Chairwoman Johnson Floor Statement on House Consideration of the America COMPETES Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 2, 2022

(Washington, DC) — Today, Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) spoke on the House floor during consideration of H.R. 4521, the America COMPETES Act of 2022, which includes transformative, bipartisan legislation from the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson’s (D-TX) floor statement as prepared for the record is below.

It is an honor to stand before this body today to speak in support of H.R. 4521, the America COMPETES Act of 2022.

I am very proud to be the sponsor of this bill, and as Chairwoman of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, I am especially proud of the strong bipartisan bills from my Committee that are included in this package.

It is a privilege to be able to come together in the House this week to consider this consequential piece of legislation. It is legislation that is critical to the future health of our American science and innovation enterprise and our nation’s competitiveness.

The United States has long been a beacon of excellence in science and innovation. However, we cannot rest on our laurels. It is time for us to revitalize federal support for the kinds of research and development initiatives that enabled us to achieve that excellence in the first place.

And we need to take a holistic approach that encompasses everything from the state-of-the-art research and development taking place at our national labs to advanced manufacturing facilities that employ and support communities across the nation.

It is not an overstatement to say that we can usher in an exciting and prosperous future for American competitiveness with the suite of provisions contained in Divisions A and B of the America COMPETES Act. These include transformative support for the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

In addition, the provisions in this Act will enable us to create a strong and diverse STEM workforce, one that is ready to address the great societal and scientific challenges we face as a nation. One of many STEM provisions included in COMPETES is the STEM Opportunities Act. This is an initiative I have been working to make law for 15 years, and which is needed now more than ever.

With this legislation, we are making investments to build clean energy solutions, address the climate crisis, reinforce our national security, enhance our semiconductor manufacturing capabilities, and so much more.

In short, we are acting to address the critical needs identified by the scientific community, industry, academia, and other stakeholders as what they need most to succeed in the 21st century.

If we are to continue to lead and be able to compete on a global scale, we must chart our own course. The United States has endless potential to lead the world in innovation and competitiveness, and the America COMPETES Act can supply the driving force to get us there.

Before I close, I would like to thank Speaker Pelosi and my colleagues on and off the Science Committee for their work in getting us to this point.

I would also like to thank Ranking Member Lucas for being a constructive partner with me to ensure that we passed bipartisan bills that incorporated the good ideas put forth by Members on both sides of the aisle in our Committee. Finally, I would like to thank the staff of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee for the hard work and dedication that they have displayed throughout this effort. I deeply appreciate all they have done.

This is a strong package, one that was put together with the needs of each and every American — especially those in historically underserved communities — in mind.

I urge all of my colleagues to support the America COMPETES Act of 2022, and I look forward to its swift passage.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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Science Committee Democrats

U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology