Senior Members of the House Science Committee offered the following comments on the President's FY2004 budget request.
"The NASA budget request has been rendered irrelevant in its broad contours by the events of this past weekend. Before we move forward on NASA, we need to understand the policy implications of the Columbia tragedy. I feel strongly that NASA needs to adequately fund its existing activities before embarking on expensive new initiatives."
Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN)
Ranking Member, Space Subcommittee
On NSF funding...
"My excitement over last year's enactment of the Investing in America's Future Act, the NSF authorization, has been overshadowed by the President's budget request that proposes increases of merely 3.5 percent for the Foundation's research and education activities over the current FY 2003 appropriations bill passed by the Senate. Clearly, the goal established by the authorization statute of doubling funding for NSF over the next five years can not be attained with this anemic proposal. NSF investments in science and engineering research and education are critical for the future well-being of the nation. Congress demonstrated our commitment to the value of NSF's mission by passing Investing in America's Future Act, which the President signed. He should now follow through by providing the needed resources. Underfunding NSF is surely a grave mistake that will cost much more in loss of ideas and technology in the future."
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)
Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Research
On the Department of Energy...
"The Office of Science budget holds steady in light of budget pressures, but oil and gas R&D programs are ravaged at a time when industry research is at an all time low and domestic oil and gas production are declining precipitously. That's not a good situation to be in with much of our oil coming from a politically unstable part of the world."
Rep. Bobby Etheridge (D-NC)
Ranking Member (acting), Energy Subcommittee