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House Dems tout ‘Innovation Agenda’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco; Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller, D-Martinez; Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo, chairwoman of the New Democrat Coalition; Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, and others gathered on Capitol Hill this morning to trumpet the Democrats’ “Innovation Agenda,” first unveiled two years ago but moving forward this week.

On the House floor this week are H.R. 362, to increase the number of highly qualified math and science teachers in K-12;, H.R. 363, to support young researchers to foster the most innovative scientific research; and H.R. 1332, to make capital more accessible for small businesses, which are catalysts for technological innovation.

Miller said the package of bills “represents the first step in a continuing effort to promote innovation and competitiveness. … This is about the future. This is about strengthening America’s middle class with good jobs that we will keep here at home.”

“America is still the No. 1 economy in the world, and we can keep that leadership. But we can only do so with a level of determination and commitment that we have not shown in almost half a century,” he said. “Other countries are making aggressive investments in a competitive workforce. We must exceed those efforts.”

UPDATE @ 2:40 P.M. TUESDAY: The House has passed H.R.362 on a 389-22 vote, and has begun debate on H.R.363.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.