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Klobuchar, Hoeven Reintroduce Bipartisan Legislation to Help Fuel Innovation, Boost America's Competitiveness

Press Release

Date: March 27, 2015
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Science Education

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Hoeven (R-ND) reintroduced bipartisan legislation that would help fuel innovation and boost America's competitiveness in the global economy. The Innovate America Act would help cut red tape, expand successful education programs, promote U.S. exports in new markets, and help America retain its competitive edge.

"In order to continue our global leadership, we need to be a country that thinks, that makes things, that exports to the world," Klobuchar said. "This legislation would move our economy forward by cutting red tape for businesses, promoting U.S. exports, and helping ensure that our students have the training and skills they need to compete in the global economy."

"The future of our nation and the welfare of the next generation depend on our ability to compete in a global economy, and the key to competing is a solid STEM education," Hoeven said. "Our STEM bill will increase the number of STEM schools, strengthen the research and development tax credit and reduce the regulatory burden on businesses, enabling them to join forces with high schools and universities to ensure they stay on the cutting edge. North Dakota has consistently been ranked among the fastest growing states in the nation for STEM jobs because we have emphasized science, technology, engineering and math education, and we need to do the same thing across our country."

The Innovate America Act would also help increase the competitiveness of small- and medium-sized businesses by promoting and rewarding schools, technical colleges, and universities that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math, as well as removing red tape and reducing production costs for manufacturing businesses. The legislation is endorsed by the Council on Undergraduate Research; the STEM Education Coalition; the National Science Teachers Association; and Code.org, a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding participation in computer science.

Specifically the legislation would:

Add 100 new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)-focused high schools
Measure graduation rates for STEM students to encourage colleges and universities to adopt best practices to improve graduation rates

Expand undergraduate research opportunities to encourage more students to enter STEM fields

Boost the number of computer science teachers in elementary and secondary schools

Create a pilot program at the National Science Foundation to support promising technology derived from NSF grants and help it be brought to market faster

Require the Secretary of Commerce to work with small- and medium-sized manufacturers to help them comply with regulations and identify those requirements that create an unnecessary burden

Require the Department of Commerce to issue a report on global competitiveness of top exporting industries

Klobuchar has been a leader in Congress on issues of economic innovation. She helped launch the Diversifying Tech Caucus that brings together lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, along with researchers and academics, to shape policy that will help increase diversity in the tech sector and move our economy forward. As Ranking Senate Member of the Joint Economic Committee and a member of the Senate Commerce Committee and the President's Export Council, Klobuchar has been a leader in efforts to boost America's ability to compete in the global economy, working to cut red tape for businesses and open up new markets to U.S. exports. In 2010 she passed legislation--the Export Promotion Act--to help small- and medium-sized businesses sell their products in international markets.

Hoeven is working to implement the same kinds of policies on a national level that have proved successful in North Dakota. That means reducing our budget deficits and national debt, creating a business climate that invites investment and creates jobs, and developing a comprehensive national energy policy that encourages development of all of America's energy resources. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Hoeven has advocated for strengthened STEM education funding, which helps prepare our students for the jobs of both today and tomorrow. In the 114th Congress, the senator is working to promote STEM provisions in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which the Senate will take up this spring. Hoeven is also a member of the Senate STEM Education and Workforce Caucus and the Senate GOP High-Tech Task Force, which works to ensure that the nation's technology firms remain at the forefront of the world economy.


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