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May 19th, 2010

Rug pulled from under America COMPETES science jobs bill – again!

Published on May 19th, 2010 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

As I wrote earlier this week, despite majority support, opponents of the spending in the America COMPETES science funding and jobs bill last Friday stopped the legislation from being voted on in the U.S. House of Representatives. Unfortunately, today the opponents again stopped the bill from being approved.

From the Associated Press:

It was strike two for a major science funding bill Wednesday as House Republicans again united to derail legislation they said was too expensive.

Going down to defeat was the COMPETES Act, which would have committed more than $40 billion over three years to boost funding for the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies involved in basic and applied science, provided loan guarantees to small businesses developing new technologies and promoted science and math education.

[. . . ]

The legislation presented Wednesday restored the programs the Republicans tried to kill but reduced to three years, rather than five, the life of the measure, thus cutting the original $85 billion price tag to about $47 billion. It also included the anti-pornography provision.

But Democrats made a losing gamble by bringing the bill up under a procedure that prevented Republicans from offering more amendments but requiring a two-thirds majority for passage. The vote was 261-148 for passage, short of the two-thirds needed. Every Democrat supported it, but only 15 of 163 voting Republicans backed it.

Just to remind readers, America COMPETES would also provide supplemental funding for NIST and ARPA-E.

If you think the bill is worthwhile, how about contacting your legislator?


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One Response to Rug pulled from under America COMPETES science jobs bill – again!

  1. Arvid Pasto says:

    If every Democrat, but very few Republicans, supported it, is it any wonder why it was (and thus should have been) defeated? Do you really think that there are Republicans who DO NOT have scientists and engineers in their districts, who would benefit from government funding? These Republicans will have to report to their constituents on why they didn’t vote FOR the bill. I look forward to hearing from my own Congressman about this. Why would EVERY Democrat vote for it, without any obvious questions? What motives are behind this type of thinking?

    We (the USA) really need to be reducing the amount of government spending, and basic research is one of those areas where we can certainly afford it. Specifically, NSF and DOE-OS are likely funders of research on anthropogenic global warming, which has lately been shown to be producing unsupportable science (reference ‘Climategate’).

    Forty-seven billion dollars over three years is about 15-16B$/yr, so for each of the 300,000,000 Americans, this amounts to an ADDITIONAL annual tax of about $50, or, per family of four, about $200. Couldn’t this amount be better spent by the people, of their own choosing, not dictated by the government to be given to research which they may or may not ever need?

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