|For Immediate Release||June 15, 2000|
This year, President Clinton and Vice President Gore have proposed a $2.9 billion increase for the "Twenty-First Century Research Fund" -- including a $1 billion increase in biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health and double the largest dollar increase for the National Science Foundation in its 50 year history. Although Congress has supported large increases for the National Institutes of Health, Republicans have made cuts in many of President Clinton's proposed research initiatives in other areas - such as information technology, nanotechnology, clean energy, and fundamental research in the physical sciences and engineering.
WHAT'S AT STAKE?
American prosperity in the 21st century: Information technology alone accounts for 1/3 of U.S. economic growth, and is generating jobs that pay 85 percent more than the average private sector wage. Technologies developed with government research dollars (the Internet, the first easy-to-use Web browser, ultra-fast optical networks) are now driving the U.S. economy. Despite this, House Republicans have proposed cutting funds for the Administration's information technology initiative in agencies such as the National Science Foundation, DARPA, Energy and NASA. These cuts could undermine America's position as the leader in the high-tech industries of the 21st century -- and could slow down the rates of innovation, growth and productivity
American workers for American jobs: Many high-tech CEOs are reporting that the inability to find enough skilled workers is their number one constraint on growth. Congress is currently considering legislation to allow in more skilled immigrants. At the same time, by cutting funding for university research at NSF and other agencies, Republicans are reducing support for American graduate students desperately needed by high-tech companies.
Longer, healthier lives for all Americans: Biomedical research is dependent on breakthroughs in other fields, such as advances in supercomputers needed to develop life-saving drugs more rapidly, physics for MRI and other medical imaging technologies, and nanotechnology that could detect cancerous tumors when they are only a few cells in size. Republican cuts in the physical sciences and engineering will prevent breakthroughs that could lead to longer, healthier lives for all Americans.
Cleaner energy for a cleaner environment: Research can help America create cleaner sources of energy and energy-efficient technologies, such as fuel cells that emit only water, cars that get 80 miles per gallon, and bioenergy derived from cash crops. Republican cuts to the Department of Energy research budgets would slow down these efforts, hampering Administration efforts to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
CUTTING IMPORTANT INVESTMENTS IN AMERICA'S ECONOMIC FUTURE
Republicans have proposed deep cuts to the President's R&D initiatives:
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