By Gautham Nagesh - 11/03/10 04:17 PM EDT
"We're increasingly concerned that we don't see any leaders emerging that really acknowledge the innovation engine of the country is the pre-eminent issue, key to national and economic security. Not enough members think about that as the number on issue."
Bond praised President Obama for using the bully pulpit to emphasize the importance of science and innovation, but he said the administration has failed to deliver on key issues such as workforce development and expanding the number of H-1B visas available for tech firms to hire qualified workers from other countries.
"I credit the administration for talking about the issues, but I haven't seen that translated to new laws yet," Bond said, adding that the election could lead to a legislative stalemate. "That means two years of the status quo, but the status quo is that our lead [over other nations] is eroding. We're concerned about that."
But Bond and the tech industry haven't given up on their agenda for the next Congress; he is still hopeful about the passage of the research and development tax credit and thinks it's possible to reach a consensus around some aspects of cybersecurity, specifically overhauling the law that governs federal-computer network security as well as some form of data-breach notification legislation.
Bond also warned that rolling back the aspects of the healthcare reform law that boost the use of health information technology could significantly set back the industry. He said it's important that even if the Republicans attempt to repeal parts of the bill, as they have threatened, that they leave the standards for electronic medical records untouched.