Chairman: Deal Reached on H.R. 2272 Competitiveness and Innovation Conference
(Washington, DC) Shortly after the conferees met tonight on groundbreaking legislation aimed at ensuring U.S. students, teachers, businesses and workers are equipped with the tools to compete in the 21st century economy, House Committee on Science and Technology Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN) said a deal has been reached.
“Keeping America competitive in a global marketplace begins with a high-quality education system and follows with ideas and investments in people here at home – that’s just what this legislation is designed to do,” said Gordon.
Gordon is the lead House conferee on H.R. 2272, the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Act (COMPETES). The conference agreement reached tonight melds the America Competes Act (S.761) and the House’s 21st Century Competitiveness Act (H.R. 2272).
“Determination to follow through on the commitment we made to American innovation and competitiveness made this conference smooth and expedient,” added Gordon. “Once the conferees met, we were able to work out the few remaining differences and it looks like we may be able to get a bill to the House floor by Thursday.”
The conference agreement marks the end of a year and a half-long, bipartisan effort led by Members of the Science and Technology Committee to pass a package of competitiveness bills in response to recommendations in the 2005 National Academies report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm.
“To prevent more American jobs from moving offshore, we must commit to providing the next generation with the skills they will need for the jobs of the future,” added Gordon. “Other countries will always have cheaper labor, so we must be the source of the world’s most highly skilled workforce if we want to stay competitive. This bill will help us secure America’s ability to compete, and I sincerely appreciate the hard work of all our House and Senate committees and conferees in advancing this important legislation.”
This conference agreement also represents an integral accomplishment of the House Democrats’ Innovation Agenda. The House legislative package going into conference was comprised of bills authored and steered by the House Committee on Science and Technology – H.R. 362, H.R. 363, H.R. 1068, H.R. 1867 and H.R. 1868.
H.R. 2272 conferees included Science and Technology Committee Members Chairman Gordon, Rep. Mark Udall (D-CO), Rep. David Wu (D-OR), Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA), Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Rep. Nick Lampson (D-TX), Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA), Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), Ranking Member Ralph Hall (R-TX), Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Rep. Vern Ehlers (R-MI), Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL), Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) and Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA). Conferees representing the Education and Labor Committee were Rep. George Miller (D-CA), Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ), and Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA).