As a scientist, Rep. Holt believes that investing in innovation infrastructure -- including physical sciences and energy research -- is vital to a strategy for sustained, long-term economic growth. Rep. Holt has been a leader in Congress in establishing an innovation agenda, including passage of the America Competes Act, that invests in the research and development that creates jobs in the short term and drives economic growth in the long term.
In December 2008, Rep. Holt hosted a roundtable discussion at Princeton University, along with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congressional leaders, and national leaders in the science and technology community to highlight the importance of innovation infrastructure to ensure long-term American competitiveness. Two months later, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act included a historic $22 billion investment in science research and development. A report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation determined that for each additional $1 billion invested in science in the economic recovery bill, 20,000 American jobs are created. These jobs go not just to scientists but to research assistants, electricians, technicians and construction workers.
As Recovery funding is distributed to research institutions -- including Rutgers, Princeton, and the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab -- investments can be tracked on ScienceWorksForUS.org. The site tracks where funding is going and features stories of those who are benefitting.
Rep. Holt continues to work with Congress and the Obama Administration to ensure that the government invests in science research and development.
On April 27, 2009, Rep. Holt attended President Obama's speech to the National Academy of Sciences. There, Obama said, "Yes, scientific innovation offers us a chance to achieve prosperity. It has offered us benefits that have improved our health and our lives -- improvements we take too easily for granted. But it gives us something more. At root, science forces us to reckon with the truth as best as we can ascertain it."