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Public Policy Priority Issues -
113th Congress, 1st Session (2013)

[ PDF Version ] & COMPETITIVENESS - IEEE-USA will support the implementation of innovation-related legislation and the associated R&D budget appropriations needed to sustain U.S. technological leadership; promote economic competitiveness; and create high-value, advanced research and engineering jobs in the United States. Priorities include:

  • Strengthening K-12 math and science education, and undergraduate and graduate engineering education to enable and encourage STEM career choices
  • Advocating sound U.S. defense R&D, aeronautics and astronautics technology policies
  • Maintaining federal investments in science and engineering research and development, including university research and education initiatives
  • Enacting a permanent extension of the Federal R&D tax credit that is competitive with those of other nations, but restricted to R&D in the United States
  • Reversing the adverse impact on U.S. scientific leadership and technological competitiveness caused by the off-shoring of public and private sector research and development
  • Revitalizing U.S. high-tech manufacturing, including appropriate incentives for businesses to locate R&D and manufacturing operations in the United States
  • Addressing issues arising from the new U.S. export control regime, including clarification of the deemed export rule – IEEE-USA will support proactive energy policies that result in the development of new energy sources and the reduction of U.S. dependence on oil in an economically and environmentally sound way. Priorities include:
  • Promoting increased efficiency in the conversion, delivery and use of energy, which is necessary to help meet the challenges of prosperity, security and the environment
  • Radically transforming the transportation sector to shift our energy use from imported oil to domestic energy production by focusing first on electric vehicle technologies, and then replacing the remaining transportation fuels by making use of alternative fuels
  • Expanding the use of renewable electric generation and nuclear generation, and capturing carbon emissions from fossil power plants
  • Building a stronger and smarter electrical energy infrastructure by transforming the network into a smart grid, expanding the transmission system as needed to maintain reliability and capture economic benefits and by developing large-scale electricity storage system – IEEE-USA will support public policies to ensure greater equity in the recruitment, utilization and compensation of US and foreign–born high tech workers. Priorities include:
  • Increasing the availability of permanent, employment-based (EB) visas and streamline the immigrant admissions process
  • Facilitating the transition of foreign students with advanced degrees in STEM fields from U.S. schools to Legal Permanent Resident (green card) status
  • Reforming the H-1B and L temporary work visa programs
  • Expediting short-term visitor visa processing PROPERTY -The U.S. economy, job growth and competitiveness depends upon effective and well balanced protections for intellectual property. IEEE-USA will promote intellectual property reforms that maintain the careful balances established in our constitution and which are equitable and serve the entire cross-section of U.S. IEEE membership, including fledgling companies (and solo inventors), university faculty, as well as Fortune 500 companies. Priorities include:
  • Encouraging intellectual property laws and regulations that support entrepreneurial efforts; the engineering and development of inventions and innovations; and commercialization of those inventions
  • Clarifying software and business method patentability
  • Considering alternatives to patent protection for fast moving technology
  • Encouraging U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) operations that enhance quality, organization and management of examination and grant functions to balance the rights of inventors and society INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION – IEEE-USA will promote technology policies designed to reduce the vulnerability of critical U.S. infrastructures to terrorist attacks and natural and other disasters. Priorities include:
  • Promoting cybersecurity and protection of the computer networks that control much of our civil infrastructures
  • Ensuring the reliability and security of the electric power grid.
  • Enhancing port and aviation security WORKFORCE – IEEE-USA will support public policy initiatives to foster continuing education and retraining of the engineering workforce; improve access to affordable health insurance for individuals and small businesses; and preserve tax-favored opportunities to save for retirement. Priorities include:
  • Proposing new incentives for lifelong learning to help engineers and other professionals maintain their skills and remain competitive
  • Supporting tax and other incentives to retrain engineers and other skilled
    high-tech workers who are displaced
  • Enacting legislation to enable business associations and professional societies to offer affordable health insurance plans for members and their families nationally
  • Supporting changes in the tax treatment of health insurance and employment-based health benefits INTERNET, COMMUNICATIONS and OTHER NETWORKS - IEEE-USA will support public policy initiatives to provide nationwide and ubiquitous access to affordable high-speed broadband data services and to facilitate use of new and demanding Internet applications. Such access will stimulate innovation, spur economic activity, increase national security and contribute to increased productivity for the nation. Priorities include:
  • Universal and affordable access to high-speed broadband networks
  • Fostering competition in facilities, services, and content
  • Creating understandable metrics for network consumers
  • Fostering innovation, new applications, and new uses of the Internet
  • Promoting education, regulation, and legislation fostering network and system security for users, enterprises, and national infrastructure TRANSPORTATION AND AEROSPACE – IEEE-USA will work to advance the safety, efficiency, security and sustainability of transportation on surface, air and space, with a view towards promoting U.S. technology leadership and competitiveness. Priorities include:
  • Upgrading and modernizing the national airspace system with communications, navigation, surveillance and air traffic management automation technology
  • Promoting the use of intelligent transportation systems to improve transportation safety and optimize traffic flow to ease congestion, and reduce energy use
  • Advancing a technology-focused national space program that balances exploration, science, national security and international partnerships - IEEE-USA will support public policies designed to improve the quality, availability and affordability of healthcare through greater adoption of information technology, including the establishment of a National Health Information Network. Priorities include:
  • Ensuring interoperability of electronic health information systems
  • Supporting community demonstration projects using electronic health records
  • Improving the availability of credible information on health care alternatives, providers, and institutions through electronic media
  • Ensuring the privacy and security of personal health records to prevent abuses such as genetic discrimination and identity theft
Other Issues of Concern

In addition to these priorities, IEEE-USA will work with other organizations and IEEE organizational units to support their government relations needs, and will seize opportunities to make contributions on other issues as they arise on subjects ranging from R&D, energy, communications, careers, intellectual property and transportation.


Do not hesitate to contact us and express your views about legislative or regulatory actions in either your home state legislature or Congress.Please let IEEE-USA know if there are opportunities to affect positive changes for the U.S. engineering community and industries that rely on engineers. If you have questions about these issues, please contact Erica Wissolik at e. wissolik@

Last Update: 15 January 2013
Staff Contact:  Erica Wissolik


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