House GOP technology agenda: Stay out of the way

House Republican leaders have embraced technology as one of their top three

issues for 2000. But House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) said it

is an issue that cries out for congressional inaction.

Armey, who huddled with other Republican leaders Jan. 6 to plan the

2000 legislative agenda, proclaimed technology to be "the driving engine

of the American economy" that will continue to create jobs and prosperity — as long as the government doesn't interfere.

"Technology moves so much faster than bureaucracy, it doesn't make sense

for the government to mess with something that's working," an aide to Armey

said.

But Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Calif.) chairman of the Republicans' policy

committee, listed three technology goals for lawmakers to accomplish this

year: finish work on digital signature legislation, protect Internet commerce

from taxes and liberalize restrictions on the export of encryption software

and hardware if the Clinton administration fails to do so.

GOP candidates hit the high-tech campaign trail

George W. Bush on defense modernization

"The real goal is to move beyond marginal improvements — to replace existing

programs with new technologies and strategies. I will earmark at least

20 percent of the procurement budget for acquisition programs that propel

America generations ahead in military technology."

— Speech at The Citadel, Sept. 23, 1999

John McCain on critical infrastructure protection and defense modernization

"We need to support and accelerate technological improvements that help

make our forces smaller, more automated and easier to deploy. I have identified

nearly $20 billion that could be saved by taking such steps as eliminating

excess infrastructure [and] privatizing support and maintenance functions."

— Speech in New York City, Dec. 7, 1999

Allan Keyes on regulating the Internet

"I think it's important to understand first of all that anything we

do with respect to the Internet is going to have some limits because it

is not only a national entity, it is an international entity."

—Speaking in Manchester, N.H., Dec. 2, 1999

Steve Forbes on Internet, privacy and encryption

"We will not allow Washington to force encryption makers or users to hand

over their "keys" to unlock and read their private communications. We will

also encourage the development and widespread use of new software allowing

Internet users to block Web site operators from reading, tagging and tracking

their e-mail address."

—Speech in Washington, D.C., Dec. 16, 1999

Orrin Hatch on high-tech and the economy

"Long ago, it became apparent to me that intellectual property protection

for innovators is what drives our high-tech economy. There is more to be

done in this area, and I will continue to fight for policies that will

ensure that America remains the world's high-tech economic leader."

—From a statement Jan. 19, 2000

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