Pelosi Remarks at Ceremony for Task Force on the Future of American Innovation

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Pelosi accepted the “Legislator of the Year Award” at a ceremony for the Task Force on the Future of American Innovation this evening. Below are her remarks as prepared:

“Thank you, Craig [Barrett] for that kind introduction and for presenting me with the Task Force on the Future of American Innovation’s first ever Legislator of the Year Award.

“It is a great honor to receive this award in the presence of two champions of innovation and science funding in the Congress:

  • Chairman Bart Gordon of the House Science Committee
  • Congresswoman Anna Eshoo of the Energy and Commerce Committee

“We deeply appreciate the Task Force’s support for substantial new investments in science, which are critical to spurring innovation and new jobs.

“Wherever I go, I tell people that if you want to know the agenda for this Congress, think of four words: science, science, science, science.

“This commitment began in 2005 when we sought out the best possible ideas on how to secure America’s place as the world leader in innovation.

“We went outside of Washington, and met with leaders and CEOs from many fields: academia, venture capital, and entrepreneurs from the high-tech, biotech, and telecommunications sectors who are creating the jobs of tomorrow.

“Their pioneering spirit informed our Innovation Agenda: a commitment to competitiveness to keep America #1.

“In just the last two years we:

  • Enacted comprehensive innovation legislation, the COMPETES Act
  • Put America on a path doubling funding for basic scientific research
  • Made college more affordable with the largest college aid expansion since the GI Bill
  • Helped to provide more highly qualified teachers in the fields of mathematics, science, engineering, technology
  • Established a public-private partnership to educate and train the next generation of mathematicians, scientists and engineers
  • Extended the R&D Tax Credit
  • Created a new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E) to encourage high-risk, high-reward clean energy research

“And that is just the beginning.

“Because innovation is essential to rebuilding our economy, the recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act included:

  • $3 billion for NSF to expand employment opportunities, improved facilities and equipment, and bolster math and science instruction
  • $2 billion for the Department of Energy for basic research, laboratory improvements, and to support the mission of ARPA-E
  • $360 million for the National Institutes of Standards and Technology for grants to help improve research science buildings at colleges and universities and $220 million for research fellowships, equipment and competitive grants
  • A $500 increase in the maximum Pell Grant that will help make college more affordable for approximately 7 million students.

“In his inspirational Inaugural Address President Obama pledged to ‘restore science to its rightful place.’  Those words were welcome in both Congress and the scientific community.

“We will work with the Administration and with the Task Force to ensure the highest possible level of funding for NSF, NIST and the Energy Department’s Office of Science this year.

“Investment in research and development is just that, an investment–in the future strength of our nation.

“That is the shared mission of all of us here today: to build our nation’s intellectual infrastructure.  I look forward to working with you again this year to usher in the next generation of innovation.

“Thank you again to the Task Force for honoring me with the Legislator of the Year award.”

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