Today I joined a bipartisan group of Senators, led by Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidMcConnell not yet ready to change rules for Trump nominees The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by CVS Health — Trump’s love-hate relationship with the Senate Trump to press GOP on changing Senate rules MORE (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenators near deal on sexual harassment policy change Blankenship third-party bid worries Senate GOP Overnight Finance: Trump signs repeal of auto-loan policy | Justices uphold contracts that bar employee class-action suits | US, China trade war 'on hold' 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.