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The innovation initiative

Government has to get smarter. Disruption is happening all around us, and we can either harness it for the common good, or risk getting stuck in the past. Here are some ways the House plans to get that done:

  1. Modernizing government: 80% of the federal government's IT budget of $80 billion per year is spent servicing less-secure legacy systems instead of upgrading to state-of-the-art systems. Today at the White House Office of American Innovation event, I'll announce legislation the House will consider to bring private-sector technology into the government, including the authorization of an IT modernization fund.
  2. Entrepreneurship: The JOBS Act was signed into law five years ago to help startups and small businesses access capital. More than 6,000 US companies have raised a total of $1.4 billion in capital because of JOBS Act provisions. On the law's anniversary, AOL founder and tech investor Steve Case — an invaluable partner when we passed the JOBS Act — will come to the Capitol to discuss ways of building on the JOBS Act by expanding crowdfunding opportunities to more investors and small businesses. Specifically, we are working on Patrick McHenry's Supporting America's Innovators Act and the Fix Crowdfunding Act.
  3. Tech for Vets: Massive Open Online Courses offer veterans the ability to receive a high-quality education in everything from coding to robotics to the development of artificial intelligence. But the post-9/11 GI Bill doesn't cover numerous non-traditional technology programs, pigeonholing veterans into traditional programs that might not fit their needs. This week, I will introduce legislation establishing a program to cover non-traditional technology education programs so America's veterans can fill the jobs of today and tomorrow.

Why this matters: The House has passed 35 bills since launching our Innovation Initiative last year, each with an average of 366 'yes' votes. Nine have been signed into law. Together with an engaged and committed White House, we have an opportunity to make the future our own.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy is the House majority leader