During this week's briefing by House Science Committee Chairman
Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), a senior committee staffer was asked the
following question when the chairman went to a vote:
"Any idea why the DOE Science Office has trouble getting the
increases that you talk about, given the broad support for science?"
The staffer responded:
"Well, part of the problem has obviously always been controversy
around DOE in general.
"Part of it has been them not being as widely known as a major
of science as they are.
"There's sort of a range of reasons.
"I think that they have made progress within the Administration
getting a higher profile, and I think that hopefully will start
showing up in budget requests in the future.
"Dr. Orbach is doing a spectacular job in running that office
think is winning allies everywhere which will help.
"But for reasons that are sometimes hard to determine - but again
then a lot of them having to do with DOE being DOE, and also some
with the nature of the science they do, and the kinds of outreach
they've done over the years - they've never quite gotten the same
kind of positive profile that say NSF has.
"It's not that they have a lot of enemies after them. It's just
they haven't really found the same kind of level of advocate that the
other agencies [have].
"Really, you know, a lot of the budget is often determined by
a few key players who are your vocal advocates, rather than winning
over 435 Members. You just need to make sure that you don't have any
opponents among the other 400. . . if you've got an advocate."