Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank Mr. Foster for his leadership on this important issue.
Section 106 exemplifies the majority's efforts to impose their own personal beliefs and ideologies on the process of scientific discovery. Colleagues, science is not about belief; it is about discovery and the pursuit of questions about both the natural world and the human world.
We should hold NSF accountable, and NSF should hold its grantees accountable. However, accountability should be measured according to the transparency and integrity of the grant review process, not according to what types of science some of us believe in and some don't.
Had we imposed the section 106 requirement on NSF earlier, they may have never funded the grant that led to billions in revenue from the spectrum auction. They may never have funded the grant that the DOD now uses to help train our soldiers on the front lines to differentiate between friend and foe. They may never have funded the grant that led to the creation of Google.
Chairman Smith has been investigating NSF grants he doesn't like since he became chairman of this committee. The entire purpose of section 106 is to give him a bigger club to continue his unfounded investigations in the future.
This is bad for NSF, and it is worse for the U.S. leadership in science and innovation. I urge my colleagues to think long and hard about the consequences of imposing our own political views and review on the NSF's gold-standard scientific merit review process, and I urge the support of Mr. Foster's amendment.
I reserve the balance of my time.
Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I appreciate that this amendment makes a few small improvements to the bill, so I will not oppose it. However, I want to take a moment to reflect on how this amendment demonstrates how flawed the process on the majority's bill has been.
In this amendment, the chairman restores an arbitrary 11 percent cut to the EPSCoR program, in addition to the prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, scientific instrumentation for smaller institutions that cannot afford their own, and interdisciplinary research centers.
Even our colleagues on Appropriations prioritized full funding for this account at NSF while they made steep cuts to other accounts.
It just happens that EPSCoR States overall are represented by many more Republicans than Democrats; so, when the Science Committee Republicans proposed cutting funding for the EPSCoR program by 11 percent, their caucus took notice.
If only the chairman had actually given the stakeholder community, his colleagues, and the research and development agencies an opportunity for a hearing or to see and respond or work in subcommittee on it and respond to this bill before introducing it, we wouldn't have had to fix all of these very big mistakes today.
I am glad the chairman is now restoring the cut to EPSCoR and the other important programs in that account. I only wish he would have listened to an overwhelming call by the stakeholder community and even some of his own colleagues to restore the other arbitrary and shortsighted cuts in this bill.
I yield back the balance of my time.