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Congressman Mike Honda

Representing the 17th District of California & Silicon Valley


I've lived and worked in this district for nearly my entire life. I've watched its remarkable transformation from Blossom Valley to Silicon Valley. In that time, we have done nothing less than change the way the world does business. With this remarkable success comes great responsibility. We must continue to grow and expand our new economy, and we must continue to be leaders in the field of innovation. We must ensure that our businesses are staffed by the most talented and skilled employees. And we must ensure that our students learn the high-tech skills they'll need to compete for jobs in the 21st Century.

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

May 21, 2015

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Congressman Mike Honda (D-Silicon Valley) used his position on the powerful Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies to advance two important initiatives for Silicon Valley in a key funding bill.

Apr 22, 2015

Washington, DC – In honor of Earth Day, Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA17) has today introduced two pieces of legislation to protect the environment. The Climate Change Education Act of 2015, an update of the Global Warming Education Act that the Congressman first introduced in 2007 with then-Senator Barack Obama, promotes programs to teach the public about the dangers of climate change.

Apr 1, 2015

Washington, DC – Fighting what he calls “an avalanche of verbiage in the name of every bill,” Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA17) today introduced the Accountability and Congressional Responsibility On Naming Your Motions (ACRONYM) Act of 2014.

Mar 30, 2015

SAN JOSE, CA – On Friday, March 27, 2015 Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA-17) and Deputy Secretary of Labor Chris Lu met with business, technology and community leaders from Silicon Valley to discuss President Obama’s Upskill America initiative. This initiative is a new public-private effort to help hard-working Americans bridge the significant diversity, income, and skills gap that exist in our work force.

Feb 5, 2015

Washington, DC—Today, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) introduced a key bill to help prepare students across the country for jobs in today's economy by investing in educators who teach science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum.

Jan 27, 2015

Washington, DC – Continuing his promotion of the modern progressive agenda, Congressman Mike Honda(D-Silicon Valley) today introduced legislation to increase the availability and quality of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education for students across the nation.

“STEM education is critical for the United States to remain the worldwide leader in technology,” Congressman Honda said. “These bills will help our schools provide each and every child with the background in STEM that today’s market demands.”

Jan 20, 2015

Washington, DC – Congressman Mike Honda (D-Santa Clara) will be joined by Claudia Flores, an immigration rights activist and Congressional fellow who was allowed to stay in the United States thanks to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), at tonight’s State of the Union Address.

Jan 13, 2015

Santa Clara, CA – The district office of Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA17) has moved to Santa Clara, effective Monday, January 12th. The new office is at 900 Lafayette Street, at the corner of Homestead Road, conveniently located near the Santa Clara University Campus, not far from the 880 and 101 freeways, and a 10-minute walk from the Santa Clara CalTrain station. The phone and fax numbers will stay the same.

Like the previous location, the new office will be open Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

Dec 22, 2014


San Jose, CA – Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA17) and South Korean President Park Geun-hye met in Seoul on Friday, December 19, to discuss enhancing the economic, cultural, and security partnership between Silicon Valley and Korea. The discussion was part of a five-day trip by the Congressman to meet with business and government leaders in Korea to enhance the relationship between the two regions.

Sep 19, 2014

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.”

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113th Congress Gold Mouse Award Winner