Mr. HOLT. Mr. Chairman, this bill H.R. 2354 reduces the Department of Energy's Office of Science from about $43 million below this year's level. My amendment would restore that funding so that the Office of Science can sustain its current operations.
I know the subcommittee chair, my friend from New Jersey, and the ranking Democrat, my friend from Indiana, understand very well the importance of this office of the Department of Energy, and I know they've worked hard to fit their bill into the budget constraints; but I must ask them to join me in taking another look at this office.
Scientific research lies at the very heart of the national innovation system that keeps us competitive, that enhances our quality of life, that fuels our economy, and that improves our national security. The Office of Science is the Nation's primary sponsor of research in the physical sciences. Its funding helps maintain America's first-rate workforce of research scientists and engineers, who are working daily to address some of the greatest challenges and to push the boundaries of existing knowledge.
Thousands of graduate students and early career scientists at hundreds of U.S. institutions, the next generation of America's scientific talent, depend on the support of the Office of Science for their research and training. In addition, the office maintains excellent, unique user facilities that are relied on by more than 25,000 scientists from industry, academia and national laboratories to advance important research that creates jobs today and that could lead to entire industries tomorrow.
The success of the Office of Science clearly shows the quality and the importance of the work supported there: MRI machines, PET scanners, new composite materials for military hardware and civilian motor vehicles, the use of medical and industrial isotopes, biofuel technologies, DNA sequencing technologies, battery technology for electric vehicles, artificial retinas, safer nuclear reactor designs, three-dimensional models of pathogens for vaccine development, tools to manufacture nano materials,
better sensors--on and on.
The Office of Science has been the source of hundreds and hundreds of innovative technologies. Some have become the underpinnings of modern scientific disciplines and have revolutionized medicine and energy and military technology.
The America COMPETES Act--passed in a very bipartisan vote here in Congress in 2007 and signed into law by President George Bush--recognized that we have underfunded our basic research agencies for far too long, and it laid out a vision for doubling the funding at our research agencies, including the Office of Science. This law was reauthorized last year. The bill we are considering today woefully underfunds the office by this national goal.
Matching last year's funding level with an additional $42.7 million, as my amendment would do, is the least we can do. Many dozens of organizations, universities, and companies have joined to advocate strongly for maintaining the current level of work for the Office of Science. My amendment is fully offset by transferring funding from the nuclear weapons account, which receives an additional $195 million in the underlying bill before us today.
So let's get our priorities straight. Investments in our Federal science agencies and our national innovation infrastructure are not Big Government spending programs that we cannot afford; they are the minimum downpayments for our Nation's national security, public health, and economic vitality. All this talk down the street now about how we're going to grow, this is it. We cannot afford to postpone this research.
I urge my colleagues to vote for this amendment.
I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. I want to salute my colleague from New Jersey (Mr. Holt) for not only his career in science but, obviously, his focus as a Member of Congress on science and science research and so many areas.
In order to increase funding for science research, his amendment decreases funding for weapons activities. Our Nation's defense relies on a reliable and effective nuclear deterrent, and these capabilities cannot be allowed to deteriorate.
There is now a strong bipartisan consensus for the modernization of our nuclear stockpile. It is a critical national security priority and must be funded. With a reduction of nearly $500 million from the request, this bill has already made use of all available savings. Additional reductions would unacceptably impact our ability to support our Nation's nuclear security strategy.
Further, the amendment would use these reductions to increase funding for science research. I am a strong supporter of the science program, he knows that. It leads to the breakthroughs in innovations that will make our Nation's energy sector self-sufficient and keep America competitive as a world leader of cutting-edge science. This is why we worked so hard, the ranking and I, to sustain funding for this program. But within the realities of today's fiscal constraints, which we all know, we cannot
simply afford to add more funding to science research, especially when it means risking crucial national defense activities.
I strongly urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this amendment.
I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. SCHIFF. I rise to speak in favor of the Holt-Bishop amendment to support funding for the Department of Energy Office of Science. This is a vital investment in the Nation's future.
We have tough decisions to make about where to make cuts. And certainly there is a lot of opportunity to cut things that aren't effective that we can't afford to continue with, but we don't want to cut things that are integral to our future. And an investment in science, in research and technology, that is the future of this country.
We're not going to compete with the rest of the world on wages. We're not going to compete with the Third World on wages. We have to compete in the area of productivity. And we can't be the most productive nation on Earth unless we invest in science and technology.
I have a letter here from the Energy Sciences Coalition in support of Mr. Holt and Mr. Bishop's efforts that talk about the need for scientific research, world-class user facilities, teams of skilled scientists and engineers that are funded by the Department of Energy Office of Science at universities and national labs around the country. Economic experts have asserted as much, crediting past investments in science and technology for up to half the growth in GDP in the 50 years
following the end of World War II. At this time when we're being challenged by other nations for our leadership in science and technology, this is not the right time to disinvest from this vital research.
The amendment by Mr. Holt and Mr. Bishop is supported by countless associations of physics and chemistry, countless universities and institutions of higher learning--my own University of California campuses at Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz, but also around the country, from the University of Chicago to U.S.C. to the University of Tennessee and the University of Virginia, all over the Nation, not to mention
Princeton University. And why? Because these institutions of higher learning have been leading the way in path-breaking developments that have just boosted our economy and our understanding of energy and the world around us.
So this is a vital investment in the future, and I urge support for my colleagues' amendment.
ENERGY SCIENCES COALITION,
TASK FORCE ON AMERICAN INNOVATION,
May 6, 2011.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
TO MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: As members of the Energy Sciences Coalition and the Task Force on American Innovation, we write today to urge you to make robust and sustained funding for the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science a priority in the Fiscal Year 2012 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act.
We recognize the difficult challenges and choices you face as you work to reduce the federal budget deficit, get the economy growing again, and create jobs for the American people. However, to achieve these goals, Congress must make strategic decisions and set priorities when it comes to federal funding.
We believe that the scientific research, unique world-class user facilities, and teams of skilled scientists and engineers funded by the Department of Energy Office of Science at universities and national laboratories are critical to long-term economic growth and job creation. Economic experts have asserted as much, crediting past investments in science and technology for up to half the growth in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the 50 years following the end of World War II. Yet today, other
nations such as China, India, and Europe are increasingly investing in their scientific infrastructure and are challenging U.S. leadership in areas such as supercomputing and energy research with the goal of capitalizing on the many technological advances and economic benefits that result from scientific research.
That is why we urge you to support the request of Representative Judy Biggert (R-IL) and Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ) to the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee to make strong and sustained funding for the DOE Office of Science a priority in fiscal year 2012. They articulate how important the DOE Office of Science is to American industry and universities, how it is unique from and complementary to the research efforts of other federal research agencies, how it serves
to educate the next generation of scientists and engineers, and how research funded by the DOE Office of Science has made our nation more secure, healthy, competitive, and prosperous.
In light of current budget constraints, and with an eye toward creating jobs and strengthening the economy, we urge you to sign the Biggert-Holt letter and support making funding for the DOE Office of Science a priority in fiscal year 2012.
Alliance for Science & Technology Research in America (ASTRA); American Association for the Advancement of Science; American Chemical Society; American Institute of Physics; American Mathematical Society; American Physical Society; American Society of Agronomy; American Society for Engineering Education; American Society of Plant Biologists; Americans for Energy Leadership; Arizona State University; ASME; Association of American Universities; Association of Public and Land-grant Universities;
Battelle; Binghamton University, State University of New York; Biophysical Society; Business Roundtable; California Institute of Technology; Cornell University.
Council of Energy Research and Education Leaders; Council of Graduate Schools; Cray Inc.; Crop Science Society of America; Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB); Florida State University; General Atomics Corporation; Geological Society of America; Harvard University; Iowa State University; Jefferson Science Associates, LLC; Krell Institute; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Materials Research Society; Michigan State University; NC State University; Oak Ridge Associated
Universities; Ohio State University; Princeton University; Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International.
Semiconductor Research Corporation; Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM); Semiconductor Industry Association; Soil Science Society of America; South Dakota School of Mines and Technology; Southeastern Universities Research Association; SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics; Stanford University; Stony Brook University, State University of New York; Tech-X; University at Buffalo; University of California System; University of California Berkeley; University of
California Davis; University of California Irvine; UCLA.
University of California Merced; University of California Riverside; University of California San Diego; University of California San Francisco; University of California Santa Barbara; University of California Santa Cruz; University of Central Florida; University of Chicago; University of Cincinnati; University of Pittsburgh; University of Southern California; University of Tennessee; University of Texas at Austin; University of Virginia; University of Wisconsin-Madison; Vanderbilt University;
Washington University in St. Louis.
I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. VISCLOSKY. I rise in support of the gentlemen's amendment.
While I have stated many times in committee as well as on floor debate that I applaud the chairman's bringing funding into the science account almost to where we were in fiscal year 2011 and have described it as a not insignificant achievement, adding these $43 million to bring it into parity with current year spending is not asking too much and, as the previous speakers have indicated, is very important to making an economic investment in knowledge and jobs that we so desperately need in the
In the committee report we indicate that, relative to the Office of Science, understanding that harnessing a scientific and technological ingenuity has long been at the core of the Nation's prosperity. We talk about that national prosperity linkage to scientific research and curiosity. I also, relative to the concerns the chairman expressed about the weapons account, think that that important priority will not be adversely impacted by the shift of funding called for in the amendment.
I rise in strong support of the amendment.
I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. BISHOP of New York. The Holt-Bishop amendment would increase the Office of Science budget by $42.7 million, reducing the National Nuclear Security Administration's weapons activities program by the same amount, putting the Office of Science in line with the FY 2011-enacted levels, protecting jobs and supporting American innovation through scientific discovery.
The Office of Science is crucial to scientific innovation, which is a key component of American job creation and a cornerstone of our Nation's long-term strategy for economic growth.
How many times have we heard Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle come to this floor and espouse the benefits of innovation on job creation? How many times have we heard from both the current President and past Presidents talk about moving our Nation forward into the 21st century where technology and scientific advancement will fortify our Nation's economic growth?
The Office of Science within the Department of Energy, including our national laboratories, is one of the most powerful tools the Federal Government has at its disposal to promote scientific innovation, to support private industry advancements, to foster medical breakthroughs, and to gain a better understanding of the world around us.
I am proud to represent Brookhaven National Laboratory, a Department of Energy lab and one of the largest employers in my district. BNL is also ground zero for many of the scientific discoveries and innovations that have expanded our understanding of physics and nature, many of which have a direct link to developing new materials for industry, more effective drugs, and better fuels, the intellectual capital that private industry thrives upon.
Mr. Chairman, earlier this year, the Republican policies embodied within H.R. 1 would have slashed $1.1 billion from the Office of Science, choking off Federal investment in basic research that is key to our Nation's long-term competitiveness. These draconian cuts would have impacted each DOE national lab with a 30 percent cut to every science facility and program from the FY 2011 request level. The number of jobs that would have been eliminated as a result of H.R. 1 is estimated to be close
to 10,000 in the Office of Science. How can any reasonable person argue that laying off thousands of the most highly trained, highly skilled scientists the world has to offer moves this Nation forward?
The Holt-Bishop amendment would hold the Office of Science spending at FY 2011 levels. This is the minimum level of appropriation required for this Nation to remain at the cutting edge of scientific innovation, which is essential to our economic competitiveness which, in turn, is directly linked to what ought to be our number one priority in this Congress--job creation. I encourage my colleagues to support the Holt-Bishop amendment.
I will also be including in the Record a list of the 2010 Fortune 100 companies which delineates those companies relying upon Office of Science facilities to deliver their products.
I yield back the balance of my time.
The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Holt).
The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes appeared to have it.