Innovate America Act would help cut red tape, target education, and increase exports to help America retain its competitive edge

Legislation would fund 100 new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) schools; support scientific research; and help remove burdensome regulations for small and medium-sized businesses

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Hoeven (R-ND) introduced bipartisan legislation that would help spur innovation and competitiveness in America’s economy. The Innovate America Act would help cut red tape, target successful education programs and promote U.S. exports in new markets and help America retain its competitive edge.

“From the pacemaker to the Post-it Note, Minnesota has always led the way in creating the innovative products that fuel our economy,” Klobuchar said.  “By cutting red tape for businesses and focusing on science, technology, engineering, and math education, this legislation ensures that our businesses can invest in research and our workers have the skills they need to thrive in today’s competitive global economy.”

“The future of our nation and our ability to compete in a global economy will depend on solid STEM education, training and research,” Hoeven said. “This legislation will increase the number of STEM schools, strengthen the research and development tax credit and reduce the regulatory burden on businesses, enabling them to partner with high schools and universities. North Dakota has consistently been ranked among the fastest growing states in the nation for STEM jobs. We need to apply that same principle 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 and removing red tape and reducing production costs for manufacturing businesses. The legislation is endorsed by the Council on Undergraduate Research and Computing in the Core, a non-partisan advocacy coalition of associations, corporations, and scientific societies, including Google, and the Computer Science Teachers Association.

Specifically the legislation would:

  • Fund 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 them 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.  As Vice Chair 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.

Through Hoeven’s positions on the Senate Appropriations, Agriculture, and Energy committees, he is working in Washington 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. Last year, Hoeven cosponsored the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which would give schools, administrators and teachers flexibility to implement STEM programs to prepare students for the careers of the future. The senator is also a member of 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.