ALEXANDER STATEMENT ON PASSAGE OF THE AMERICA COMPETES ACT

Posted on August 2, 2007

“This is a victory for returning to a bipartisan spirit in the U.S. Congress,” Alexander said, noting the overwhelming bipartisan votes in support of the America COMPETES Act in both chambers of Congress. “The next generation of Americans will benefit from the new technologies that will come from the scientific research and math and science education in which this bill invests. No other legislation we will pass during this two-year session of Congress will do more to keep our brainpower advantage so we grow new American jobs here instead of shipping them overseas.” The three-year, $43 billion initiative sets government funding for basic scientific research on a path to double over seven years and creates thousands of new opportunities for math and science students, teachers and researchers. In Tennessee, the America COMPETES Act – which is the result of two years of bipartisan congressional work in response to recommendations found in the National Academies’ “Rising Above the Gathering Storm” report – would provide: *Scholarships for hundreds of future math and science teachers *Summer academies for teachers and students at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and universities, such as UT, Vanderbilt, and MTSU *Support for the state's proposed residential high school in math and science * 10 percent per year increase in funding for research and development in science and technology at universities and laboratories. Alexander served as the Republican manager of the bill during debate on the Senate floor, and was also the lead Senate Republican negotiator during meetings to resolve differences between the House- and Senate –passed versions of the bill. He sits on the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and is a former U.S. Secretary of Education.