From: House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
Posted: Thursday, February 17, 2011
Today, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a hearing to discuss the Administration's FY 2012 budget request with the President's top science advisor, Dr. John P. Holdren, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).
"This committee has heard countless witnesses from industry, academia, and government over the past several years testify that investments in science and technology and in STEM education must be a cornerstone of any serious long-term strategy to keep America competitive," said Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX). "With the continuing resolution the House is debating this week, I am afraid we are heading in the wrong direction. In contrast, the FY 2012 research and development budget proposal from the president reflects the imperative to invest in our future at the same time that it acknowledges the fiscal environment in which we find ourselves."
The hearing focused on the Administration's proposed FY 2012 funding for federal research, development, demonstration, and commercial application programs at agencies within the jurisdiction of the Committee. The hearing also addressed federal initiatives to improve the state of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in the United States.
In particular, Members and Dr. Holdren discussed the status of many of the programs authorized in the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 and the NASA Authorization Act of 2010. As authorized in the COMPETES Reauthorization Act, the FY 2012 request would keep the three science agencies--the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science--on the doubling path initiated in 2007 with the original COMPETES Act. Several Committee Members expressed concern about differences in proposed funding for NASA's activities from those levels authorized by Congress.
"We can disagree over some of the specific choices in this budget proposal," said Congresswoman Johnson, "but I share with the president the same goal of maintaining a strong national science and technology enterprise and ensuring that all of our young people are prepared for the technical careers of the future."
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