Tech leaders applaud Sen. Orrin Hatch’s Innovation Agenda for the 115th Congress


WASHINGTON, DC: Tech industry leaders have applauded the Innovation Agenda for the 115th Congress unveiled by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), the Chairman of the Senate Republican High-Tech Task Force, at Capitol Hill, on Thursday.

Hatch spoke at length about the need to reform the H-1B visa program for foreign workers to help American employers get skilled workers, curb malpractice in the H-1B visa program, and ease the process of getting a Green Card for foreign workers, which in turn would help the US economy.

In a press release, the office of Hatch sent quotes from tech leaders who support Hatch in his agenda. Excerpts:

Safra Catz, CEO, Oracle: “Senator Hatch has been the most important ally the U.S. technology sector has in Washington. He continues to demonstrate his expertise on the critical issues that promote strong U.S. growth and job creation with his Innovation Agenda. We are fortunate to have his leadership and his friendship.”

Brad Smith, President, Microsoft: “We need strong, forward-looking policies that enhance economic growth and create new opportunities for more Americans to participate in that growth. Senator Hatch’s agenda provides clear rules-of-the road to govern privacy in the digital age, enhance our workforce, and promote innovation. It’s a well-timed contribution to some of the most pressing challenges facing our industry. It’s another reflection of Senator Hatch’s strong leadership of the Senate Republican High-Tech Task Force.”

Gary Shapiro, President and CEO, the Consumer Technology Association: “We greatly appreciate Senator Hatch’s leadership in putting forward an innovation agenda that fuels our economy and job creation, attracts and retains the world’s best and brightest talent, and stems the abuse from patent trolls. Empowering innovators to create new jobs, markets, and industries will provide countless benefits to the U.S. economy and American consumers while enabling our nation to remain one of the world’s best places to do business.”

Michael Beckermen, President and CEO, the Internet Association: “The Internet industry applauds Chairman Hatch and the Senate Republican High-Tech Task Force for their leadership on putting forth a robust agenda today. We were pleased to see many policy priorities highlighted that encourage innovation and economic growth in our country. We look forward to working with the Chairman and members of the High-Tech Task Force to advance pro-internet policies.”

Ed Black, President and CEO, the Computer and Communications Industry Association: “We appreciate Senator Hatch for his leadership and plan to boost innovation and remove obstacles that are holding back a leading sector of the economy — technology. He recognizes that abuse of our patent system costs innovative companies billions of dollars a year, and reforms would help curb that drain on time and resources. At the same time we need to modernize electronic privacy laws to better balance the rights of Internet users with law enforcement needs and maintain vital cross-border data flows. So we appreciate Senator Hatch’s call to pass ECPA reform. We look forward to working with Senator Hatch and his staff on his tech agenda for this Congress.”

Morgan Reed, Executive Director, ACT, the App Association: “This agenda represents the most comprehensive effort to jumpstart American innovation we have ever seen. For the thousands of small business app development companies around the country, the efforts to enhance our high-tech workforce and support responsible data stewardship are absolutely critical.”

Bobby Franklin, President and CEO, National Venture Capital Association: “On behalf of our nation’s venture capital investors and the entrepreneurs they support, we applaud Senator Hatch for developing such a detailed policy agenda to strengthen the U.S. innovation economy. Through his leadership of the Senate Republican High-Tech Task Force, Senator Hatch has developed a deep appreciation for the important role venture-backed companies play in our economy and has offered a compelling policy agenda to ensure the U.S. remains the global leader in innovation and breakthrough discoveries.  From investment in STEM education to common-sense immigration reforms to attract and retain the best and brightest from around the world, there is much for us to be supportive of, and we look forward to working with Senator Hatch to expand his priority list to better support new startup formation in the U.S.”

Michael D. Gallagher, President and CEO of ESA: “Senator Hatch is an extraordinary leader and we commend him for the legislative goals announced today. Modernizing copyright, reforming patent litigation, advancing tax reform, and pushing forward the International Communications Privacy Act are keystone issues for the video game industry’s continued growth. ESA looks forwards to working with Senator Hatch and his colleagues to implement the High-Tech Task Force’s agenda.”

Victoria Espinel, President and CEO, Business Software Alliance: “BSA commends Sen. Orrin Hatch for his leadership on behalf of the tech industry, particularly on international data issues, intellectual property protections, and workforce development. Software alone supports nearly 10 million jobs and adds over $1 trillion to the US economy. The innovation agenda will help grow jobs in the US and strengthen the workforce to take advantage of these opportunities.”