Provided by Congresswoman Barbara Comstock’s Office

Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA) and Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) issued the following statement today after H.R. 321, the Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and Explorers (INSPIRE) Women Act, sponsored by Congresswoman Comstock, passed the House.  The INSPIRE Women Act is being taken up by Senator Dean Heller in the United States Senate.

“Today the House passed the INSPIRE Women Act, legislation that promotes the advancement of young women at NASA and in the STEM fields in which they are underrepresented.  Graduates in the STEM fields have the potential to develop technologies that could save lives, jump-start new industries, or even discover new worlds.  Young girls should be empowered at an early age to engage and lead in NASA and in these innovative fields.

“Our 21st Century economy calls for a next generation of students who are skilled in the STEM fields and can be leaders in our nation’s innovation economy.  This legislation spurs a number of initiatives at NASA that will provide more resources to young girls and women who aspire to succeed as scientists, engineers, astronauts, mathematicians, and in many other STEM careers.

“Recently, a movie was released detailing a few of the unsung heroes of NASA.  This movie, Hidden Figures, highlights the moving story of the group of African-American women who worked at NASA as mathematicians and battled discrimination during the Space Race.  The INSPIRE Women Act will afford opportunities to a future generation of women leaders who will have a similar impact on our nation’s history and maybe, one day, put a woman on Mars,” said Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA).

“As a father of two daughters and a grandfather, I am proud to see the INSPIRE Act pass the U.S. House of Representatives today. With the recent influx of technology-based companies committing to long-term engagements with our state, I’m a huge proponent of encouraging women to pursue careers in STEM fields. Under the INSPIRE Act, our daughters and granddaughters will receive more opportunities to further innovate and advance our nation’s technological systems. I’m grateful for Congresswoman Comstock’s leadership on this issue and look forward to supporting this measure in the Senate,” said U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV).

The INSPIRE Women Act authorizes the NASA Administrator to encourage women and girls to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, known as the STEM fields, and to pursue careers that will further advance America’s space science and exploration efforts through support of initiatives such as NASA GIRLS and NASA BOYS; Aspire-Inspire; and the Summer Institute in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Research.