THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
CLINTON ADMINISTRATION LEADERS IN JOINT APPEARANCE BEFORE CONGRESS TESTIFY ON IMPORTANCE OF NATION'S SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY INVESTMENTS
Washington -- In a joint appearance before Congress, a group of senior Clinton Administration officials from across the federal government joined together today to testify on behalf of continued investment in science and technology as a national priority.
"Most things this country values -- long term economic growth, good jobs, high quality health care, environmental protection, top notch education and worker training, and a strong national defense -- all depend on sustaining our world leadership in science and technology," said President Clinton's Science Advisor John Gibbons, who was joined by Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown, EPA Administrator Carol Browner, NASA Administrator Dan Goldin, and National Science Foundation Director Neal Lane at the first public hearing of the new Republican-led House Committee on Science. Written testimony was also provided by Secretary of Energy Hazel O'Leary and Secretary of Transportation Federico Pena.
Increasing American scientific and technological strength has been a top priority of President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore since coming into office two years ago.
"Technological innovation is vital in the new-knowledge based global economy," Secretary of Commerce Brown said in his statement for the record. "Just as we provided the traditional tools for success in agrarian and industrial times -- including public education and the basic infrastructure of commerce from the Erie Canal to the national highways system of this century -- now we must empower Americans with the tools to succeed in a global, high technology, information-dominated society."
"I am absolutely convinced about the importance of science as the basis for our environmental future," added EPA Administrator Carol Browner in her statement.
While stressing the Administration's strong desire to work on a bipartisan basis with the Committee's new Chairman, the Clinton Administration officials cautioned against Republican budget proposals that would make deep reductions in or eliminate many of the federal government's science and technology programs.
"In looking at the Contract With America along with the FY'94 and FY'95 Republican budgets and other proposals to pay for the Contract, we are concerned," said Gibbons. "This nation may find itself in wholesale, devastating retreat from the investments on which our future depends -- investments in science and technology. This Administration will stand and fight against that retreat."
"While the Administration is making changes to prepare for the future, I believe it is important that this Congress...ensure that a very high priority is given to continued stable investment in the Nation's civil research and development agenda," said NASA Administrator Dan Goldin in a statement prepared for the Committee. "Continued investment in R&D is a critical component of our economic security and the best means by which we can assure a prosperous future for America."
Wherever research takes us in the coming decades, we will look back at the investments that we are making today and see them as well worth every sacrifice they may have required," said NSF Director Neal Lane in his statement.