The Republican-led House of Representatives plans to focus on seven tech priorities, including spectrum, cybersecurity, and intellectual property rights, GOP leaders said on Thursday.
The goal behind all these priorities? Jobs, according to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other GOP congressional leaders.
“The technology sector is on the front lines of our country’s effort to create new jobs, and they are concerned about the policies they are seeing coming out of Washington,” Boehner said.
The seven GOP priorities: Promote spectrum availability; protect the U.S. from cyberattacks; protect American intellectual property; promote free trade; update the tax code; train and attract the best workers; and reduce unnecessary regulations.
With the economy still struggling, Congress is under pressure to help put people back to work. To help businesses, Congress needs to work to create an environment for innovation and growth in the technology sector, said Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.
“In working to advance technology policies, we will ensure that the U.S. continues to lead the world in innovation and that the technology sector in America remains a driving force and job-creating engine of our economy,” said Goodlatte.
Spectrum will play a role in providing new Internet services, as well as potentially helping lower the deficit through incentive auctions, according to the group’s statement of priorities.
Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said the GOP plans to pass cybersecurity legislation during this Congress. McCaul told reporters he envisions several smaller bills, rather than one large cybersecurity bill.
Goodlatte also highlighted intellectual property protection, the subject of a hearing he chaired on Wednesday.
“America is the most innovative nation on earth, due in part to the strong intellectual property protections our founders included in the Constitution and Congress’s commitment to keep those protections strong and current,” Goodlatte said. He predicted that a House patent reform bill will enjoy wide support when it comes up for a vote, likely later this month.
Business groups, including the Business Software Alliance and the Information Technology Industry Council, praised the Republicans’ agenda.
Dean Garfield, president of the Information Technology Industry Council, said the issues outlined by Republicans cross party lines.
“With fresh signs that our nation's recovery has hit a soft patch, it's essential that we pursue the types of policies that will spur much-needed growth and job creation before it's too late,” Garfield said. “The priorities outlined this morning by the Republican leadership, all of which are bipartisan in principle, represent the lifeblood of a successful recovery.”
This article appears in the June 2, 2011 edition of National Journal Daily PM Update.