Makers across the United States have found themselves allies in Congress today as Congressmen Tim Ryan [D-OH13], Steve Stivers [R-OH15], Mark Takano [D-CA41], and Mick Mulvaney [R-SC5] announce the formation of a Congressional Maker Caucus. Congressman Ryan already played a key role in the establishment of what is now America Makes, the nation’s institute dedicated to 3D printing technology. The members of the new caucus see the tools used by Makers – such as 3D printers, CNC machines, and laser cutters – as a means of lowering the barriers to entrepreneurship and growing the US economy. Additionally, such tools give already-established businesses the ability to hire new team members, research new product lines, and find new customers. The Maker Caucus will do its part to spur this movement and the economy around it by giving voice in Congress to the people and companies that comprise the growing Maker movement.
Rep. Ryan, one of the co-chairs of the caucus alongside Rep. Stivers, had this to say about the initiative: “Experts tell us that the economy of making things is five times larger than the digital economy and the Maker Caucus will help us advance the right policies to keep our manufacturing sector thriving. I am happy to join my colleagues Congressmen Stivers, Takano and Mulvaney in working on behalf of these new industries that will transform the way we make things in the United States—as well as bring in large numbers of new entrepreneurs to the process.” The Congressman sees the Maker movement as a method of empowering individuals, telling 3DPI, “I want people to see the power of empowering individuals to build, make, create, design their own life – the products in their own life – and I think that tapping into the creativity and entrepreneurship of every single citizen is a powerful, powerful thing.”
Rep. Stivers explains his rationale behind forming the caucus, saying, “I am excited to be a part of the new Maker Caucus. It is important that Congress recognize, support and help grow the technologies and jobs of the future. A company in my district, Ohio WilloWood, uses 3D printers to help develop prosthetics for veterans and others. These cutting-edge, small businesses, like WilloWood, will only continue to expand and flourish.”
Congressman Takano contributed, “For the past century, innovation and entrepreneurship has helped propel the American economy, but with global competition increasing, developing new industries right here in the United States could not be more important. The Congressional Maker Caucus looks to harness the power of America’s best and brightest and advocate for America’s maker community in the halls of Congress and I am thrilled to be a co-founder. I thank Congressman Ryan, Congressman Stivers, and Congressman Mulvaney for expressing a similar interest in the maker movement and look forward to growing maker communities, much like the one in the Inland Empire.”
And the fourth member of the caucus, Rep. Mulvaney said, “I’m proud to join my colleagues in the creation of the Congressional Maker Caucus. It’s important that we as legislators recognize the value of innovation right here in America, and I look forward to advocating for this growing industry in Washington.”
In addition to the recent news that the White House will be hosting its very own Maker Faire, it would appear that D.C. is just as excited about 3D printing and other Maker technologies as we are at 3D Printing Industry. We’ll keep you informed about the Maker Caucus as it develops and provide you with some keen insights from Rep. Tim Ryan very soon.