APS Applauds Congress for Reauthorizing America COMPETES Bill

Legislation is driver of research, innovation and jobs for Americans

By Tawanda W. Johnson

APS is gratified that Congress has reauthorized the America COMPETES (Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education and Science) Act, a blueprint for investing in basic research, innovation and math and science education.

As the nation strives to overcome an economic slump, COMPETES provides policymakers with a proven plan that will lead to innovation, jobs and prosperity for all Americans. History has shown that investing in science and education generates new technologies and industries that grow the economy. The laser, MRI, GPS and Internet were all derived from the fruits of basic research.  In its recent report, the Bowles-Simpson Federal Deficit Reduction Commission recognized the importance of investing in “high-value research and development” as crucial to stimulating economic growth.

“This legislation is very important because we are losing our manufacturing base to other countries that are more focused on research and science and math education,” said Congressman Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), an APS Fellow, who will be retiring at the end of the current congressional session.  “The America COMPETES reauthorization  is a step in the right direction to help the U.S. regain our preeminence in the field of science and technology.”

The COMPETES Act continues funding for federal scientific agencies: the Department of Energy Office of Science, the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The importance of the legislation was cited in the updated version of the highly acclaimed Rising Above the Gathering Storm report, which notes that the U.S. is losing economic ground to countries such as China, India and Korea, all of which are successfully applying the U.S. innovation model in their countries.  Congressional approval of the COMPETES Act is a signal to the rest of the world that the U.S. intends to continue to provide global science and technology leadership.

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