The House of Representatives has passed the FY 2007 Energy and Water
Development Appropriations bill, containing a 14.1% increase for the
DOE Office of Science. This bill, details of which can be read at http://www.aip.org/fyi/2006/068.html,
is now pending in the Senate.
Across the Capitol, the Senate approved the nomination of Raymond Orbach,
former Director of the DOE Office of Science, as the new Under Secretary
for Science. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman
Pete Domenici (R-NM) stated: "Mr. Orbach brings an impressive background
in science and academia to this post. We created this position in the
energy bill as part of a broader push to expand DOE's commitment to
and expertise in science. I think Mr. Orbach will ably lead that charge."
The White House released the following statements from President George
Bush and OSTP Director John Marburger regarding the House passage of
the appropriations bill:
PRESIDENT BUSH: "I applaud the House of Representatives for passing
the Energy and Water appropriations bill. I am grateful for the House
Leadership's work on it. This bill marks a critical first step toward
realizing my American Competitiveness Initiative, and it fully funds
my request for the Energy Department's Office of Science. I appreciate
the leadership of Chairman [David] Hobson and Chairman [Jerry] Lewis
in working to keep our economy the most competitive in the world
I urge the Senate to join the House in supporting these important initiatives."
DIRECTOR MARBURGER: "As a result of Chairman Hobson championing
this key component of the American Competitiveness Initiative, the House
has fully funded the President's request for the DOE Office of Science.
Equally impressive and appreciated is Chairman Hobson's strong, sure
hand in guiding the ACI funding through the House with greatly reduced
earmarking. I also commend the House Leadership's support and discipline
in this regard, and encourage the Senate to act in kind."
Selections from the May 24 debate on the House floor follow:
SUBCOMMITTEE CHAIRMAN DAVID HOBSON (R-OH): "I think the committee
has produced a very responsible bill that makes sound investment decisions
for the future of our agencies and, frankly, for the future of our country.
I believe we have one of the best Secretaries of Energy that we have
had in a long time. The DOE budget request for fiscal year 2007 reflects
some very clear policy choices made by the Secretary in favor of basic
science research and applied energy research."
"My goal for this year's bill is to earmark less than we did last
year." After comparing the funding for this year's earmarked projects
with those recommended in the FY 2007 bill, Hobson stated: "This
is a reduction of $200 million, or 16 percent. Frankly, if we include
congressional adds and programmatic increases and focus only on project-specific
earmarks, then our earmarks total only 1 percent of a $30 billion appropriations
"Most importantly, most of the earmarks in our bill are fully
funded, meaning they do not compete with administration priorities.
And I want to say once again we not only take out ours where we have
to, we take out the President's, and last year we took out a number
on the Senate [side] when we got to conference.
"We have produced a very responsible House bill. If you want to
see real earmark reform, then we encourage our colleagues in the other
body to live by the same earmark levels that we have in our bill and
to provide funding headroom for those earmarks so they do not adversely
impact the base programs of our agencies."
SUBCOMMITTEE RANKING MEMBER PETER VISCLOSKY (D-IN): "Last year's
cuts to the science account at DOE were estimated to reduce support
for 2,200 researchers. This year's funding will increase support for
2,600 researchers. This type of oscillation, however, does not attract
bright minds to the research areas DOE sponsors, and a new increase
of only 400 researchers over 2 years is hardly a major step forward.
But it is a step forward, and I would stress to my colleagues and to
the administration that further major increases will be required to
support the physical sciences at the level befitting our Nation and
its desire for continued economic growth and world leadership."
REP. SHERWOOD BOEHLERT (R-NY): "I rise in strong support of this
bill; and I want to commend Chairman Hobson for the outstanding manner
in which he has brought this House to this point, cooperating fully,
minority, the majority, cooperating fully with the authorizing committees,
and how refreshing that is to see us working hand in glove in common
"This bill is very important in the priorities it sets. The President's
American Competitive Initiative is fully funded; the President's advanced
energy initiative, which is fully funded, except for wise reductions
on nuclear reprocessing.
"I want to thank Secretary Bodman and Under Secretary Orbach for
the long-needed attention they have brought to science programs at the
Department. They are two of the finest senior public officials in this
or any administration, and we are very fortunate to have them at their
"As the National Academy of Sciences points out in the report,
Rising Above the Gathering Storm,' the U.S. must substantially
increase its investment in basic research and the physical sciences
to remain competitive. This bill responds to that message. This bill
is a good bill. I urge its full support."
REP. RODNEY FRELINGHUYSEN (R-NJ) (Member of the Appropriations Committee):
"We have done things with . . . energy alternatives, as Congressman
Boehlert just mentioned, the American Competitive Initiative, more money
into research and science, and in terms of energy renewables, the work
of the ITER program, the international ITER program in terms of fusion,
their combination with domestic fusion."
REP. JUDY BIGGERT (R-IL): "I rise in strong support of this bill.
Since coming to Congress, I have been advocating for increased resources
for research in the physical sciences and for the Department of Energy
Office of Science in particular. I just really am most gratified that
the chairman and the ranking member of the Energy and Water Subcommittee
fully supported the President's request for funding for the DOE Office
"As the Nation's primary supporter of research in the physical
sciences, the DOE Office of Science led the way in creating a unique
system of large-scale, specialized, often one-of-a-kind facilities for