FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

Looking Ahead: President Obama, Incoming Science Committee Chairman on S&T

Richard M. Jones
Number 110 - November 4, 2010  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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It will be weeks, if not months, before there is a clearer indication of how this week’s election will impact science and K-12 STEM education legislation and budgets.  Several comments by President Barack Obama at yesterday’s post-election news conference reiterated his support for S&T and STEM education:

“I think the American people are expecting, and what we owe them, is to focus on those issues that affect their jobs, their security, and their future:  reducing our deficit, promoting a clean energy economy, making sure that our children are the best educated in the world, making sure that we’re making the investments in technology that will allow us to keep our competitive edge in the global economy.” 

“I think everybody in this country thinks that we’ve got to make sure our kids are equipped in terms of their education, their science background, their math backgrounds, to compete in this new global economy.  And that’s going to be an area where I think there’s potential common ground.”

“We already had a big deficit that I inherited, and that has been made worse because of the recession.  As we bring it down, I want to make sure that we’re not cutting into education that is going to help define whether or not we can compete around the world.  I don’t think we should be cutting back on research and development, because if we can develop new technologies in areas like clean energy, that could make all the difference in terms of job creation here at home.”

“There's been discussion about how we can restart our nuclear industry as a means of reducing our dependence on foreign oil and reducing greenhouse gases.  Is that an area where we can move forward?”

Ranking Member Ralph Hall (R-TX) is on track to become the next chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee.  The Republican section of the committee’s website has the following statements:

On September 23, Hall issued the below statement after House Republicans released their Pledge to America:

“The American people have spoken loud and clear: stop frivolous spending in Washington, and make the Federal government more efficient, more effective, and more transparent.  I couldn’t agree more, and I think the Science and Technology Committee can play a key role in this effort.  We need to streamline R&D programs and eliminate duplication, cut wasteful spending, and help ensure that science policy is a driver of innovation and jobs.”

Yesterday, Hall released the following statement:    

"Nationally, I am heartened that Americans returned Republicans to the majority in hopes of providing a check on runaway spending in Washington and getting the economy back on track toward growth and job creation.  I look forward to working with current members on the Science and Technology Committee, as well as hearing from our new members, to formulate and advance an agenda that keeps our nation moving forward.  The Science and Technology Committee will be a place where every member’s ideas will be respected and considered, and all Republicans can play a role in crafting good science policy.”
  

Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
rjones@aip.org
301-209-3095