The Computing Technology Industry Association released a statement Monday evening saying lawmakers should move on "Internet time" to pass a stimulus package that gives the economy a short-term jolt, as well as long term investments. The group used the focus on the economy to strengthen its arguments for an IT agenda.
"It will help America's small IT businesses, its workforce, and Americans generally surmount the myriad challenges posed by our struggling economy," CompTIA leaders said in the statement. "Long-term goals that strengthen U.S. businesses and the IT industry must not be sidelined as a consequence of the need to act swiftly to boost the economy. A stimulus package should not be construed to obviate the need for broader investments in our future."
CompTIA wants the package to boost Americans' purchasing power, allowing for more IT spending. The group said that could enhance productivity. The association also wants Congress to encourage the development of IT skills and make it more attractive for small businesses to spend on IT to increase competitiveness.
"Importantly, the goals set out by the President and Congress must not come at the cost of other longer-term tools, which make our economy more friendly to, and supportive of innovation, and thus more resilient to the effects of an economic downturn," CompTIA said.
Specifically, the association urges leaders to pass patent reform, make the research and development tax credit permanent, increase H-1B visa caps, pass small business healthcare plans, and extend the Workforce Investment Act to enhance workers' skills. Additionally, CompTIA wants Congress to reauthorize Trade Adjustment Assistance and provide coverage to American service workers, and support green IT and free trade agreements.
"IT tools and infrastructure -- technological and human -- make us better able to deal with the dynamism of our global economy," Roger Cochetti, group director of U.S. Public Policy for CompTIA, said. "An economic stimulus plan will inevitably focus on a few key areas. But the Administration and Congress have other matters before them that can also boost our long and short-term prospects. Regardless of the crowded legislative year, this tech-oriented agenda should be constructively addressed."
Bob Kramer, VP of Public Policy for CompTIA, said that IT is critical to economic growth and competitiveness. "We urge the executive and legislative branches, both sides of the aisle, to roll up their sleeves and help our industry lead America, its businesses and our workforce to greater economic prosperity -- in these tough times, and well into the future," he said.