On August 5, President Clinton signed both the spending and the tax elements of the budget reconcilliation deal in a bipartisan White House ceremony. The dual reconcilliation bills are intended to bring the federal budget into balance by 2002, while providing a net tax cut of $95 billion over the same five-year period.
TAX BILL: As reported in FYI #85, there are several provisions in the House-passed tax bill of interest to the research community. Most observers following these provisions see House Ways and Means Chairman Bill Archer (R), who represents a district in Houston, Texas, as a key figure in the upcoming House-Senate conference. Congress wants to settle this bill before the end of the month when it leaves on its summer recess.
In a thirty-minute speech to the graduates of Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD, on May 18, President Clinton described "four guideposts, rooted in our traditional principles of ethics and morals, that must guide us if we are to master the powerful forces of change in the new century." He also stated, "in science, if the last 50 years were the age of physics, the next 50 years will be the age of biology." Most of his remarks are below, with the exception of his opening remarks of a commencement nature, and three edits as noted.
Physics, Materials Research, Astronomical Sciences This and subsequent issues of FYI will provide further details on FY 1998 budget requests of direct interest to the physics community. This FYI includes subactivitities of the National Science Foundation's Mathematical and Physical Sciences Activity. Quotations are from NSF's FY 1998 budget request to Congress.
"The FY 1998 Budget Request for the Physics Subactivity is $148.22 million, an increase of $9.50 million, or 6.8%, over the FY 1997 Current Plan of $138.72 million."
Replacing Newt Gingrich (R-GA) as Speaker in the 106th Congress will be Rep. Bob Livingston (R-LA). The former Appropriations Committee Chairman will be starting his 11th full term representing Louisiana's first district, less than a year after he considered retiring from Congress. Although Livingston was a Gingrich loyalist, dissatisfaction with the election results - in which the Republicans lost five House seats - caused him to challenge the incumbent Speaker.
As the House Republican leadership turns over for the 106th Congress, members do not expect great changes in the running of the Appropriations Committee. As Rep. Bob Livingston (R-LA) ascends to the Speakership of the House, his position as chair of the Appropriations Committee will be filled by Rep. C. W. "Bill" Young (R-FL). Young is an experienced legislator, having spent almost 30 years representing Florida's 10th district in the House. First elected in 1970, he ran unopposed for his 15th term in November's elections.
On the occasion of the launch of Senator John Glenn's (D-Ohio) space shuttle flight on October 29, President Clinton spoke to CNN interviewer Walter Cronkite about America's space program. Clinton's remarks drew immediate criticism from a Member of the House Science Committee.