High Tech Caucus
Business is the engine of America’s economy and the High Tech sector is the engine of America’s innovation. Shortly after I was first elected to the United States House, I formed the Congressional High Tech Caucus. Our goal is to find ways to keep America’s tech sector strong and provide our domestic industry with the support it needs to remain on the cutting edge. Bringing together the best and brightest minds in the high tech sector generates the ideas that create high paying jobs and allows us to become a more efficient and competitive nation.
R&D Tax Credits
Essential to this effort is extending Research and Development tax credits. Keeping tax rates low is the key to keeping America business-friendly. It encourages innovation and ensures that businesses are competitive in a global market. It’s also the key to keeping our high tech, cutting-edge businesses headquartered in the United States. In 2010, as co-chairs of the High Tech Caucus, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and I collected over 120 Member signatures on a joint letter calling for R&D credits to be a part of any economic recovery legislation Congress considers.
The future of our technology sector will also depend on how our children are educated today. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)-related education allows high school students to keep up with rapidly changing technology and motivates them to pursue science and engineering degrees in college. I am proud that one of the few public high schools in the country to offer such a curriculum is the Manor New Technology High School, just outside of Austin.
In my view, the role of Congress is to support these efforts. My role as co-chair of the High Tech Caucus has enabled me to amplify the voices of businesses, particularly at the Austin end of CD10 which is has become one of America’s capitals of innovation. During the 110th Congress we held events to present various viewpoints on topics including Patent Reform, Cyber Security, the Nanotechnology Reauthorization Act, a Nanotech Showcase, and a panel discussion of the potential of Green Technologies and “green collar jobs”.
Green Technology encompasses American companies that are developing products such as cost-effective solar panels and wind turbines that could one day replace fossil fuels, semiconductors that use less energy while offering higher performance, hardware and software that create a “SmartGrid,” and Plug-In hybrid cars that will lessen our reliance upon foreign oil. Much of this technology is being developed here in America and has the potential to create thousands of “green collar jobs” in our 21st Century economy.
I look forward to continuing this valuable relationship with the high tech community in the 113th Congress.