Rep. Tim Ryan, Rep. Steve Stivers, Rep. Mark Takano, and Rep. Mick Mulvaney Announce Formation of the Congressional Maker Caucus

Feb 28, 2014 Issues: Helping Working Families

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tim Ryan joined today with Congressmen Steve Stivers, Mark Takano, and Mick Mulvaney to co-found the Congressional Maker Caucus, which will help promote America’s growing “maker” economy, including the use of new technologies with the potential for revolutionizing American manufacturing and lowering barriers to entrepreneurship. Through the use of maker technologies such as desktop 3D printers, CNC machines, and consumer grade laser cutting machines, already-established businesses can explore new product lines, add employees, and attract new customers, while do-it-yourself entrepreneurs will have more opportunity to find their niche in the manufacturing sector and build new businesses. The Congressional Maker Caucus will provide a greater voice in Congress to those individual and companies who are a part of this growing movement.

“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,” said Congressman Ryan. “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 number of new entrepreneurs into the process.”

“I am excited to be a part of the new Maker Caucus,” Stivers said. “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 the 3D printers to help develop prosthetics for veterans and others. These cutting-edge, small businesses, like WilloWood, will only continue to expand and flourish.”

“For the past century, innovation and entrepreneurship has helped propel the American economy,” said Congressman Takano, “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.”

Congressman Mulvaney added, “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.”

Maker technologies such as 3D printers are already being used to build custom dental fittings and crowns; custom prosthetics; and electrical circuits. Bio 3-D printers can print a layer of a patient’s own cells which can grow to organs; bladders and kidneys have already been demonstrated in labs. At America Makes (formerly the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute) in Youngstown, OH an extensive network of additive manufacturing technical expertise is already working to advance additive manufacturing and create new jobs.