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Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06), Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Congressman Danny Davis (IL-07), and Congressman Jay Obernolte (CA-08) reintroduced the Advancing and Promoting Programming (APP) Act. This legislation is designed to help American innovators more easily access the tools and resources needed to create applications for web and mobile devices.

“Facilitating the development of the technology workforce is essential for a strong post-COVID recovery. The APP Act will help entrepreneurs and encourage innovation at a critical time. As the digital revolution continues, it's imperative we keep up with the changing times to improve our future success, and the APP Act will ensure we do just that. In order for the United States to remain competitive, we must encourage innovation and highlight the importance that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills will have on our future," said Emmer.

“This is something I have been committed to since taking office, which is not only demonstrated through my work on the APP Act, but also with my office’s participation in the Congressional App Challenge, a competition that encourages students to develop their own app," Emmer concluded. 

“In introducing the bipartisan APP Act, we are making a promise that American innovation and technology will continue to be at the forefront of the world economy for the next generation. Employment within the information technology (IT) sector is expected to grow by 13% by 2026, faster than in any other. The APP Act will help people gain the skills they need for those IT jobs through providing the tools necessary to learn how to develop applications and apply for grant funding to carry projects to fruition,” Krishnamoorthi said.

“Not since the invention of the printing press has a technology transformed, democratized, and empowered a people like the development of the “app” which has placed powerful computing and communication tools into the hands of every individual worldwide. Because we have lived through, and immersed in, this great transformation we have come to almost take it for granted. If we are to realize the full potential of these tools, we must open the doors to all the underlying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to every member of our society.  The APP Act is another significant step in that process,” said Davis.

This legislation is supported by the App Association, in response to the bill’s introduction, they issued the following statement of support: “ACT | The App Association proudly supports the introduction of the APP Act. The app economy represents $1.7 trillion of global commerce and employs 5.9 million Americans. However, more than 500,000 jobs remain unfilled due to a lack of highly skilled candidates. Budding developers from a wide variety of backgrounds encounter obstacles to joining the app economy, but the federal government can provide vast opportunities for them to solve problems with mobile software. The APP Act helps make federal resources for would-be developers accessible so that even those with little or no experience can find funding, training, and data resources to help them create digital solutions for everything from healthcare and manufacturing to entertainment. Additionally, the APP Act would centralize both the available opportunities for developers to make apps for federal agencies and the mobile apps that already exist. We thank Reps. Tom Emmer, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Danny Davis, and Jay Obernolte for their leadership with the APP Act and look forward to working with them to widen the path for young developers and enable the app economy to innovate and meet its growing demand.”

Background on the APP Act: 
The APP Act creates a centralized website to provide individuals and small businesses with the information they need to find sources of federal funding for the creation of apps. Federal funding for app design can be available in the form of grants, programs, and prizes but is often scattered across several websites

The APP Act will also create a platform where Americans are able to rate and comment on the different federal government apps and retire old or obsolete ones. Additionally, the APP Act will feature successful educational programs and non-profit resources that provide computer science education for the next generation of programmers.

Click here to read the text of the Advancing and Promoting Programming Act.

Background on the Congressional App Challenge: 
Each year, Congressman Emmer's office participates in the Internet Education Foundation’s Congressional App Challenge. In 2013, Congress established this challenge, recognizing that Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) skills are becoming increasingly important to the economic success of the United States. People who are trained in these fields will be better equipped to find work and advance their careers in a world that is increasingly dominated by technology.

This competition invites high school students around the country to compete against their classmates in creating their own software application for mobile devices, better known as an app. 

To learn about the Congressional App Challenge, click here.