Detroit News: Peters urges U.S. to invest in research

Washington — Freshman Sen. Gary Peters made his first major speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, urging the federal government to make significant investments in basic research.

The Bloomfield Township Democrat — who previously served three terms in the U.S. House — won election in November to the Senate to replace Carl Levin, the longest-ever-serving senator in Michigan history.

His speech was known as his “maiden floor speech” — even though Peters has made remarks on other issues on the floor since taking office — and noted that automakers are speeding toward high-tech connected cars and eventually driverless vehicles.

“As manufacturing and technology merge, Michigan is prepared to lead the way. What were once separate industries are now merging into complements in a battle for the future that America must win,” Peters said.

“Federal investment in research and development is just that — an investment that has paid off many times over. Investment in research supports the new technologies and industries of the future — drives job creation — and provides technologies critical to national security.”

Peters, who has made it a practice to only introduce legislation with Republican co-sponsors, said both parties must work together to find common ground.

By:  Dave Shepardson