Senate task force makes mark by backing high-tech measures

Senate task force makes mark by backing high-tech measures

Group's agenda covers e-commerce, IT training

The Senate Republican High-Tech Task Force is working to carve out a niche on Capitol Hill.

The task force's leaders said this month that the group, which formed in May, has been instrumental in the passage of several bills by the Senate.

The task force's chairman, Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah), and its co-chairmen, Sens. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Spence Abraham (R-Mich.), said Senate lawmakers passed six technology bills since the group's creation. The bills include the Y2K Rights and Responsibilities Act, R&D Tax Credit Act, Federal Research Investment Act, Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Improvement Act, New Millennium Classrooms Act, and Patent Fee Integrity and Innovation Protection Act.

Next on the agenda are the Millennium Digital Commerce Act, Children's Internet Protection Act,
Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, New Workers for Economic Growth Act, and Information Technology Education and Training Act.

Most recently, the task force this month asked President Clinton to extend the R&D tax credit for 10 years. The Private Sector R&D Act, introduced in April, would make the tax credit permanent. Congress first enacted the credit in 1981 as a temporary credit and has extended it nine times.

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