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House Republicans Leave Town – Fail to Address Vital Legislation on Education, Competitiveness

Sep 30, 2006
Press Release

Study after study and report after report agree - the U.S. stands to lose its leading edge in the global marketplace without immediate action.  Yet, today House Republicans adjourned the Congress without addressing vital legislation to insure that American students and workers are prepared for the careers of the future and that our nation is equipped to compete in the global economy.

"Providing high quality jobs for hard-working Americans must be our first priority - and in order to accomplish that, we must be proactive," said House Science Committee Ranking Member Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN).  "The President assured action in his State of the Union address in January; the Science Committee did its job and passed legislation in June; yet today House Republicans left town and left the legislation on the table."

Innovation breeds progress, the driving force behind good jobs for hard working Americans and a strong economy.

"The Administration and House Leadership pointed to education and innovation as priorities," added Rep. Gordon.  "Well, actions speak louder than words and today the Leadership’s actions on education and innovation were silent."

In 2005, a group of bipartisan Congressional lawmakers asked the experts at The National Academies for a list of the top 10 actions that policy-makers must take to ensure that the U.S. remains competitive in the global economy.  Their report - Rising Above The Gathering Storm - found that the U.S. stands to lose its competitive edge without immediate action and it provided immediate and future action items for Congress to get the job done.

Science Democrats have worked to bring attention to the resources our country needs to stay competitive, and the urgency for action only increases as time passes.  This week, the World Economic Forum released its Global Competitiveness Report 2006-2007 that dropped the U.S. world ranking from 1st to 6th place.  As the report points out, "education and training have emerged as key drivers of competitiveness."

Rep. Gordon and Science Committee Democrats were successful in shaping bipartisan consensus legislation in the House Science Committee (H.R. 5358, Research for Competitiveness Act) that reflected the Rising Storm report’s recommendations and implemented the steps necessary to insure U.S. teachers, students, workers and businesses are equipped to compete in the global marketplace.

"We know what to do to help reverse the slide of America’s competitiveness stature: equip our students today with the math and science skills they’ll need to develop the technology of tomorrow," concluded Rep. Gordon.  "Inexplicably, the House Republican leadership was more intent on leaving town than addressing America’s faltering economic leadership."

109th Congress