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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 29, 1998


Today I am pleased to sign into law H.R. 1273, the "National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 1998."

Science, engineering, and technology are potent forces for progress and achievement. Over the past century, advances in science and technology have driven much of our economic growth and shaped the lives of every generation of Americans in previously unimaginable ways. As we approach the 21st Century, many of our society's expectations for a better future are dependent upon advances in science and technology.

The science and engineering investments made by the National Science Foundation (NSF) will create new knowledge, spur innovations, foster future breakthroughs, and provide cutting-edge research facilities to help power our Nation in the next century. These investments will help secure the continued prosperity of our economy, improvements in health care and our standards of living, and better education and training for America's students and workers.

This Act will enable the NSF to continue to play an important leadership role in sustaining scientific and technological progress. I am pleased to note that the appropriation authorization levels in H.R. 1273 are the same as proposed in my FY 1999 Budget, and I urge that these amounts be appropriated. The proposed funding for the NSF is part of my Administration's broader, aggressive agenda for science and technology investments throughout the Federal Government, which includes the NSF's participation in the Global Observations to Benefit the Environment Initiative, the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles Program, and the Education and Training Technology Initiative. I especially commend the Congress for authorizing the NSF's participation in the Next Generation Internet Program. This multi-agency program will push the frontiers of computation and communications and help fuel the revolution in information technology.

I want to acknowledge the bipartisan efforts in the House and the Senate that produced this important legislation and, in particular, remember the contributions of the late Steve Schiff of New Mexico, Chairman of the House Basic Research Subcommittee. Throughout his life and career, Steve Schiff dedicated his time and talents to make life better for the people of New Mexico and for this fellow Americans. Even as he waged his final courageous battle against cancer, he continued his efforts to make life better for families across this country. This Act is just one piece of his legacy and demonstrates how the Congress and the Administration can work together to help continue U.S. leadership in science and technology. I am pleased to sign it into law.


                                   THE WHITE HOUSE,
                                   July 29, 1998.

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