Today I joined a bipartisan group of Senators, led by Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidWill Republicans increase red tape in the healthcare industry? Sanders and Schumer are right: Ellison for DNC chair The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellFive things to watch for in Trump’s address Speaker Ryan faces crucial stretch Cruz, Lee, Paul demand 'full repeal' of ObamaCare MORE (R-Ky.), to introduce the “America COMPETES Act,

This bill is a good starting point to support and encourage students to take challenging courses and prepare for and enter high-skill fields such as math, science, engineering, health, technology and critical foreign languages.  The America COMPETES Act will open the door for many students and workers to enter and succeed in the cutting-edge fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The bill focuses on maintaining and improving United States’ innovation in the 21st Century by increasing research investment, strengthening educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics from elementary through graduate school, and developing an innovation infrastructure.

I commend my colleagues for their efforts in bringing this vital legislation to the forefront of the debate on America’s long-term competitiveness.  Like me, they understand that the availability of seamless lifelong education opportunities, through legislation like this bill, the Higher Education Act, and the Workforce Investment Act, is critical for our long-term competitiveness.  I look forward to working to pass each of these important bills this year.