FY 2001 is the eighth year in a row that the President and Vice President have proposed increased investments in civilian research and development.
The President and Vice President called for a $2.8 billion increase in the “Twenty-First Century Research Fund” in their FY2001 budget, including a $1 billion increase in biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health and double the largest dollar increase for the National Science Foundation in its 50 year history.
These investments will ensure that science and technology will continue to fuel economic growth and allow Americans to lead healthier and more productive lives.They will also ensure that America's preeminence in all scientific and engineering disciplines is sustained by increasing funding for university-based research.Such new investments will enable researchers to tackle important scientific and technological challenges that will lead to the next generation of cutting edge research and discoveries.
Unfortunately, Congressional action to date leaves a $1.8 billion deficit to this historic request. Although our window of opportunity is small, there is still time to ensure that these important investments in our future are enacted into law. Only by working on a bipartisan basis on behalf of all scientific disciplines can we overcome these cuts and usher in a new trajectory of funding for science and technology.
·Both the House and Senate cuts will seriously hamper critical programs that are core features of the President's Information Technology R&D and Nanotechnology Initiatives.
·The House cut solar and renewable research by $106 million (23%) relative to requested levels, which is nearly $12 million below the FY 2000 appropriation.The Senate bill would restore $54 million of the House cuts.
·Elimination of primary Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles funding in the House ($135 million) could jeopardize the partnership.The Senate bill would restore most of the request.
·The House would cut $30.0 million in Basic Energy Sciences and Biological and Environmental Research for increased operating time and instrumentation at the Department's synchrotron light and neutron sources.DOE operates these facilities for the use of the entire research community, including researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, universities, and private industry.
·The House would cut $187 million (28%), and the Senate would cut $70 million (11%) from the President's request for DOE's energy efficiency programs.The important breakthroughs in energy efficiency technologies and practices that these programs support will help make America more energy independent, enhance reliability, and save money for businesses and consumers.Examples of important programs that are threatened by these cuts include efforts to increase the energy efficiency of vehicles and home weatherization assistance to help reduce energy bills for low-income households.
·The House has provided only $12.5 million, and the Senate only $6 million of the $52 million request for the International Clean Energy Initiative.
·The House effectively zeros out the new $120 million Initiative for Future Agriculture and Food Systems competitive grants program.
National Science Foundation(No Senate action yet – notes below reflect only House activities.)
·The NSF investments in science, engineering, and education were cut by $526 million (12%). This reduction would seriously undermine priority investments in cutting-edge research and eliminate funding for almost 18,000 researchers and science and mathematics educators – slowing innovation and reducing the number of well-trained students needed by the Nation's high tech industries.
·The reduction would seriously undermine priority investments in Information Technology, Nanotechnology, and Biocomplexity.External advisory committees have emphasized the vital importance of sustained and adequate Federal investments for long-term, fundamental research in these key areas.By failing to provide the Administration's request in these priority areas, Congress would severely undercut support for the basic research that serves as the foundation for breakthroughs in health care, environmental protection, energy, food production, communications, and a host of technology dependent industries.
·Funding was eliminated for Earthscope ($17 million) and the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) ($16 million), programs that would enable better understanding and prediction of earthquakes and threats to sensitive ecological regions.
·The elimination of requested funding for a second terascale computer ($45 million) significantly hampers the burgeoning demand from researchers for high-speed computer applications.
NASA(No Senate action yet – notes below reflect only House activities.)
·The $290 million budget for Space Launch Initiative was eliminated, threatening a program which would lower the cost of future space launch vehicles while significantly increasing safety and reliability.This cut also terminates two experimental launch vehicles, the X-34 and X-37.
·Funding was eliminated for the “Living with a Star” initiative ($20 million), a program for enhancing our understanding of the sun and its impact on the Earth.
·$55 million was eliminated for research in reducing air traffic congestion.
Department of Defense
·The House and Senate approved a bill that cuts $50 million from the request for projects critical to the Extensible Information Systems and Computing Systems and Communications Technology programs, while providing hundreds of millions of dollars in unrequested funds for other programs in Research, Development, Test and Evaluation.
Environmental Protection Agency(No Senate action yet – notes below reflect only House activities.)
·The House's rejection of the request for an additional $124 million at EPA for the Climate Change Technology Initiative damages programs designed to mitigate climate change, improve energy efficiency, and reduce dependence on foreign oil.
The following table provides details on the current status of the 21st Century Research Fund.
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