Hoyer: FIRST Act Fails to Support Manufacturing

For Immediate Release:

May 28, 2014

Contact:

Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology completed their markup of the FIRST Act, which fails to support manufacturing priorities:

“Today’s markup of the FIRST Act by the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology was an exercise in missed opportunities.  Though Congress enacted the bipartisan America COMPETES Act in 2007 and reauthorized it in 2010, the Committee failed this afternoon to produce a bipartisan bill that expands the investments in innovation and manufacturing competitiveness that the America COMPETES Act launched.  A full reauthorization of that law is an important priority within the Make It In America plan to grow manufacturing jobs. 

“House Democrats, led by Committee Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson, introduced amendments that would have fully reauthorized the America COMPETES Act and that would have included a set of additional Make It In America proposals into the FIRST Act.  These included initiatives to extend federal loan guarantees for advanced manufacturing technologies, to create a competitive innovation voucher pilot-program for small and medium-sized manufacturing businesses, to allow the creation of industry-led public-private partnerships to identify long-term manufacturing research needs, to reauthorize and expand the Department of Commerce’s Regional Innovation Program, and to award up to $50 million a year in matching grants to states to help commercialize new manufacturing technologies.  All of these efforts are aimed at helping manufacturers create private sector jobs that pay well and won’t be shipped overseas – jobs that help sustain a strong and growing middle class, and I applaud Reps. Frederica Wilson, Derek Kilmer, Joe Kennedy, and Scott Peters for pushing hard to include these provisions in the bill.

“I look forward to working with Ranking Member Johnson and Committee Democrats to offer Make It In America amendments to the bill when it comes to the Floor, and I hope Republicans will work with us to adopt them.  Americans want Congress to focus on growing high-skill, high-wage jobs that can open doors of opportunity and help us make our economy more competitive for years to come.”

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