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Mr. WU. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this reauthorization bill, and I want to just point out to my friend from Georgia that not everything that one is opposed to is unconstitutional. And I share the gentleman's concern about this lame duck session. And if the gentleman wanted to propose a constitutional amendment to move our swearing-in date to the first Tuesday in November, perhaps his concerns would be addressed. But pending that, we have a lot of legitimate activity for very, very important legislation. And I can think of no greater tribute to the outgoing chairman, Mr. Gordon, and Mr. Hall, who has worked with the chairman for a long time on this legislation, than the passage of this bill.
I'm particularly proud of the contribution that my subcommittee, the Technology and Innovation Subcommittee, has made to this legislation, because long-term investment in innovation is absolutely crucial to our Nation's global competitiveness, and we have a responsibility to support the kind of economic environment that empowers our Nation's private sector to innovate and create high-wage, private-sector jobs.
The bipartisan legislation that we are considering today will strengthen our Nation's economic competitiveness by helping to create an environment that encourages innovation and which facilitates growth.
As the chairman rightfully pointed out, innovation accounted for greater than 50 percent of U.S. GDP growth from World War II to the year 2000, and innovation can help America grow our way out of our current anemic economic state.
Among other things, the bill makes crucial investments in the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which will help us better address the needs of our Nation's small and medium-sized manufacturers.
The bill will also help ensure that students and trainees will have what is necessary to secure a good-paying job in their own community by requiring MEP centers to work with community colleges to train for the skills needed by local manufacturers.
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