|5:47 PM EDT||
Lamar S. Smith, R-TX 21st
Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I oppose the gentlewoman's amendment.
As I mentioned in my opening remarks, I support a responsible and sustainable path forward for U.S. science, research, and development. We must prioritize the areas of basic research to ensure future U.S. economic competitiveness and spur private sector innovation.
This amendment ignores the caps set by the Budget Control Act, which the ranking member herself supported, and ignores the tough choices that must be made to protect the American taxpayer and future generations from more debt. It is irresponsible not to adhere to the Budget Control Act, which was signed into law by President Obama.
The Budget Control Act was a bipartisan agreement that 95 Democrats voted for, including the ranking member. Now, she wants to ignore that particular law. Although many Members would like to see the Budget Control Act replaced, it is the law of the land, and we should abide by it.
Of course, it is easy just to propose more spending, knowing it will sound good, even if it is irresponsible and against the law. In fiscal year 2016 alone, this amendment would increase spending by $600 million over the current level and the underlying bill. The amendment increases spending on later-stage research and technology, best done by the private sector.
Since last Congress, we have worked hard to reach an agreement with the minority on numerous policy issues, and we have accepted many of their provisions and ideas to make this bill stronger.
For example, we strengthened STEM provisions related to a new advisory panel and coordinating office. We also included language in support of NIST that passed the House floor on a bipartisan vote last year.
Also, in title III of the bill are three pieces of bipartisan legislation that passed the Science Committee by voice vote in March. Two of those three pieces of legislation were sponsored by Democrats.
I urge my colleagues to support a balanced approach of fiscal responsibility and targeted investments in priority science and basic research and vote ``no'' on the Democratic substitute. The Democratic substitute ignores the Budget Control Act and does not advance good science in America.
I reserve the balance of my time.