Senators recognized for leadership on comprehensive immigration reform legislation; Chairman Hastings honored for advancing legislation to secure supply of helium
WASHINGTON, Sept. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), representing U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing and design, today announced that the recipients of the 2013 SIA Congressional Leadership Awards are Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), in recognition of their efforts to support policies that are vital to sustaining a strong and vibrant semiconductor industry in the U.S.
"We are pleased to recognize these three accomplished congressional leaders and semiconductor industry champions," said Brian Toohey, president and CEO, Semiconductor Industry Association. "Sen. Schumer and Sen. Rubio have helped spearhead the Senate effort to pass bipartisan immigration reform legislation that would help strengthen and expand the U.S. semiconductor industry, the broader tech sector, and the overall economy. Chairman Hastings has led the House effort to enact legislation to secure the supply of helium, a gas that is critical for advanced manufacturing of semiconductors and other products, as well as scientific research. We applaud their efforts and urge Congress to follow their lead and promptly enact these key legislative initiatives."
Sens. Schumer and Rubio are leaders of the bipartisan Senate group that introduced S.744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, and helped facilitate its committee approval and Senate passage on a bipartisan basis. S.744 would reform America's high-skilled immigration system by allowing graduate students born outside the United States to apply for a green card and remain in the U.S. after receiving an advanced degree in a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) discipline from an American university. The bill also would expand the H-1B visa program and ramp up efforts to increase the number of American STEM graduates. SIA has urged the House of Representatives to approve similar legislation.
As Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Rep. Hastings introduced H.R. 527, the Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act, and helped achieve broad bipartisan approval of the bill by his committee and the full House of Representatives. Under existing law, sales of helium from the Federal Helium Reserve to private entities will stop on Oct. 7, leading to supply shortages that threaten to undermine America's economic strength and innovation leadership. H.R. 527 would help fix this problem by allowing the supply from the Reserve to continue to be sold for industrial and research purposes. The bill also would provide hundreds of millions of dollars in sales revenue for the Federal Treasury, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). In June, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved companion Senate legislation (S.783) with strong bipartisan support, but the bill still awaits consideration by the full Senate.
"We commend Sens. Schumer and Rubio and Chairman Hastings for their tireless efforts to advance issues important to the U.S. semiconductor industry," said Ajit Manocha, CEO of GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Inc. and Chairman of the SIA Board of Directors. "Their leadership is critical to keeping America at the forefront of innovation and ensuring the long-term success of our industry."
About the SIA
The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) is the voice of the U.S. semiconductor industry, one of America's top export industries and a key driver of America's economic strength, national security and global competitiveness. Semiconductors – microchips that control all modern electronics – enable the systems and products that we use to work, communicate, travel, entertain, harness energy, treat illness, and make new scientific discoveries. The semiconductor industry directly employs nearly a quarter of a million people in the U.S. In 2012, U.S. semiconductor sales totaled more than $146 billion, and semiconductors make the global trillion dollar electronics industry possible. Founded in 1977 by five microelectronics pioneers, SIA unites companies that account for 80 percent of America's semiconductor production. Through this coalition, SIA seeks to strengthen U.S. leadership of semiconductor design and manufacturing by working with Congress, the Administration and other key industry stakeholders to encourage policies and regulations that fuel innovation, propel business and drive international competition. Learn more at www.semiconductors.org.
Semiconductor Industry Association
SOURCE Semiconductor Industry Association