Posted by David Bowermaster
Administrator, Microsoft on the Issues
If you’ve been reading this blog since we launched it last month, you’ve probably figured out that Microsoft is a big proponent of the stimulus package working its way through Capitol Hill.
We have had one post highlighting the workforce development components of the proposal, and another examining the important science and technology provisions. Friday, we shared with you Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s remarks urging Congress to pass the legislation and to preserve its strategic investments in technology and innovation.
So, not surprisingly, we were gratified that the Senate version of the stimulus package was approved today by a wide margin.
Fred Humphries, who leads our D.C. office as Managing Director, U.S. Government Affairs, issued the following statement to the media on today’s vote:
“Microsoft applauds the Senate’s vote today to move this vital stimulus package for the U.S. economy a step closer to final passage. It is absolutely critical that the Congress passes legislation that includes ample funds to jumpstart our economy and put us back on the path for long-term economic growth.
“We are pleased that investments in retraining our workers and providing the skills necessary for the 21st century economy are core elements of the stimulus bills in conference. This critically needed funding will help unemployed citizens find jobs and empower current workers to enhance their skills. The technology sector is a vital engine of growth, even during tough times, yet many Americans lack the skills to qualify for even entry-level information economy jobs that can support them and their families for years. Technological fluency is essential to develop careers and achieve success in virtually every sector of the economy, from health care and construction to green jobs, agriculture and manufacturing. We urge you to keep worker training and skills development front and center as you finalize this crucial piece of legislation.
“We are also pleased to see that the Senate, like the House, has included funding to expand our country’s broadband infrastructure. This investment will not only create jobs today, it will also fuel long-term economic growth and innovation for many years to come, and ensure that Americans in every community have access to the high-capacity infrastructure we need to succeed as a country. We urge the Congress to move in conference to fund this investment at the levels approved by the House.
“The level of funding by the Senate to promote health IT is a good first step, but much more needs to be done. We continue to believe that additional funding tied to measurable outcomes is needed to help the Administration and Congress achieve the goals of lowering healthcare costs for employers and workers and improving the quality of care. In addition, we urge the Congress to keep provisions that allow consumers to control their personal health care records. This will enable the health care system to be more efficient and will provide better care.
“This legislation will create and save jobs, and will begin moving the American economy from an overreliance on debt and toward a steady underpinning based on R&D and innovation. We look forward to working with Congress and the Obama administration to make sure these policies have the desired effect of revitalizing our economy and creating long-term economic growth.”