Bipartisan House Support for…Limiting Scientific Research
Monday, May 17, 2010
Republicans and Democrats in the House united last week, voting 292-126 to freeze government spending on scientific research, even though such expenditures can help lead to innovations and economic opportunities for tomorrow’s economy.
The bipartisan effort came together after Republicans successfully tacked an anti-spending amendment to another provision outlawing the viewing of pornography in federal workplaces. Some Democrats felt compelled to support the porn ban, despite the fact it meant also killing funding increases for the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Department of Energy research programs.
Democrats also in effect shortchanged the initiative they spearheaded in 2007 when they adopted the America COMPETES Act (COMPETES = Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education and Science). That legislation was up for renewal, but instead of reauthorizing it for five years and raising budgets for scientific exploration, they voted to freeze spending for three years.
The legislation also eliminated funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (arpa-e), which promotes technologies that increase energy efficiency, decrease emissions, or increase domestic production of energy.
Political Economy: Porn or Ph.D.s (by John Cranford, CQ Politics)
House Nixes More Research Spending in COMPETES Bill (by Jeffrey Mervis, Science Insider)
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