WASHINGTON (AP) _ In a show of support for the nation's high technology industry, Senate Republicans urged President Clinton to sign legislation that would extend the research and development tax credit for a decade.

At a Tuesday news conference, they also boasted of having pushed through the Senate six bills that would help high technology firms and said they are working on more than a dozen more.

``Remember what we're dealing with, Mr. President,'' said Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, who chairs the Senate GOP's informal high technology task force. ``We're dealing with investment in R&D in the part of this economy that is the most vibrant and that is making the greatest contributions to our productivity.''

``The future of the economy in this country is going to be so tremendously and positively impacted by what's happening in this high-tech area,'' said Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss.

The news conference, attended by about 10 other Republican senators, underlined the partisan competition over courting Silicon Valley. The industry is one of the fastest growing sources of political campaign contributions.

The senators' plea to Clinton to extend the research tax credit is virtually certain to be ignored for now because it is part of the GOP's 10-year, $792 billion tax-cutting package that Clinton has promised to veto.

But the credit has been renewed repeatedly over the years and is considered likely to be extended again in a year-end tax bill.

In their own tax package that the Senate rejected last week, Democrats also proposed renewing the credit for 10 years.

Industry leaders want the credit extended permanently. The Senate limited its renewal to a decade because of budget rules prohibiting measures that cost the Treasury money beyond 10 years into the future.