Brown Lauds Sensenbrenner Budget, Calls for Stronger National Investment
Today, the Science Committee submitted its budget recommendations ("Views and Estimates") to the House Budget Committee. Supported by a majority of both Democrats and Republicans on the Committee, this plan called for a 3% increase in the civilian science programs under the Committee's jurisdiction.
George E. Brown, Jr., ranking Democrat on the Science Committee, stated, "I want to congratulate Chairman Sensenbrenner on the Committee's budget recommendation. I was happy to see that he went beyond the President's minuscule 1% increase for civilian science programs, and for that reason I signed on to his plan.
"However," Brown continued, "even 3% is too small an increase. Research and development programs do not simply support jobs and institutions today, they also create the basis for future economic growth. Investing in these programs is literally an investment in our nation's future. If we let R&D programs continue to shrink as a proportion of the overall economy - and 3% a year would see that happen - we will not be able to assure an adequate continuing supply of creative ideas and new knowledge."
Brown added, "For this reason, I am advocating a 5% annual growth rate in civilian R&D programs. That level of growth would keep federal R&D at a constant level relative to growth in Gross Domestic Product. I have submitted my own budget proposal to the Congressional Budget Office for scoring. I fully expect that they will find my budget balances in 2002 while providing adequate growth for R&D and strong support for capital infrastructure and education programs."