DANBURY, Conn. -- In a bipartisan 383-4 vote, the House of Representatives passed the Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act this week, authored by U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty (5th-District). It improves federal support for women entrepreneurs in science, technology, engineering and math fields.
The Act expands the National Science Foundation's mission, to include supporting entrepreneurial programs for women that extend their focus beyond the laboratory and into the commercial world.
"In my conversations with students, families, educators and business leaders throughout central and northwest Connecticut, the same concerns emerge again and again: 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 Act's clear bipartisan passage "makes clear that helping women break into fields where they have long been underrepresented is a priority for our national economy, and I'm excited the House has taken this important step forward," Esty added.
The Act is the fourth Esty-authored bill to pass the House in the 114th Congress. The other three bills are:
- the STEM Education Act, which supports training for STEM teachers and includes computer science for the first time as a focus of STEM education initiatives;
- the Gold Star Fathers Act, which extends formal hiring preference for federal jobs to fathers of disabled and deceased veterans; and
- the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act, which prevents accidental, often fatal childhood poisonings by requiring child safety packaging on liquid nicotine containers.
"Much gets said about Congress' dreadful inaction and inability to pass legislation, but the American people can't afford for us to throw up our hands and give in to gridlock," Esty said.
"The same challenges my neighbors in Connecticut's Fifth District are facing are shared in communities across the country. These aren’t Democratic problems or Republican problems. These are challenges that Americans of all walks of life must deal with, and I plan to continue finding bipartisan partners and solutions to help overcome them."
Esty represents the Fifth Congressional District, which encompasses much of northwestern Connecticut, including Danbury, Brookfield, Sherman, New Fairfield, Bethel and Newtown. Her website is here.
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