TechNet has flown in executives from several tech companies to lobby Congress on Wednesday to act on the group's top priorities, most of which are focused on boosting U.S innovation and competitiveness.
Among those in town for TechNet's 10th annual Washington visit include Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers, Sybase Chairman and CEO John Chen, and eHealth Chairman and CEO Gary Lauer.
More than 40 TechNet executives will be meeting with lawmakers from both parties to push for action on investment in research and development; clean energy technologies; tax and immigration reform; expanding free trade; and extending the research and development tax credit, which expired at the end of 2011.
The group also will be pushing lawmakers to pass legislation to free up more spectrum for wireless broadband technologies and to continue to oppose anti-piracy legislation that critics say could harm the integrity of the Internet and innovation.
TechNet has joined several leading tech groups and companies in opposing the two controversial bills, the Senate's Protect IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House, aimed at curbing piracy and counterfeiting on foreign websites. The group is scheduled to meet with two of the leading congressional opponents of those bills, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., to discuss the issue.
Among the many other lawmakers the executives are scheduled to meet with Wednesday include Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis. The group also has plans to meet with Treasury Department officials and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.
The TechNet executives also have meetings scheduled with representatives from President Obama's re-election campaign and the campaigns of GOP presidential contenders Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum.
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