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November 16, 2005
Democrats call for 'Innovation agenda'
Many news organizations have reported Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi's Tuesday call for a revived "innovation agenda." The article I saw that seemed most complete and balanced was in CIO.com. According to this article, the Democratic plan would include creating financial aid programs that would among other things, add 100,000 new scientists, mathematicians and engineers to the U.S. workforce in the next four years. The plans also calls for doubling the grants issued by the National Science Foundation and bringing affordable access to broadband Internet to all U.S. residents within five years.
Said Pelosi in the article, "' The innovation agenda will be the Democrats’ top priority,' although she avoided questions about what issues will now take a lower priority and how Congress will pay for the new programs. Democrats don’t want Congress to run up the U.S. government’s budget deficit, she said, and the Democratic agenda calls for new programs to be funded on a 'pay-as-you-go' basis."
Of course, Republicans say that they want pretty much the same things. President Bush has already called for universal broadband by 2007. And according to the article, "In March, Senate Republicans called for patent reform, a permanent R&D (research and development) tax credit, and patent reform in a 40-item list of technology-related goals. In May, House Republicans pushed for reform of telecommunications regulations, legislation to combat spyware, and new ways to curb digital piracy."
I have no expertise in policy, and would love to read some commentary from someone who is who could make recommendations on how to attain these goals. It's great that the Republicans and Democrats seem to agree on what's needed for the U.S. to regain or keep (depending on your point of view) its leadership in the technology industry. It's also great that Republicans and Democrats reportedly are both talking to technology and busienss executives in an effort to understand what's needed. But it's very unfortunate that the parties disagree about what laws and policies are needed to make this innovation agenda happen. That in and of itself tells me that the road ahead is going to be slow going, especially since next year is an election year.
| Category: Law & Policy
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