Chemist president praises Senate leaders’ introduction of competitiveness act

WASHINGTON, March 5 — The president of the American Chemical Society today said the introduction of the “America COMPETES Act” by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell represents “a significant commitment by the Senate to address competitiveness challenges this year.”

“This new legislation would establish a broad blueprint to strengthen the pillars of American innovation and competitiveness — education, basic research and a business environment to drive innovations,” stated Dr. Catherine T. Hunt. The ACS president also praised Senate leaders Reid (D-NV) and McConnell (R-KY) for gaining bipartisan support for the bill and introducing it early in the session.

Senate sponsors of the bill include: Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Pete Domenici (R-NM), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Ted Stevens (R-AK), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Michael Enzi (R-WY), Joe Lieberman (D-CT), John Ensign (R-NV), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX). Similar legislation, which was introduced in the last Congress but was not acted upon, had more than 50 co-sponsors.

In describing the legislation, Sen. Reid said the “America COMPETES Act will make our country more competitive in the global marketplace by significantly increasing federal research investment and strengthening educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math for students of all ages.”