FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- A local Democrat demonstrated her support Tuesday at the U.S. House of Representatives for women who want careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.
Two bills jointly written by U.S. Reps. Elizabeth Esty and Barbara Comstock, a Republican from Virginia, passed in the House, receiving support from both parties, Esty's office has announced.
Esty represents much of northwestern Connecticut, including Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, Newtown and Sherman.
The bills are meant to help women go into STEM careers and inspire them to start small businesses in STEM fields.
The bills, the Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act and the Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and Explorers (INSPIRE) Women Act, were passed unanimously and need to meet Senate approval.
“Americans overwhelmingly agree that we need more middle-class jobs, better support for aspiring small-business owners, and fewer barriers to participation in the 21st-century economy,” Esty said.
“The passage of these bills is an excellent step toward building a stronger, more inclusive economy, in Connecticut and throughout the United States, and helping women from all walks of life break into fields where they are underrepresented.”
The Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act improves federal support for women entrepreneurs STEM fields.
It will widen the mission of the National Science Foundation to include supporting entrepreneurial programs for women that extend their focus beyond the laboratory and into the commercial world.
The INSPIRE Women Act calls on NASA to encourage girls and young women to pursue careers in aerospace.
It will instruct NASA to give encouragement to women to enter STEM fields via these programs that are already in place: NASA Girls, Aspire to Inspire, and the Summer Institute in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Research.
“In spite of the division and partisanship that dominates today’s news cycle, there are still those of us working together, in a bipartisan way, to overcome the challenges the American people are facing,” Esty added.
In addition to Esty and Comstock, U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas, chairman of the Science and Technology Committee, and U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Ranking Member of the Science and Technology Committee, helped introduce these two bills, said the release.
Esty is a member of the House Science and Technology Committee.