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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release September 1, 1999

                           September 1, 1999

The President and Vice President have proposed increased investments in civilian research and development (R&D) in each of the last seven budgets. Research and development has been the key to a stronger economy and greater prosperity. In the last fifty years, half of the productivity growth in the U.S. economy is attributable to technological innovation and the science that supported it.

Continued investment in R&D that's necessary for prosperity in the 21st century is being jeopardized by actions of Congress. Leaders in industry and academia agree on the need to increase our investment in R&D. The House, which has drafted 12 out of the 13 appropriations bills, would cut $1.8 billion from the President's request for civilian R&D funding, an 8-10 percent reduction. These cuts would weaken America's leadership in information technology, cripple our space exploration program, undermine our efforts to protect the environment while growing the environment, and reduce support for long-term fundamental research.

The large GOP tax cut uses the entire non-Social Security surplus and could result in cuts of up to 50 percent in Research & Development. The Republican tax plan, if they meet the President's defense request, would require cutting all non-defense discretionary spending by nearly 50 percent in 2009, while doing nothing to extend the solvency of Social Security or Medicare. This could result in nearly 50 percent cuts in all domestic government programs, including vital investments in science and technology.

What the cuts in the House FY2000 appropriations bills would mean for Science, Technology, and America:

Civilian Research and Development
- House action to date cuts $1.8 billion from the President's

civilian R&D request.
- House earmarks nearly $1 billion of the R&D budget, bypassing merit

     review processes and potentially directing funds to projects of 
     lower scientific priority.
-    House eliminates funding for 14,000 researchers and science and
     mathematics teachers, impacting college and university students 
     across the nation, by cutting $275 million from the National 
     Science Foundation.
-    House cuts Department of Energy science funding by $116 million,
     threatening cutting-edge research at universities and National
     Laboratories nationwide.
-    House zeroes out funding to make America's cultural and educational
     assets available to all school children by cutting $20 million 
     from the initiative to digitize America's treasures, and provide 
     education resources through the Internet.
-    Action on biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health
     is still to come, but there is very little money left for the 
     Labor/HHS bill, after funds have already been spent in other areas.

Information Technology
- The House has cut the Administration's long-term Information

     Technology Initiative by 70 percent.  This action comes at a time 
     when information technology is responsible for one-third of U.S. 
     economic growth and jobs in the IT sector pay wages 80 percent 
     above the private-sector average.

Space Exploration
- The $1 billion cut passed by the House would devastate NASA space

programs and potentially threaten 30 planned space missions. - 500-600 grants nationwide would be eliminated with $240 million cut

to space science.
- House reduction of $285 million would terminate earth science

     programs that could lead to more accurate weather forecasting, and
     better urban and transportation planning.
-    $250 million cut in human space flight budget defers Shuttle safety
     improvements and critical Space Station capabilities.

Public-Private Partnerships
- House zeroes out Advanced Technology Program, cutting $240 million

     from the development of leading edge technology using competitive,
     cost-sharing Research and Development partnerships between the
     government and the private sector.
-    Additional $60 million cut at NIST [National Institute of Standards
     and Technology] delays the development of high-tech industry 
     standards, by postponing construction of a new standards laboratory 
     and reducing standards research.
-    House eliminates Federal Aviation Administration funding for the
     Global Positioning System (GPS), cutting $17 million from safety 
     and reliability programs for civilian users.
-    House cuts Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV)
     request by $28 million, threatening progress toward a 
     fuel-efficient vehicle that could dominate world markets.

Environmental Protection Research
- Funding for research and development on renewable energy sources

     was cut.  Research on how to reduce fossil fuel emissions was
     eliminated.  Cleaning up power plants was blocked.  At the same 
     time, Business Roundtable's call for developing advanced energy 
     technologies was ignored.

National Security
- $147 million reduction hits the Advanced Strategic Computing

     Initiative (ASCI) that replaces reliance on underground testing 
     with computer simulations.
-    Key arms control programs cut; efforts to improve the safety of
     Soviet-designed nuclear reactors blocked; Nuclear Cities Program
     virtually eliminated.

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