THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
THE REPUBLICAN TAX AND BUDGET PLAN WOULD IMPERIL INNOVATIONS IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- $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. # # #