4:38 PM EDT

Joe Crowley, D-NY 14th

Mr. CROWLEY. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 1 1/2 minutes.

Mr. Chairman, 8 years ago when the House first considered the America COMPETES Act, I offered an amendment with my then-colleague Gabby Giffords as well as Congressman Jerry McNerney to correct a longstanding inequity at the National Science Foundation. Unlike their counterparts in higher education, Hispanic-Serving Institutions have not benefited from a specific program at the NSF to provide them with grants for research, curriculum, and infrastructure development.

The amendment corrected this inequity, requiring the NSF to create a separate program for HSIs. It was adopted, and it became law. But to this day, the NSF has not implemented the program as codified in law. This bipartisan amendment would correct that and require the HSI program to finally be implemented within 4 months of the enactment of this measure.

Hispanic-Serving Institutions serve the majority of nearly 2 million Latino students enrolled in college today. In my district alone, about 10,000 students attend Hispanic-Serving Institutions offering degrees in these fields of science. Without access to targeted grants, HSIs have difficulty increasing the ranks of Latinos in the STEM fields, where they have been historically underrepresented.

We must ensure that Latinos, the youngest and fastest growing ethnic group in our Nation, are prepared with the knowledge and skills that will contribute to our Nation's future economic strength, security, and global leadership, because when education is available to everyone, our entire Nation is stronger.

I want to thank my colleagues who worked with me on this issue: Mr. Serrano, who has a stand-alone bill to make this fix permanent, and Mr. Lujan, Mr. Hurd, as well as Mr. Curbelo, who have cosponsored this amendment.

I reserve the balance of my time.

4:41 PM EDT

Jose E. Serrano, D-NY 15th

Mr. SERRANO. I thank my colleague for yielding me this time.

Mr. Chairman, as my colleague has said, in 2007 he added a provision to the original America COMPETES Act to give the NSF the discretion to establish a dedicated grant program. However, after years of persistence, the NSF has refused to act. That is why last month Mr. Crowley, Mr. Lujan, and myself introduced the HOPES Act.

Today's amendment replicates the HOPES Act and requires the NSF to establish an undergraduate grant program for Hispanic-Serving Institutions. Hispanics are underrepresented in the STEM fields, and more needs to be done to ensure that we are not missing the best and the brightest from all the parts of America in developing the next generation of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians.

This amendment is a big step in the right direction. I thank Representative Crowley for his leadership on this issue. I thank the chairman for accepting the amendment.

4:41 PM EDT

Jose E. Serrano, D-NY 15th

Mr. SERRANO. I thank my colleague for yielding me this time.

Mr. Chairman, as my colleague has said, in 2007 he added a provision to the original America COMPETES Act to give the NSF the discretion to establish a dedicated grant program. However, after years of persistence, the NSF has refused to act. That is why last month Mr. Crowley, Mr. Lujan, and myself introduced the HOPES Act.

Today's amendment replicates the HOPES Act and requires the NSF to establish an undergraduate grant program for Hispanic-Serving Institutions. Hispanics are underrepresented in the STEM fields, and more needs to be done to ensure that we are not missing the best and the brightest from all the parts of America in developing the next generation of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians.

This amendment is a big step in the right direction. I thank Representative Crowley for his leadership on this issue. I thank the chairman for accepting the amendment.

4:42 PM EDT

Will Hurd, R-TX 23rd

Mr. HURD of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of this amendment, which will benefit the students at several fine institutions in the 23rd Congressional District of Texas.

One thing that everybody here wants is a healthy economy. We want the American economy to continue to be the strongest in the world, and if American businesses are going to compete and win in a global economy, we have to have the best trained and best equipped workforce possible.

This means our institutions of higher learning need to be fully capable of offering their students the opportunities to learn the skills that are going to drive a 21st century economy, and that means STEM degrees must be a priority for our colleges and universities. This amendment will allow institutions that are designated as Hispanic-Serving Institutions to have access to grant programs with the National Science Foundation that they have been limited from participating in in the past.

There are 47 institutions like this in the State of Texas, and more than a dozen of them serve students in my district. This increased access to grants will help increase the recruitment, retention, and graduation rates of Hispanic students pursuing degrees in STEM fields. That is good for these students; that is good for our universities, our communities, our businesses, and our economy.

I want to thank the gentleman from New York, Mr. Crowley, for introducing this amendment. I encourage my colleagues to support it.

4:44 PM EDT

Ben Lujan, D-NM 3rd

Mr. BEN RAY LUJAN of New Mexico. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of this amendment that I am proud to offer with my colleagues.

I want to thank Congressman Crowley for his leadership. I want to recognize Chairman Smith for his responsibility in working and looking out for these students as well.

In today's world, science, technology, engineering, and math degrees translate into high-paying, in-demand jobs. While we are still struggling with high unemployment in my home State of New Mexico, there are sectors, especially in STEM, that are having difficulty finding qualified workers. To help meet this demand, the National Science Foundation manages a number of programs at minority-serving institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Tribal Colleges and Universities.

[Time: 16:45]

These programs have filled an important void by preparing minority students for meaningful careers in STEM. However, there is no such program and, therefore, a lack of critical support for Hispanic Americans. This is also evident in the fact that Hispanics are severely underrepresented in the STEM workforce.

It is time that we fund the creation of a program for Hispanic-Serving Institutions to develop infrastructure, curriculum, and recruit Hispanic students into STEM fields. To do what is best for America, we need to invest and promote these programs.

4:44 PM EDT

Ben Lujan, D-NM 3rd

Mr. BEN RAY LUJAN of New Mexico. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of this amendment that I am proud to offer with my colleagues.

I want to thank Congressman Crowley for his leadership. I want to recognize Chairman Smith for his responsibility in working and looking out for these students as well.

In today's world, science, technology, engineering, and math degrees translate into high-paying, in-demand jobs. While we are still struggling with high unemployment in my home State of New Mexico, there are sectors, especially in STEM, that are having difficulty finding qualified workers. To help meet this demand, the National Science Foundation manages a number of programs at minority-serving institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Tribal Colleges and Universities.

[Time: 16:45]

These programs have filled an important void by preparing minority students for meaningful careers in STEM. However, there is no such program and, therefore, a lack of critical support for Hispanic Americans. This is also evident in the fact that Hispanics are severely underrepresented in the STEM workforce.

It is time that we fund the creation of a program for Hispanic-Serving Institutions to develop infrastructure, curriculum, and recruit Hispanic students into STEM fields. To do what is best for America, we need to invest and promote these programs.

4:45 PM EDT

Morgan Griffith, R-VA 9th

Mr. GRIFFITH. Mr. Chairman, my amendment would make a couple of slight changes to two new advisory boards created in this bill: the STEM education advisory panel and a new Department of Energy advisory committee.

My amendment sets the total number of members for these two new advisory boards at 15 each, and most importantly, it ensures that five of the members on each board are chosen by Congress, three by the Speaker of the House and two by the Senate majority leader.

The purpose of my amendment is to ensure that the advisory boards have congressional representation, that we have people on there who work with Congress. The legislative branch is a [Page: H3452]

coequal branch of government, and I believe that, as an institution, Congress should more aggressively assert itself as a coequal branch.

This amendment has nothing to do with which party controls the legislative branch of government or which party, for that matter, controls the executive branch at any given time, nor does it ask for a majority of the members of these new boards to be congressionally appointed.

The amendment would simply ensure that the legislative branch is involved in these boards that it, the legislative branch, is creating and that we are involved in the process of creating the reports which both the legislative branch and executive branch will rely on to make important decisions for these United States.

If Congress deems an issue important enough to warrant an advisory board that is included in a bill we are passing, it just makes sense that we also appoint a portion of that board's membership.

I hope we will do that as we go forward with many of our boards. I also think it will facilitate more conversation between the executive branch and the legislative branch as time goes forward.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

4:45 PM EDT

Morgan Griffith, R-VA 9th

Mr. GRIFFITH. Mr. Chairman, my amendment would make a couple of slight changes to two new advisory boards created in this bill: the STEM education advisory panel and a new Department of Energy advisory committee.

My amendment sets the total number of members for these two new advisory boards at 15 each, and most importantly, it ensures that five of the members on each board are chosen by Congress, three by the Speaker of the House and two by the Senate majority leader.

The purpose of my amendment is to ensure that the advisory boards have congressional representation, that we have people on there who work with Congress. The legislative branch is a [Page: H3452]

coequal branch of government, and I believe that, as an institution, Congress should more aggressively assert itself as a coequal branch.

This amendment has nothing to do with which party controls the legislative branch of government or which party, for that matter, controls the executive branch at any given time, nor does it ask for a majority of the members of these new boards to be congressionally appointed.

The amendment would simply ensure that the legislative branch is involved in these boards that it, the legislative branch, is creating and that we are involved in the process of creating the reports which both the legislative branch and executive branch will rely on to make important decisions for these United States.

If Congress deems an issue important enough to warrant an advisory board that is included in a bill we are passing, it just makes sense that we also appoint a portion of that board's membership.

I hope we will do that as we go forward with many of our boards. I also think it will facilitate more conversation between the executive branch and the legislative branch as time goes forward.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

4:45 PM EDT

Morgan Griffith, R-VA 9th

Mr. GRIFFITH. Mr. Chairman, my amendment would make a couple of slight changes to two new advisory boards created in this bill: the STEM education advisory panel and a new Department of Energy advisory committee.

My amendment sets the total number of members for these two new advisory boards at 15 each, and most importantly, it ensures that five of the members on each board are chosen by Congress, three by the Speaker of the House and two by the Senate majority leader.

The purpose of my amendment is to ensure that the advisory boards have congressional representation, that we have people on there who work with Congress. The legislative branch is a [Page: H3452]

coequal branch of government, and I believe that, as an institution, Congress should more aggressively assert itself as a coequal branch.

This amendment has nothing to do with which party controls the legislative branch of government or which party, for that matter, controls the executive branch at any given time, nor does it ask for a majority of the members of these new boards to be congressionally appointed.

The amendment would simply ensure that the legislative branch is involved in these boards that it, the legislative branch, is creating and that we are involved in the process of creating the reports which both the legislative branch and executive branch will rely on to make important decisions for these United States.

If Congress deems an issue important enough to warrant an advisory board that is included in a bill we are passing, it just makes sense that we also appoint a portion of that board's membership.

I hope we will do that as we go forward with many of our boards. I also think it will facilitate more conversation between the executive branch and the legislative branch as time goes forward.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

4:45 PM EDT

Morgan Griffith, R-VA 9th

Mr. GRIFFITH. Mr. Chairman, my amendment would make a couple of slight changes to two new advisory boards created in this bill: the STEM education advisory panel and a new Department of Energy advisory committee.

My amendment sets the total number of members for these two new advisory boards at 15 each, and most importantly, it ensures that five of the members on each board are chosen by Congress, three by the Speaker of the House and two by the Senate majority leader.

The purpose of my amendment is to ensure that the advisory boards have congressional representation, that we have people on there who work with Congress. The legislative branch is a [Page: H3452]

coequal branch of government, and I believe that, as an institution, Congress should more aggressively assert itself as a coequal branch.

This amendment has nothing to do with which party controls the legislative branch of government or which party, for that matter, controls the executive branch at any given time, nor does it ask for a majority of the members of these new boards to be congressionally appointed.

The amendment would simply ensure that the legislative branch is involved in these boards that it, the legislative branch, is creating and that we are involved in the process of creating the reports which both the legislative branch and executive branch will rely on to make important decisions for these United States.

If Congress deems an issue important enough to warrant an advisory board that is included in a bill we are passing, it just makes sense that we also appoint a portion of that board's membership.

I hope we will do that as we go forward with many of our boards. I also think it will facilitate more conversation between the executive branch and the legislative branch as time goes forward.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

4:45 PM EDT

Morgan Griffith, R-VA 9th

Mr. GRIFFITH. Mr. Chairman, my amendment would make a couple of slight changes to two new advisory boards created in this bill: the STEM education advisory panel and a new Department of Energy advisory committee.

My amendment sets the total number of members for these two new advisory boards at 15 each, and most importantly, it ensures that five of the members on each board are chosen by Congress, three by the Speaker of the House and two by the Senate majority leader.

The purpose of my amendment is to ensure that the advisory boards have congressional representation, that we have people on there who work with Congress. The legislative branch is a [Page: H3452]

coequal branch of government, and I believe that, as an institution, Congress should more aggressively assert itself as a coequal branch.

This amendment has nothing to do with which party controls the legislative branch of government or which party, for that matter, controls the executive branch at any given time, nor does it ask for a majority of the members of these new boards to be congressionally appointed.

The amendment would simply ensure that the legislative branch is involved in these boards that it, the legislative branch, is creating and that we are involved in the process of creating the reports which both the legislative branch and executive branch will rely on to make important decisions for these United States.

If Congress deems an issue important enough to warrant an advisory board that is included in a bill we are passing, it just makes sense that we also appoint a portion of that board's membership.

I hope we will do that as we go forward with many of our boards. I also think it will facilitate more conversation between the executive branch and the legislative branch as time goes forward.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

4:45 PM EDT

Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-TX 30th

Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, let me thank the gentleman and all of the persons who sponsored this amendment. I want to commend them.

When Mr. Lujan was on the Science Committee, we actually developed that language that did pass in the last COMPETES Act, so I fully support this amendment.

4:45 PM EDT

Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-TX 30th

Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, let me thank the gentleman and all of the persons who sponsored this amendment. I want to commend them.

When Mr. Lujan was on the Science Committee, we actually developed that language that did pass in the last COMPETES Act, so I fully support this amendment.