest in modernizing manufacturing, spur American innovation through basic research and development and high risk/high reward clean energy research, and strengthen math and science education to prepare students for the 21st Century jobs.
"Perhaps the most critical element of this legislation is the investments made in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education to create the next generation of entrepreneurs. Such investments will assist in carrying over America's competitive edge in technological innovation into the next century," stated Congressman Sires.
Specifically, H.R. 5116 would foster innovation and basic research by reauthorizing funding for the Department of Energy's Office of Science, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology Labs. Additionally, this bill would help create jobs with innovative technology loan guarantees for small and mid-sized manufacturers and Regional Innovation Clusters to expand scientific and economic collaboration. It would also promote high-risk high reward research to pioneer cutting edge discoveries through the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy. Furthermore, it would improve STEM education by expanding, strengthening, and aligning STEM education programs at all academic levels.
"Another important aspect of this legislation is the provision to strengthen our manufacturing industry to propel our nation into the 21st Century. Through innovative technology federal loan guarantees, small and medium sized manufacturers will be able to access capital that will help them become more efficient and stay competitive," expressed Congressman Sires.
H.R. 5116 is currently under review in the Senate.