April 4th, 2000
On behalf of President Clinton and Vice President Gore, I'd like to welcome you all here as we kick-off the Fifth Annual, Science, Engineering and Technology Congressional Visits Day. Joining me today are three very distinguished leaders of this Administration's S&T programs:
· T.J. Glauthier, Deputy Secretary at the Department of Energy
We are pleased to have the opportunity each year to brief this gathering on the Administration's S&T priorities. The support you provide through your annual visits to Members of Congress is invaluable in communicating the importance of Federal support for research and technology partnerships to the American people and their representatives in Congress. And with your assistance, we have produced a track record of bipartisan support for vital investments in science and technology.
Despite this progress, we are concerned this year to find ourselves -- yet again -- confronted with Congressional budget resolutions that threaten our ability to adequately fund the S&T investments needed to carry our nation into the 21st century. The Budget Committee Chairmen have established spending priorities and budget ceilings that could translate into severe cuts for many of the programs in our national R&D portfolio. If allowed to proceed unchecked, the resulting imbalances could slow our progress toward our national goals of promoting long-term economic growth that creates high-wage jobs; sustaining a healthy, educated citizenry; enhancing national security and global stability; and improving environmental quality. Clearly, as President Clinton recently stated, a budget that shortchanges critical national priorities, like R&D, is not the best path for our nation. So your visits over the next few days are more critical than ever to ensuring that we do choose the best path.
We believe the best path to follow is the FY2001 budget that President Clinton and Vice President Gore have proposed that builds on our record of fiscal discipline to pay off the debt by 2013, and that also proposes substantial investments in key priorities like science and technology, through a $2.9 billion Science and Technology Initiative. The Initiative continues the important R&D trends established by the President and Vice President:
· For the eighth consecutive year, the President has proposed increased investments in civilian research and development. Civilian R&D is up 43% since the beginning of the Administration.
· With this initiative, the 21st Century Research fund grows by 7% in FY 2001. It boosts funding for basic research by $1.3 billion. Funding for basic research is up 52% since 1993.
· R&D support to universities increases 8% -- an increase of $2.1 billion.
· And perhaps most importantly, this budget presents a balanced R&D portfolio, which recognizes the importance of the interdependence of science.
The Initiative begins to restore balance between health care research and other scientific disciplines. It substantially increases the university-based research that will ensure a strong S&T workforce in the 21st century, help close the opportunity gap and provide economic opportunity for all Americans. It also maintains the U.S. position as the world leader in science and technology.
Within the balanced R&D portfolio, two very important interagency initiatives are highlighted. First, a bold new initiative known as the National Nanotechnology Initiative will provide a $225 million increase in the emerging fields of nanoscience and nanoengineering nearly doubling the current federal investment. Roughly 70% of this new funding will go to university-based research. The second interagency initiative highlighted in the President's budget will build on our national investments in fundamental research in information technology with a $600 million increase. We will continue to support the basic goals established in the FY 2000 Information Technology for the Twenty-First Century initiative. Both initiatives support long-term fundamental research that are essential to meeting the challenges of the future.
Now that the economy is strong and the budget is balanced, we have an historic opportunity to put our R&D portfolio on an optimum investment trajectory that will continue to deliver strong returns far into the future. With an unprecedented $3 billion increase, the President's budget plots a bold course of strategic growth and prosperity through discovery. We are committed to generating bipartisan support to get the President's R&D budget enacted. We hope that you, our science and technology partners, will join us in winning that support.
I'd like to turn now to my colleagues, who will discuss in greater detail how the proposed budget will affect their programs.
President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore