Crowley Applauds House Passage of Legislation to Strengthen U.S. Economic Competitiveness

May 28, 2010 Issues: Economy and Jobs

Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) applauded House passage of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (H.R. 5116), which will strengthen U.S. scientific and economic leadership, support employers, and create jobs through investments in science, innovation and education.  To ensure scientific and technological leadership now and long into the future, the bill will double the federal government’s investments in basic research programs at the Department of Energy Office of Science, the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology labs.

“Investing in science and innovation is critical to maintaining our global competitiveness, and this legislation will help us continue to lead in the 21st Century by increasing our pool of scientists, mathematics specialists and engineers,” said Congressman Crowley.  “This measure builds upon the Democrats’ Innovation Agenda of 2006 by further investing in programs that create jobs, provide technological breakthroughs and strengthen education in these much-needed fields.  Sustaining the U.S. role as the world’s leading economy will require a public-private partnership, and I am committed to upholding the federal government’s part – it is what America’s workforce deserve.”

The bill also maintains Congress’s commitment to increasing minority participation in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. The National Academies report Rising Above the Gathering Storm reported that the United States runs the risk of falling behind other nations if we fail to increase minority participation in these areas. In the original COMPETES Act that became law in 2007, Crowley included language allowing the National Science Foundation to establish a competitive, merit-based grant program for Hispanic-serving institutions to enhance their programs in math, science, engineering and technology.

Over 750 organizations have endorsed the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act, including the State University of New York, the City University of New York, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Business Roundtable.

Congressman Crowley represents sections of the Bronx and Queens; he serves as a member of the exclusive House Committee on Ways & Means and Committee on Foreign Affairs.