Today Congressman David Wu led the U.S. House of Representatives in passing major legislation to strengthen American competitiveness by funding scientific research, modernizing manufacturing, and investing in math and science education.
As chair of the Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation, Congressman Wu oversaw the creation of major portions of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act, and he introduced multiple amendments that helped to shape the bill and strengthen specific provisions.
"I am enormously proud that, in the waning days of the 111th Congress, my colleagues and I were able to find bipartisan agreement and send this important bill to the president's desk," said Wu. "This is precisely the kind of investment our nation needs to spur private-sector innovation, create jobs, and ensure our long-term global competitiveness."
The original America COMPETES legislation was based on the 2005 National Academies' report Rising Above the Gathering Storm, which found that "the scientific and technological building blocks critical to our economic leadership are eroding at a time when many other nations are gathering strength." COMPETES incorporated the science and technology recommendations from the report and was signed into law in 2007.
Today's reauthorization bill updates and improves the programs included in the original legislation. The original America COMPETES Act expired at the end of the 2010 fiscal year.
Among Congressman Wu's contributions to the reauthorization is a provision directing Manufacturing Extension Partnership centers to inform local community colleges of the skill sets that are needed by local manufacturers.
"My amendment will help ensure that Oregon students have access to the training needed to secure good-paying jobs in their community," said Wu. "Strengthening our nation's global competitiveness starts with building robust local communities, and this legislation makes important progress on both fronts."
The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act, H.R. 5116, was first passed by the House on Friday, May 28, 2010, and was subsequently amended and passed by the Senate. The House approved the amended bill today a vote of 288 to 130, and it will now be sent to the president's desk for his signature.