Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Two Notes from Allyson Schwartz

A few notes from Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz applauded the announcement today (5/21)by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins on the Therapeutic Discovery Tax Credit established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to support research into new medical therapies for small U.S. biotech firms.

“I appreciate Secretary Geithner and Director Collin’s announcement and their quick action on this new initiative,” Rep. Schwartz said. “These grants and tax credits will better enable small biotech businesses in Southeastern Pennsylvania and across the country by providing them with much needed capital to bring their innovative and life-saving treatments to the marketplace. I look forward to reviewing the guidance further to ensure that it is implemented in a way that can most effectively enable Pennsylvania businesses succeed.”

Rep. Schwartz was a leading advocate in Congress, along with Sen. Robert Menendez, Sen. John Kerry, and Rep. Chris Van Hollen for this innovative opportunity for small biotech businesses. As a member of the Committee on Ways and Means, Rep. Schwartz urged House and Senate leadership to include this proposal in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The proposal was supported by a coalition of 61 patient advocacy groups, including Easter Seals, the Children’s Tumor Foundation, the Parkinson’s Action Network, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Former Pennsylvania Congressman Jim Greenwood (R-Bucks County), now the President of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, has said this proposal would help, “companies continue their groundbreaking research that likely will lead to new therapies to treat patients living with chronic or acute diseases and help reduce long-term health care costs.” He also said it “promises to save and create thousands of jobs across our nation.”

Many of those jobs are likely to be in the Metropolitan Philadelphia area, which is the No. 2 location in the United States for life sciences, according to the Milken Institute. The biotech and life sciences industry employs 77,000 people across the Commonwealth. Pennsylvania BIO President Chris Molineaux has called this credit a much-needed, “shot in the arm,” for companies in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz voted for legislation today (5/28) that will create prosperity in America by investing in science and innovation, strengthen our economic and technological leadership throughout the world, and prepare Americans for 21st century jobs.

The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act will invest in modern manufacturing; spur American innovation through basic research and development; and create the next generation of entrepreneurs by improving math, science, technology and engineering education at all levels.

“We are taking a major step forward today to improve American innovation and strengthen our global competitiveness,” Schwartz said. “This bipartisan proposal will create new, good-paying jobs here in America, expand public-private partnerships and build a strong 21st century economy for future generations.”

The America COMPETES Act was originally enacted in 2007 and today’s reauthorization continues its work, preparing our nation for economic success in the 21st century. The legislation does this by:

· Boosting competitiveness for American businesses by preparing our workforce for 21st century jobs;

· Fostering innovation and encouraging entrepreneurship by building public private partnerships;

· Investing in fields of technology, science and engineering to lay the foundation for long-term sustainable economic growth; and

· Providing loan guarantees for small-and-medium sized manufacturers to help them access capital and become more efficient.

As Co-Chair of the New Democrat Coalition, Schwartz worked on Congress’s 2007 Innovation Agenda, which laid the foundation for the original COMPETES Act to be passed. As a centrist member of Congress, Schwartz has been a leader in embracing technology and supporting competitiveness for America’s businesses and workers.

The bill has broad support with the endorsement of more than 750 business, research and academic organizations including the Chamber of Commerce, National Venture Capital Association, Biotechnology Industry Organization, National Association of Manufacturers, Information Technology Industrial Council, Business Roundtable, TechNet, American Council on Education, and American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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