The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) announced four members of the U.S. House of Representatives as the association's 2017 Digital Patriot Honorees.
Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Will Hurd (R-TX) will be honored at CTA's 13th annual Digital Patriots Dinner at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery on April 4.
"Given the current post-election political climate, it's important to stop, reflect and recognize the across-the-aisle efforts these members have made toward advancing innovation policy and the consumer technology industry," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. "Our honorees personify the spirit of bipartisanship through advocacy of government policies that encourage innovation, stimulate economic growth and modernize our national infrastructure. These Digital Patriots understand that technology can enhance our lives and our country for the better.
McMorris Rodgers is the House Republican Conference Chair and described by CTA as “a forward-thinking leader committed to helping companies overcome regulatory obstacles.” She implemented the New Media Challenge, which resulted in 100 percent of Republicans adopting a form of social media, and laid the foundation for future improvements in health IT in Washington State. She has been a strong advocate of STEM education and tech in the classroom, said CTA.
DelBene's experience as a successful technology entrepreneur and business leader has made her the ultimate champion for patent reform, immigration, privacy rights, computer science education and much more, said CTA. She is the co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Internet of Things Caucus and co-chair of the Women's High Tech Coalition. As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, she was a key leader in the successful effort to pass the Email Privacy Act out of the House.
CTA called Swalwell, who sits on the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees, “one of the youngest and most tech-savvy representatives in Congress.” As founder and co-chair of the Sharing Economy Caucus, Swalwell was one of the lead supporters, along with Hurd, that successfully passed the Government Travel Modernization Act, allowing federal employees to use alternative transportation options such as Uber and Lyft for official travel.
Hurd applies his experience as a former undercover CIA officer to address privacy and encryption issues, said CTA, adding that he has made great strides to find ways forward related to technology and cybersecurity. He chairs the House IT Subcommittee and is a sponsor of the Modernizing Government Technology Act, which aims to revamp an out-of-date and inefficient federal IT infrastructure.