Investing in Innovation
I served as member of Democrats’ Innovation Agenda task force, which developed a plan for promoting technological advancement and innovation that became the America COMPETES Act. As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, I have led the charge for delivering the R&D funding called for in the Innovation Agenda for the National Science Foundation, National Institute for Standards and Technology and its Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Department of Energy and its Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E), and the Department of Defense. The research funded by these agencies underlies many of the innovations that have emerged from Silicon Valley’s leading companies. I was recognized for my leadership in this area by the Science- Engineering-Technology Working Group, which presented me with the George Brown Award for active leadership in the determination of science, engineering, and technology policy.
A Leader on Nanotechnology
I worked with Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) to co-author the bipartisan 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act, comprehensive legislation authorizing a wide range of nanotechnology research activities across the federal government and signed into law by President George W. Bush. Following on this effort, I co-convened the California Blue Ribbon Task Force on Nanotechnology, an esteemed group of experts from academia, government, established industry, startup companies, consulting groups, non-profits, and industry associations throughout California who debated ideas and developed a series of policy recommendations that are included in the report Thinking Big about Thinking Small. I have introduced the Nanotechnology Advancement and New Opportunities Act based on these recommendations, legislation endorsed by the NanoBusiness Commercialization Association. My leadership on nanotechnology has been recognized by the Foresight Institute, which presented me with its inaugural Government Prize in Nanotechnology.
Brining a Patent Office to Our Nation's Leading Innovators
As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, I led efforts to convince the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to bring a satellite office to Silicon Valley, which will provide additional resources to facilitate and expedite patent processing for our local inventors and reinforce the Bay Area as a leading innovation center. I also parted ways with some other appropriators and supported efforts to enable USPTO to retain all of its fee income, which I know is essential for providing excellent, expedient service to the Valley. I am spearheading efforts to undo the impact of budget sequestration on USPTO operations and have worked with Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Frank Wolf and USPTO to find a creative solution to enable the opening of the permanent Silicon Valley office in San Jose City Hall in 2014.
Incorporating Silicon Valley Entrepreneurship into the Federal Government
From my work with Silicon Valley business leaders, I know that there are many things that government agencies could learn from the private sector to improve their operations. Working with Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Rep. James Lankford (R-OK), and Dell Corporation, I have introduced legislation to bring the concept of an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR), developed by the private sector to maintain ties to talented people who were between jobs and to bring experienced professionals into the startup process, to the federal government. These EIRs would provide recommendations and assist efforts to make agency services and operations simpler, more efficient, and more responsive to the current needs of entrepreneurs and businesses.
Fighting to Preserve U.S. Leadership in Semiconductor Technology
Working with the semiconductor manufacturing equipment industry, I have been the leading voice in Congress for the need for federal action to ensure that we maintain U.S. leadership and dominance in the production of semiconductor manufacturing equipment as the industry makes the transition to larger sized 450 mm wafers. To counteract incentives being offered by foreign governments, I have led efforts to secure a U.S. government commitment to support the R&D needed to make the transition here. I successfully offered an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Appropriations Act highlighting the importance of this issue and am working with House Manufacturing Caucus Co-chairs Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) and Joe Kennedy (D-MA) on efforts to authorize and fund the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation proposed by President Obama, which would help support this type of advanced manufacturing.
Advancing Health IT and Promoting Growth in the Biotechnology Sector
Recognizing the important role that technology can play in improving the delivery of health care, I worked with industry leaders to develop the Healthcare Innovation and Marketplace Technologies Act to foster innovation in the healthcare industry. This bill responds to the needs of industry by providing access to front-loading capital, creating marketplace incentives, removing barriers in governmental regulation, and creating workforce-training programs. I have also seen first-hand the value of allowing Silicon Valley companies that have succeeded in securing venture capital funding to receive federal assistance through the Small Business Innovation Research program and the Small Business Technology Transfer Research program. SBIR and STTR allow innovative companies to undertake riskier projects with the potential for breakthrough discoveries, which I believe is exactly the kind of investment the federal government must make to ensure domestic competitiveness in a global economy. The California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology has honored me as Biotechnology Legislator of the Year in recognition of my leadership.
Ensuring a Skilled Workforce in the 21st Century
As a Member of Congress, former teacher, principal, and school board member, I have made improving education a top priority. In Silicon Valley, that means putting high-tech equipment in the classroom so that students have the skills they need to compete in the 21st century workforce, and making a priority of investing in science and technology programs for our kids. I believe it is critical that the US develop a highly skilled workforce to ensure our future global competitiveness, which is why I have introduced legislation that would help prepare the high-tech workforce of the future by elevating the role of STEM education in national policy and improving the quality of STEM education and STEM educators. I have also proposed establishing an Advanced Research Projects Agency-ED (ARPA-ED) to award grants to support the development of educational technology to improve student outcomes and technological literacy for a 21st century learner, and proposed creating a Technology-Enabled Education Innovation Partnership to provide funding for the development and deployment of educational technologies. In 2013, I was selected as one of two recipients of the George Brown Memorial Award for Science-Engineering-Technology Leadership in Congress, and my leadership in this area has also been recognized with the American Chemical Society Public Service Award and the Champion of Science Award.
Reforming Immigration for Highly Skilled Workers
I am fighting to make sure that Comprehensive Immigration Reform increases the pool of green cards available to foreign-born STEM graduates and reduces the backlog for STEM degree recipients, while giving workers on H-1B visas the flexibility to change employers, jobs or positions without losing their immigration status, and to secure work authorization for the spouses of H-1B workers. I have cosponsored bills such as the IDEA Act and the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act to demonstrate my support for the high-tech sector while also fighting to protect the rights and wellbeing of all immigrants.
More on Technology
Washington, DC – Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA17) yesterday introduced a bill that ensures that regulations and safeguards already in place for firearm purchases extend to weapons that are self-assembled or manufactured at home.
“The laws should be the same for the gun you buy and the gun you make,” Congressman Honda said. “Our system of background checks and registrations are in place to ensure public safety. There’s absolutely no reason these checks and registrations should apply to guns made by a licensed manufacturer, but not apply to other, equally dangerous, weapons.”
Washington, DC – Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA17) today introduced a pair of bills to improve the lives of America’s veterans.
Washington, DC—Frustrated by House Republicans failure to bring a Labor-Health and Human Services-Education spending bill before the House Appropriations subcommittee for a vote three of the past four years, today House Democrats on the subcommittee, including Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA17) unveiled their proposed Fiscal Year 2015 spending bill.
I join hundreds of the Internet’s most popular websites and millions of Americans to express my concerns about a proposed change to “net neutrality” by the FCC. The creation of any type of priority Internet fast lane undermines the openness and level playing field that makes the Internet strong.
San Jose, CA – Paintings of California residents, a drawing spotlighting the horrors of war, and apps that help stop school bullying, tutor trigonometry, and locate lost baggage were all honored at Congressman Honda’s Inaugural Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) Reception in San Jose on Monday, June 16.
Here they go again. House Republicans are once again changing their own rules when it suits them to do so.
Just last month, the Republicans passed a budget resolution that required offsetting any permanent tax extenders with other revenue measures. Yet now Republicans have brought forward H.R. 4438, which would make the R&D tax credit permanent, without offsetting the costs.
Washington, DC – Congressman Honda becomes the only—one out of 535—Member of Congress to win a Gold Mouse Award by the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF), every time it was given since it was created in 2002. “I am truly honored by this award, and for the recognition of 12 years of digital excellence serving the people of the 17th District of California,” said Congressman Honda. “Representing Silicon Valley, my constituents expect me to embrace new technologies for mobile and on-demand service from their phones, tablets, and notebooks.
Washington, D.C. – At Tuesday’s Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies subcommittee hearing of the House Appropriations Committee, Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA17) asked NASA Administrator Charles Bolden why the Stratospheric Observation for Infrared Astronomy program (SOFIA) was being defunded when it was just beginning to produce data.
I am proud to announce the First Annual STEM Competition, "House Student App Challenge." This new challenge is designed to engage high school student’s creativity and encourage their participation in STEM education fields.