From: Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Democratic Caucus
Posted: Monday, March 7, 2005
Today, the Science Committee submitted bipartisan Views and Estimates to the Budget Committee. In the past, the Democrats have written and submitted separate Views and Estimates as a critique. However, the Administration's FY2006 research and development budget request elicited such universal concern that Democrats could comfortably support the Republican-drafted document.
"Views and Estimates are a means for our committee to influence the budget process," said Ranking Member Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN). "Although this committee is historically bipartisan, this year was unusual in that Democrats found the statements of the Chair to be so on point that we wanted to join him to send a stronger message to the Administration, Budget Committee and Appropriators that the science and technology budget the President submitted is not the best we can do even under the current fiscal circumstances. We have to do better."
Rep. Gordon continued, noting that, "Scientific advancement is one of the keys to U.S. competitiveness in a global marketplace. We must look to research and development as an investment in our future - a crucial investment now that is essential to maintaining our competitive edge later."
The Committee's Views and Estimates make clear that the Administration's cuts to innovation, job creation and education programs are of concern. The report highlights the inadequacy of funding for the National Science Foundation, cuts to and elimination of job creation programs like the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Advanced Technology Program, and decreases in education programs that train future scientists and engineers for tomorrow's workforce.
"I am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to better meet our country's science and technology needs and guard our future fiscal prosperity. This is just one step in meeting that objective," stated Rep. Gordon.
Democratic Members did submit "Additional Views" in specific areas. Mr. Mark Udall (D-CO), Mr. Gordon and Mr. David Wu (D-OR) expanded on the Committee's concerns regarding NOAA and NASA, noting that overall funding at NOAA is simply inadequate for its mission. Mr. Jerry Costello (D-IL), Mr. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL) and two Republican members (Mr. Johnson and Ms. Biggert, also from Illinois) included a statement in a second set of Additional Views voicing stronger support for the FutureGen project. Four Democrats and two Republicans members submitted views questioning the Administration's desire to terminate oil and natural gas research and development programs at the Department of Energy. Further, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) will submit views regarding International Space Station research activities and Space Shuttle and International Space Station safety.
Views and Estimates can be accessed at www.house.gov/science. Additionally, the Committee Democrats detailed summary of the President's FY2006 Science and Technology Request can be viewed on the Minority's website at http://www.house.gov/science_democrats/archive/budget06.pdf.
// end //