WASHINGTON – Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Ranking Member of the Space, Aeronautics and Related Sciences Commerce Subcommittee, today joined a bipartisan group of senators to introduce the America COMPETES Act. The legislation makes America more competitive in the global marketplace by increasing federal investment in research and expanding education in math, science and engineering.

“This legislation is an essential first step toward making America more competitive in the global economy,” Sen. Hutchison said. “In the interests of national and economic security, America must be a leader in scientific research and education. I am especially pleased that this legislation ensures that both NASA and the National Science Foundation are able to expand their strong traditional roles in fostering technological and scientific excellence.”

The America COMPETES Act increases research investment by doubling the authorized funding levels for the National Science Foundation (NSF) from approximately $5.6 billion in Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 to $11.2 billion in Fiscal Year 2011. It doubles funding for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science over 5 years, from $3.6 billion in FY 2006 to over $5.2 billion in FY 2011.

The bill authorizes competitive grants to states to promote better coordination of elementary and secondary education with the knowledge and skills needed for success in post-secondary education, the workforce and the U.S. Armed Forces. Another key emphasis is strengthening the skills of thousands of math and science teachers through support for the Teachers Institutes for the 21st Century Program at NSF.

This legislation also increases essential NASA funding to support basic research and foster new innovation. NASA would participate in inter-agency efforts for competitiveness and innovation and support projects that can help meet these goals.

In 2006, Sen. Hutchison was an original cosponsor of S.2197, the Protecting America’s Competitive Edge (PACE) Act, and S. 3936, the National Competitiveness Investment Act, to address America’s competitiveness in the fields of math, science and engineering.