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FYI THIS MONTH: MAY 2000

HIGHLIGHTS OF DEVELOPMENTS IN WASHINGTON IMPACTING THE PHYSICS COMMUNITY FROM FYI, THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS BULLETIN OF SCIENCE POLICY NEWS

Richard M. Jones, Audrey T. Leath
fyithismonth@aip.org

NANOTECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE: President Clinton's FY 2001 budget request would nearly double the federal investment in nanotechnology over current funding, raising it to $497 million spread across a number of R&D agencies. While some Members of Congress have indicated support for a federal initiative, that's a far cry from providing the full amount requested by the Administration. /fyi/2000/fyi00.046.htm

DEFENSE S&T FUNDING: The Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee received testimony, on behalf of the Coalition for National Security Research (of which AIP is a member), urging $8.4 billion in FY 2001 for the Defense Department's Basic Research, Applied Research, and Advanced Technology Development accounts. President Clinton has requested only $7.5 billion - less than current funding - for FY 2001. /fyi/2000/fyi00.048.htm

EDUCATION LEGISLATION: While authorizing legislation to reform Department of Education programs has been stalled in the Senate, appropriators in both the House and Senate are beginning work on their Labor-HHS-Education spending bills for FY 2001. Without guidance from authorizers, it is unclear what will happen to funding for science and math professional development. /fyi/2000/fyi00.050.htm

NATIONAL MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM: The Congressional Budget Office has released a document that estimates higher costs for the national missile defense program than does the Administration, and warns of significant risks from a rapidly accelerated program. /fyi/2000/fyi00.053.htm. The APS Council issued a statement warning that tests scheduled before the expected decision on deployment will "fall far short" of proving the system's technological feasibility. /fyi/2000/fyi00.052.htm

STATE DEPARTMENT S&T REPORT: The State Department has released a report acknowledging its need for greater S&T expertise and pledging steps to achieve it, including appointment of a Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary and greater attention to scientific knowledge in recruitment and training. /fyi/2000/fyi00.054.htm

DRESSELHAUS, GORDON NOMINATIONS: Nominee for Director of DOE's Office of Science, former APS President Mildred Dresselhaus, and National Nuclear Security Agency Administrator nominee General John Gordon were both received enthusiastically by Senate committees. /fyi/2000/fyi00.055.htm, /fyi/2000/fyi00.056.htm. Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) has praised Gordon but warned of problems he will face. /fyi/2000/fyi00.047.htm

FIRST NUMBERS FOR NSF, NASA: For the aggregate of all the programs under the jurisdiction of the VA/HUD appropriations subcommittees, appropriators were allocated less funding than necessary to maintain the current levels of service. However, the House VA/HUD subcommittee has now drafted its legislation, and has come up with a 4.3% increase over current funding for NSF, while keeping the NASA budget relatively flat. The Administration had requested a 17.3% increase for NSF and a 3.2% increase for NASA. /fyi/2000/fyi00.049.htm, /fyi/2000/fyi00.051.htm, /fyi/2000/fyi00.057.htm