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Congresswoman Barbara Comstock Addresses NVTC Board

Congresswoman Barbara Comstock addressed the NVTC Board of Directors at LMI in McLean on Tuesday, March 8. The congresswoman discussed successes from her first year in the U.S. House of Representatives and outlined several key priorities going forward, particularly in her role on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology and as chair of the Subcommittee on Research and Technology.

Congresswoman Barbara Comstock.
From left: NVTC President and CEO Bobbie Kilberg, Congresswoman Barbara Comstock and NVTC Chair Todd Stottlemyer at the NVTC Board meeting on March 8 .

Comstock explained her focus on getting things done in her first year in Congress, outlining legislative successes such as passing a two year budget, five year transportation bill and trade authorization legislation. In particular, she highlighted the inclusion in the transportation bill of an amendment she proposed to fund a traffic congestion study. In addition, Comstock discussed her co-sponsorship of legislation that made permanent the federal research and development tax credit, bringing certainty to allow startups and innovative businesses to plan long-term strategies and make research investments.

Looking ahead, Comstock shared a few of her priorities, including a focus on STEM education and lifetime learning, patent reform and internet taxes. She explained the need to marry technology and healthcare in order to put more data in the hands of patients and medical professionals, improve early detection and management of chronic diseases, and work towards cures of conditions such as diabetes. In some cases, Congress needs to get out of the way and consider investments in healthcare research that will ultimately save the nation money in the long run, Comstock argued.

During a closing question and answer session, Comstock addressed funding of university-based research, the overwhelming costs and burdens of complying with research regulations, and the need for more policies to promote innovation and economic growth.