May 18, 2015

This Week: Innovation for a 21st Century America

innovation-week

Steve Jobs once said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” That’s true with people, and it’s also true with countries.

America leads because we take the principles of our past and apply them to a changing future. We are the pioneers that always look to the next frontier, ready to challenge what others believe is impossible.

Innovation is the key to our leadership and is essential to our economic prosperity in an increasingly competitive world. We must always strive to push ourselves beyond perceived limits to maintain our position as the global leader in the 21st century.

The role of government in this task is vital, but also delicate. Government can help enable innovation by providing resources for useful basic research. But Washington can also hold back innovation with opaque and costly bureaucracy that simply can’t keep up with the ingenuity and will of the American people. This week, the House will advance our ability to innovate by voting to end Washington roadblocks to change and by reprioritizing our support for basic research to subjects that are more useful for the American people.

 

America COMPETES 

Civilian research programs supported by the National Science Foundation, National Institute for Standards and Technology, and other institutes have supported many amazing technological advancements over the years, including research into a variety of diseases with no known cure like Schizophrenia and Parkinson’s.

However, with only limited resources, we need to make sure that we are setting the best priorities for research so that the money we have goes to real technological and medical advancements.

America COMPETES reforms how we fund civilian research programs while staying within the caps set by the Budget Control Act by emphasizing basic research in the core physical sciences, biology, engineering, and computer science.

 

Research and Development

Earlier this year in an essay for the Milken Institute, Leader McCarthy wrote,

“Americans understand that the greatest innovation doesn’t come from Washington, but rather from the people. Whether they are in a lab, farming in the Central Valley, or building electronics in their garage, it’s the people who will create tomorrow’s medicines, labor-saving tools and revolutionary apps.”

The American Research and Competitiveness Act will make the research and development tax credit that was first signed into law by President Ronald Reagan permanent. Innovation is being hobbled by red tape and uncertainty in the tax code, and America can’t afford Washington holding it back.

 

The SPACE Act

From developing the great expanses of the American west to being the first nation to place a man on the moon, no frontier has been too formidable for American ingenuity. For decades, America has led the exploration of the final frontier, and in today’s quest for understanding space, the commercial spaceflight industry is helping to lead the way.

The SPACE Act encourages private sector investment in commercial space and creates a predictable regulatory environment for innovators. That means commercial spaceflight can continue to innovate and create good, high-paying manufacturing jobs right here in America. Without this legislation, regulation would threaten the success of American space exploration.

From the reaches of space to the most basic molecular and biological research, America is the global leader in innovation. We remain an exceptional nation because our principles of freedom and individuality have never let us accept the limits that others say are unchangeable. As Leader McCarthy wrote in the Milken Institute’s Power of Ideas,

“Innovation is the story of America’s great rise and the reason for its continued success. With commitment to policies that enable and promote innovation, our future will be even brighter than our past.”