7:47 PM EDT
Jeff Flake, R-AZ 6th

Mr. FLAKE. Mr. Chairman, my amendment would prohibit funds in this bill from being used for the Illinois Technology Transition Center, which receives $2.5 million in this legislation.

The Illinois Technology Transition Center's objective is to stimulate enterprise growth by helping technology companies realize their commercial potential. The center offers entrepreneurial services, technology transition support, and commercialization support.

Again, this is a defense bill, yet we are offering this funding.

I support the technology center. I encourage growth in it. I think all of us do. It is a great source of entrepreneurship and innovation.

The United States has the largest and most technologically powerful [Page: H4302]

economy in the world. Technological progress is responsible for one-half of the growth of the U.S. economy.

Competition is a driving force in this innovation. We all know that free markets flourish when there is less government involvement.

I am all for seeing the technology sector in Illinois grow, just as I do hope that it grows in Arizona or any other State.

However, in this defense bill the American taxpayers are being asked to pay for support services for the private sector. I don't think that that is appropriate in a defense bill.

Our troops are fighting insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. We ought to be spending money in the defense bill on equipment, on helmets, on body armor, on other things, rather than subsidizing the technological center in one particular State.

I should note I believe the Illinois Technology Transition Center was established by a contract with the Department of the Navy, the Office of Naval Research, in 2005. But it is also my understanding that the Office of Naval Research did not request this earmark for $2.5 million in funding.

With that, I request support for the amendment.