Today, the House of Representatives passed the flagship U.S. competitiveness and innovation bill, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (full text and summary), by a vote of 262 to 150. The House Science & Technology (S&T) Committee press release is here and a full breakdown of the vote is here, including 245 Democrats and 17 Republicans in favor, 0 Democrats and 150 Republicans opposed.
The passage comes after the legislation was blocked twice within the past two weeks on the House floor, triggering significant alarm among the science and technology community. The first incident on May 13th involved a “Motion to Recommit” attached to an anti-pornography amendment, introduced by S&T Committee Ranking Member Ralph Hall (R-TX), which forced many members to vote to send the bill back to committee. The second incident on May 19th occurred when the bill failed to reach the two-thirds majority required under procedures that were used, despite the inclusion of the anti-pornography amendment and a cut in the authorization level by nearly 50 percent.