"Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of this bill;
and I want to thank my friend, Chairman Frank Wolf, for working so
closely with me on the science portions of the bill.
"The passage of this bill may be looked back on as a
landmark moment in American history. Now, that probably sounds like
a lot of hyperbole, but I mean it. This bill puts us on course to
enact the American Competitiveness Initiative, which will double the
combined budgets of three key science agencies: the National Science
Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and
the Department of Energy Office of Science, which already received
appropriations in the Energy and Water bill.
"These agencies, which are not exactly on the tip of
the tongue of most Americans, are keystones of our Nation's economic
future. Our Nation will remain strong and prosperous only if we remain
innovative, and we will only remain innovative if we have the most
robust research and education enterprise in the world. And it is these
agencies that help enable the U.S. to lead the world in science, math,
and engineering education and in research.
"And I want to especially thank Chairman Wolf for supporting
education funding as well as research funding in this bill, particularly
for supporting the Noyce Scholarship Program at NSF, which attracts
top science and math majors into teaching.
"I also want to thank the chairman for the way he handled
appropriations for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
I have said repeatedly, and the authorization act we passed last year
says clearly, that NASA must be a multi-mission agency. With this
bill, the House will be putting money where its mouth is. Without
interfering with the lunar mission, this bill puts desperately needed
funding back in science and aeronautics.
"I would like to see even more money going into science,
particularly Earth science, but this is a good start, and I am especially
pleased that the bill text includes explicit funding levels for science
"Finally, giving the competing priorities, I think the
bill does the best it can for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, although, of course, I hope that, as in the past years,
the final numbers are a little bit higher. I appreciate the language
Chairman Wolf included in the report, drawing attention to the concerns
we all share about the future of the polar satellite program, NPOESS.
"So I urge my colleagues to support this forward-looking
"Guess what? It all boils down to one thing. This bill
is about my favorite four-letter word. And do not get nervous. You
can say it on the House floor. You can say it in polite company. That
favorite four-letter word is jobs.' We must remain competitive.
We must retain as much opportunity for our people here at home. This
bill opens the door for that opportunity."