Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The U.S. Innovation And Competition Act, And The Need To Out-Innovate, Out-Produce, And Out-Compete Rival Countries’ Key Technologies

May 18, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the steps taken to move forward on the bipartisan Endless Frontier Act, which will propel our leadership in science, technology and innovation. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Last night the Senate voted to move forward with the Endless Frontier Act by a vote of 86-11. It’s likely that, today, the Senate will take another step to begin debate on the bill.

It is my intention to have an open, bipartisan amendment process. The Endless Frontier Act already includes more than twenty bipartisan amendments from the Commerce Committee, under the leadership of Senator Cantwell and Ranking Member Wicker, and I expect we’ll consider several more here on the floor of the Senate.

Later today, I will file a substitute amendment that pulls together more bipartisan legislation from across Senate Committees into our comprehensive bill that we are now calling the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act.

In addition to Chairwoman Cantwell and Ranking Member Wicker, I want to thank Chairman Menendez and Ranking Member Risch of Foreign Relations, Chairman Brown and Ranking Member Toomey of Banking, Chairman Peters and Ranking Member Portman of HSGAC, Chairwoman Murray and Ranking Member Burr of HELP, and Chairman Durbin, Ranking Member Grassley and Senator Klobuchar of Judiciary. Finally, I want to thank the bipartisan group of Senators working on the CHIPS and 5G proposals throughout the process—not only Senators Cantwell and Wicker, but Senators Warner, Kelly, Cornyn, Cotton, Leahy and Stabenow.

Restoring America’s competitive edge should unite Senators from both sides of the aisle. The foundation of the past century of American prosperity has been our leadership in science, technology and innovation. If we are going to win the next century, the United States needs to be the one discovering the next groundbreaking technologies. We had that opportunity, for instance, with tech, and we lead the world because of early investments in NSF and DARPA. We have the opportunity now to set our country on a path to out-innovate, out-produce, and out-compete the world in emerging industries of the 21st Century—with profound consequences for our economic and national security.

If we don’t lead in science and innovation, we will fall way behind. If we don’t lead in science and innovation, millions of good paying jobs that will be available to this generation and the next one will go poof—gone.

We have no choice. We have no choice. We have always led, and now we have fallen behind. Other countries are investing more than we are. They’re not as good at it as we are—they’re not as innovative as we are—but if they put in the dollars, and we don’t, woe is us. Woe is us.

So when you ask Americans why they’re upset, they say: we’re not sure about our future. We’re not sure if our children will have better jobs than we will. We’re not sure that our jobs will grow.

This is the way to do it, this is the key, this unlocks our future to a bright, sunny America, the way we’ve always had but we may have lost in the last few years, at least to some extent.

So I am so glad, so glad, that this legislation, which we worked so hard on, has bipartisan support. It’s a place where we can unite America, and say we will stay number one. And we’re giving our country, our universities, our businesses, our workers the tools to do it. 

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