Twenty-two senators scored above 80 percent on tech and innovation votes during the second session of the 110th Congress, which ended earlier this year. In the House, 32 members scored in the top tier with a score of over 84 percent. The Computer & Communications Industry Association released its annual High-Tech Scorecard Wednesday in conjunction with CCIA’s Washington Caucus May 6 at the Newseum.
The scorecard ranks House and Senate members according to their votes cast on core issues CCIA monitors, including innovation, U.S. competitiveness and increased access to a free, open Internet.
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., were named “High-Tech Defenders” of their representative chambers not just for their stellar voting records, but also for their leadership roles on key technology issues. Senator Wyden, who scored a perfect 100 percent CCIA’s scorecard, was joined at the top of the Senate scorecard by Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Charles Schumer, D-NY. Rep. Lofgren, who finished the session with a score of 95 percent, outdistanced her closest scoring House colleagues by six percent.
“It comes as no surprise that Senator Wyden and Representative Lofgren finished on top of our high-tech scorecard,” said Ed Black, President & CEO of CCIA. “Not only do Senator Wyden and Representative Lofgren have stellar voting records, they are the ones leading legislation that grows the innovation economy. They are proposing forward-looking legislation, raising the prominence of technology issues in the press and pushing hard to get high-tech issues included in the often cramped legislative agendas of their respective chambers.”
The top tier scorecard included four presidential candidates – Sens. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., and John McCain, R-Ariz., as well as former Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
The economic stimulus package Congress passed this year was an opportunity to fund increased broadband deployment and some measures approved in the 110th Congress that were highlighted in CCIA’s scorecard, including parts of the America Competes Act.
“The tech sector has the bandwidth and innovators to grow the economy at a time when it’s really needed. During the recent election and the economic crisis many members have spoken of the need to increase economic activity and of their support for the tech industry to do that. These votes show their understanding of what is needed to empower, or at least not block, tech companies and their commitment to keeping tools for growing the economy, like the Internet, open and free,” said Black.
“Many issues critical to the innovation economy like patent reform stalled last year due to the election. We are optimistic about getting a vote on those reforms this year,” Black said. “Another good sign is that all seven of the new Democrats in the senate recognized the importance of maintaining a free, open Internet and made supporting net neutrality a campaign issue. We hope that added support leads to measures to keep the Internet content neutral.”