Fresh off a recent tour of Silicon Valley, the New Democrat Coalition unveiled their E-genda today and criticized House Republicans for failing to include a permanent extension of the research and development tax credit in their tax cut package.

The e-genda outlines the centrist Democrats’ priorities for the New Economy. “Encouraging growth of the New Economy and the high-technology industry translates into opportunity for the American people,” said Representative Adam Smith (D-Washington). “New Democrats have been working on these issues relentlessly for nearly three years, and our e-genda outlines our achievements and goals in this area.”

The five points of the e-genda are:

• Leadership in the Global Economy, including export control reform and engagement with China;
• Ensuring a Skilled Workforce, including technology training, education reform, and H-1B visa expansion;
• Reducing Taxes to Encourage Investment, including a permanent extension of the research and experimentation tax credit and education tax credits;
• Encouraging the Growth of E-Commerce; including digital signature and access to broadband technology; and
• Fostering Innovation in the Marketplace, including patent reform and FDA reform.

New Democrats criticized House Republicans for failing to include a permanent extension of the research and development tax credit in their tax cut package reported out of the Ways and Means Committee yesterday.

“After all the hype over Dick Armey’s ‘e-contract’, the Republicans should have backed it up with meaningful action,” said Representative Cal Dooley (D-California). “Instead, they demonstrate that they still don’t get it on New Economy issues. Ask the people who have generated jobs and growth through amazing technological and biological innovation what we can do to ensure the growth continues, and they unanimously answer: give us a permanent extension of the R&D tax credit. It is one of the most important things we can do, and the Republicans failed to do it.”

Over the Fourth of July recess, 22 New Democrats visited San Francisco and Silicon Valley and met with the high-technology community. The group of centrist Democrats is the largest group of elected officials ever to visit the area.

Many freshmen Members of Congress joined the tour to learn about the high-technology industry. Among the themes they heard consistently was education. Freshman Congressman Ken Lucas (D-Kentucky) said, “The technology industry spoke loud and clear. I’m glad to see that the technology community is on board to improve our education system -- to empower our kids with the tools to succeed in the new economy.”