May 18, 2017

WASHINGTON – Today ITI, the global voice of the tech sector representing 60 of the world’s leading technology companies, announced it is honoring Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Scott Peters (D-Calif.) with their 2016 ITI Tech Legislator of the Year award. Each year ITI bestows the award to recognize four lawmakers, a Republican and Democrat from both the House and Senate, who are selected by ITI member companies for their demonstrated commitment to advancing policies that support innovation and technology.

"We’re proud to honor these lawmakers who have distinguished themselves for their leadership on policy priorities that are critical to ensuring America’s leadership for sparking cutting edge innovation,” said ITI President and CEO Dean Garfield. “During deep partisanship in the nation’s capital, they worked to find bipartisan solutions to spur new innovations like IoT technologies, fix our broken legal immigration system, and grow our economy.”

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). In presenting the award, ITI noted Sen. Flake’s leadership in working to fix the broken U.S. immigration system in a bipartisan fashion. Sen. Flake has been a strong advocate for reforming the legal immigration system so it works to encourage economic growth. That includes allowing talented science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates of our top universities to stay in the U.S. and contribute to the new innovations that make our companies more competitive and keep them on the cutting edge. Sen. Flake was also lauded by the tech group for his leadership in opening overseas markets so that U.S. tech companies can sell more products and create more American jobs, as well as for the pro-innovation policies he promotes as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Privacy, Technology and the Law Subcommittee.

“It is an honor to accept ITI’s Tech Legislator of the Year award,” Senator Flake said. “I look forward to continuing to work with ITI and its members on a smart approach to immigration and perhaps economic policies that will foster growth and keep U.S, competitive in the dynamic global marketplace.”

“Sen. Flake is respected by his colleagues on both sides of the aisle and is a recognized leader when it comes to finding common ground solutions to tough issues when Washington often wants to kick the can down the road,” said ITI President and CEO Dean Garfield. “We are proud to recognize him for working to fix our broken legal immigration system, increase U.S. competitiveness, and open overseas markets so that U.S. tech companies can sell their products and create more jobs for more Americans.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). In presenting the award, ITI noted Sen. Booker quickly emerged as a strong pro-innovation voice in the Senate when he co-launched the bipartisan Congressional Internet of Things (IoT) Caucus in conjunction with legislation to develop a national IoT strategy. This bipartisan legislation would ensure better use of valuable high speed spectrum, the radio waves used to connect devices and to the internet, in order to advance IoT innovations. Sen. Booker has also fought to expand broadband internet access across the country to give more Americans the ability to tap into this fundamental resource. Additionally, Sen. Booker has used his seat on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Environment and Public Works Committee to push for policies expanding clean, renewable domestic U.S. energy production.

“Fostering American innovation requires an all hands on deck approach," Senator Booker said. "I’m grateful to ITI for this recognition and for their efforts to bring together private and public partners to promote smarter policy. I look forward to continuing to find ways to work together to leverage technology to create jobs, grow our economy and expand opportunity for all.”

“Sen. Booker is an energetic advocate for U.S. innovation and has an unwavering commitment to promote and advance bipartisan policies that advance new technologies and grow our economy,” said ITI President and CEO Dean Garfield. “We commend his leadership in expanding high speed internet access for more Americans, developing a national strategy to make our country the leading IoT pioneer of the world, and for supporting efforts by U.S. industry to produce more clean, renewable energy.”

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). In presenting the award, ITI noted that Rep. Issa has long been a leading advocate and ally for the technology industry. Rep. Issa has been a strong supporter of encryption which ensures the security of the technologies and networks used in daily life. ITI also lauded Rep. Issa for his work to reform the legal high skilled immigration system so talented graduates of our top universities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) who want to innovate in the U.S. and make our companies more competitive and innovative. Rep. Issa’s work to open markets overseas to expand U.S. trade opportunities that grow our economy was also noted by the tech group, as well as using his seat on the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform Committees to further technology policy issues.

“For over a century, the Information Technology Industry Council has played an invaluable role in fighting for policies that defend and bolster the technology sector” Congressman Issa said. “It is a great honor to receive their Legislator the Year Award. I am humbled and grateful for this recognition. As tech has become an ever-growing part of our lives, we in Congress rely on ITI for insights into how policy-making can be best suited to bolster innovation and not hamper the development of software and devices the improve our well-being.”

“Rep. Issa is a well-known and respected name in tech circles because he has been a vocal champion for our industry and the technology ecosystem writ large,” said ITI President and CEO Dean Garfield. “We’re very pleased to recognize Rep. Issa’s leadership to make our legal immigration system work better for future innovators, his strong support for the critical role strong encryption plays in the security and safety of Americans, and for ensuring the internet as a platform to spur new innovations that create jobs and supercharge our economy.”

Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.). In presenting the award, ITI noted that after Rep. Peters took office, he quickly become a voice championing opening overseas markets to help U.S. tech companies sell more goods and services, thereby strengthening our economy. ITI also lauded Rep. Peters for his focus on accelerating energy efficiency policies that expand clean, renewable U.S. energy production. The group also credited Rep. Peters for his advocacy in working to reform the legal immigration system, so it works to encourage economic growth. ITI also praised Rep. Peters for supporting bipartisan legislation that made the research and development (R&D) tax credit a permanent incentive for innovation investment as well as for his efforts to streamline the government’s cumbersome acquisition process.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by leaders of an industry that fuels so much growth in San Diego and is creating the jobs of the future across the country,” Congressman Peters said. “It’s imperative that leaders in Washington update our laws to help our innovators and workers compete in this changing economy. From modernizing our cybersecurity and immigration policies, to investing in energy and scientific research, there is more work to be done. I will continue working with my colleagues to build a bipartisan consensus in Washington around pro-growth priorities that expand opportunity for all Americans.”

“Since being elected, Rep. Peters has been a thoughtful and respected voice for policies that drive innovation, promote domestic investment, and help tech companies create American jobs,” said ITI President and CEO Dean Garfield. “Whether it is creating new opportunities to sell more U.S. tech products overseas, incentivizing investment in new technologies, or working to fix our broken legal immigration system, Rep. Peters has put in the hard work to find solutions that benefit not just the tech industry, but all Americans, and we appreciate his exceptional leadership.”

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