Ranking Members Johnson and Miller Comment on Competes Reauthorization and the Republican FIRST Act
(Washington, DC) – Today the Chairman of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology joined the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Research and Technology in introducing the FIRST Act of 2014, a bill to reauthorize research, innovation, and STEM education programs at the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy. These agencies were last authorized in the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, which also included authorizations for research, innovation, and STEM education programs at the Department of Energy, the Department of Education, and the Department of Commerce.
Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) made the following statement:
“I join my Republican colleagues in supporting the goal of reauthorizing the Competes Act. We must continue to signal to the nation and to the world our intent to continue to lead in an increasingly competitive global economy and to secure the future for our children and grandchildren. However, while there may be some Democratic Members whose priorities are reflected in the FIRST Act of 2014, overall it is a missed opportunity. The bill stops much too short of renewing our commitment to maintaining our scientific and technological leadership now and into the future. Last week I and the other Democratic Members introduced the America Competes Reauthorization Act of 2014, a comprehensive reauthorization of the 2007 and 2010 Competes Acts. Our bill reflects input from across the research, innovation, and STEM education stakeholder communities. I look forward to full committee consideration of the FIRST Act, where we can have a good debate about the merits of the bill and hopefully have the opportunity to strengthen the message it sends.”
Original cosponsors of Ranking Member Johnson’s America Competes Reauthorization Act of 2014 include all of the Democratic Members of the Committee: Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD), Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL), Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Rep. Dan Maffei (D-NY), Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA), Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA), Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA), Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT), Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX), Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA), Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA), and Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL).
Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Ranking Member of the Committee on Education and Workforce, Rep. George Miller (D-CA) are also original cosponsors.
Rep. George Miller (D-CA) said, “The America Competes Reauthorization Act of 2014 introduced by Congresswoman Johnson will propel our nation forward by investing in research and innovation. I am particularly grateful to my Democratic colleagues for putting forth a bill that would create an Advanced Research Projects Agency for Education (ARPA-ED). Through this agency, the Department of Education could more vigorously pursue technological breakthroughs, and transform teaching and learning the way the Internet, GPS, and robotics have transformed commerce, travel, and the way we live our daily lives.”