Lawmaker Named Co-Chairman of House STEM Education Caucus to Help Strengthen Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fields
Congressman Chris Lee (NY-26) was selected as the co-chairman of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education Caucus for the 112th Congress. Along with Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Lee will lead more than 100 Members of Congress committed to working to ensure that the next generation of highly-skilled workers have the resources they need to help grow our economy and create jobs.
Created in 2003, the STEM Education Caucus is a bipartisan group that seeks to strengthen STEM education at all levels (K-12, higher education and current workforce) by providing a forum for Congress and the science, education and business communities to discuss challenges, problems, and solutions related to this field. The Caucus also works to serve as an information resource for other Members of Congress and their staff on ways to improve science, technology, engineering, and math education. Lee has been a member of the caucus since shortly after coming to Congress in 2009.
"My background is in manufacturing, and one of the most important ways we can strengthen this and other highly-skilled industries here at home is by investing in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education and training," said Congressman Lee. "I look forward to working with Dan to ensure students interested in these critical fields have access to the resources they need to succeed so we can grow our economy and create jobs."
"This is an extraordinarily important time for STEM education in America, and I'm pleased that Chris has agreed to co-chair the Caucus," Congressman Lipinski said. "Just-released test results show American students continue to lag behind their counterparts in numerous nations in math and science achievement. Improving their performance is critical if we're going to compete against China and other countries. I'm looking forward to working with Chris to help train the STEM workers that our economy needs."
Congressman Lee will be the lead Republican on the Caucus following the retirement of Congressman Vern Ehlers (MI-3).
"I am glad to see Congressman Lee will take over as co-chairman of the STEM Education Caucus following my retirement," said Congressman Ehlers. "He understands the critical importance of promoting education in these fields, and I trust he will be a strong leader in promoting STEM education issues in Congress. As Congressman Lee knows, the future competitiveness of our country relies on a highly skilled workforce, and I am grateful for his leadership on the caucus."
Congressman Lee included important STEMEducation reforms as part of his "Manufacturing for Tomorrow" agenda, a multi-pronged approach to solving America's jobs crisis and strengthening manufacturing here at home. Lee's agenda creates the U.S. STEM Manufacturing Student Loan Forgiveness Program to encourage students to enter science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, as well as other needed reforms such as the America COMPETES Actand AMERICA Works, which prioritizes funding through the Carl D. Perkins Act for STEM related fields.
Specific policy reforms in Lee's "Manufacturing for Tomorrow" 5-point jobs plan include:
Tax relief and fairness for U.S. workers and manufacturers
* Lowering the corporate rate to 25 percent will increase productivity domestically and stimulate significant economic growth
* Increase and make permanent the research and development tax credit, with a bonus credit for work done in the United States
Education and workforce training and preparedness for the 21st century
* Create the U.S. STEM Manufacturing Student Loan Forgiveness Program to encourage students to enter science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields
* Extend Employer-Provided Educational Assistance (Section 127) to help U.S. works stay on the cutting edge of innovation in manufacturing
Tort reform to address job-killing lawsuit abuse
* Make "loser-pays" the policy in product liability suits to protect injured victims and ensure our tort system seeks justice, not profits
* Cap punitive damages and institute reasonable statutes of limitation to curb lawsuit abuse
Customs reform to stop intellectual property violations
* Enhance enforcement capabilities of Customs and Border Patrol to stop the flow of pirated goods into the United States
* Streamline U.S. International Trade Commission complains to adjudicate intellectual property infringements in a more timely manner
Open new markets to create U.S. jobs and grow our domestic manufacturing base
* Support pending, Obama-backed trade agreements to create American jobs and open new markets for American products
* Strengthen Manufacturing Extension Partnership programs to help small manufacturers grow and compete globally
For more information on Congressman Chris Lee's "Manufacturing for Tomorrow" agenda, please visit www.chrislee.house.gov/manufacturing.