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Public Statements

STEM Jobs Act of 2012

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. GRIFFIN of Arkansas. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman. I rise today in support of the STEM Jobs Act, and I thank Chairman Smith for his leadership as chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

This is a critical piece of legislation that narrowly failed to pass when the House considered it in September, and I'm very pleased that we're considering it again here today.

Over the past few weeks when I was back in my district, the job creators in central Arkansas that I spoke with emphasized the need to once again bring this bill up, and I want to share a little bit about those conversations.

First of all, Welspun Tubular is in my district. It made the pipe for the Keystone XL pipeline. They need advanced STEM graduates to train workers.

Power Technology is a company that needs highly skilled workers to design, develop, and manufacture laser products. They say that they need this bill passed.

These companies have struggled to find the specific talent they need, and this bill would help them create jobs. This is a jobs bill. I want to emphasize that this bill will not take away from American jobs. These STEM visas will be made available only for foreign graduates of U.S. universities with advanced STEM degrees--Ph.D.s in the first instance, followed by foreign-born graduates of master's degree programs of which we have a shortage. Companies that offer jobs to foreign STEM graduates also must have certified that there are no American workers able, willing, or qualified and available for the job.

We are currently educating highly skilled Ph.D.s and master's and sending them back home to compete against us after they graduate. Where I'm from, that's like recruiting the best football players from Texas, teaching them the Arkansas offense, and then sending them back to Texas to compete against us. That doesn't make any sense, and people get that. Let's fix it. Let's pass this bill.

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