Dem Senator Cory Booker: Federal Government ‘Choking Innovation’

“If you start thinking about the potential for drones to take traffic off our roads, autonomous cars, so we’ve partnered on writing letters about autonomous cars,” he said.

Booker lamented the FAA for preventing innovation with drones.

“If the FAA was as they are around the time we innovated with air travel they would have probably not allowed planes to get off the ground because they would have slapped them with so many regulations,” he said.

“Our FAA is not even promulgating a regulatory framework that allows innovation in this space, so what are innovators doing? They are going to other countries. Right now in places like France they are using drones to do mine surveys, saving time, saving money, fixing holes, saving lives. Our regulatory framework is not allowing innovation to thrive in this country.”

Booker said the FDA as well as the FAA are “constraining the kind of atmosphere for innovation” that is needed in America. He called for the passage of a bipartisan technology agenda, which would include reforming the H1B visa process.

“Stanford and others, NJIT in New Jersey, I’ve got to plug my great Jersey tech schools, will tell me that folks come in, we subsidize their education, the best minds from the globe and then as soon as their student visas are over we kick them out of the country,” he said.

“There’s a whole bunch of issues which Senator Fischer and I and others are starting to drill down on and just say, ‘hey wait a minute, something is seriously wrong in our country because we are now choking innovation as opposed to creating an environment where innovation can flourish.’”