The House of
Representatives today passed a bill 397-25 that would authorize the
first three years of a five-year doubling of the budget of the
National Science Foundation.  Democratic Members supported the
bill by a margin of 201-3.

H.R. 4664, the "Investing in
America’s Future Act", has its origins in legislation introduced
14 months ago by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX).  That bill,
H.R. 1472, authorized the first four years of a five-year doubling of
the NSF budget and was co-sponsored by 16 Democratic Members of the
Science Committee.  Many of the provisions in H.R. 1472 are
contained in the bill that passed the Science Committee in May and
the House today.

Rep. Johnson said, " I am
pleased that the we were successful in convincing the Republicans to
see the wisdom of supporting a major increase in the NSF
budget.  Science supporters from across the political spectrum
have advocated substantially more resources for our nation’s premier
science agency.  Today’s bill is a good start on a plan to
dramatically increase the budget."

Rep. Ralph M. Hall (TX), Ranking
Democratic Member of the Science Committee, said, "House passage
of a five-year doubling year for NSF is a win-win situation – a win
for federal support of science and a win for the Republicans and
Democrats in the House who were able to come together and find a
common solution.  I compliment Chairman Boehlert who worked with
us to come to an agreement on a bill that all of us can
enthusiastically support."

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) said,
"By increasing the amount of money available for grants, the
National Science Foundation will be able to greatly enhance
opportunities for scientific inquiry and will generate invaluable
progress in a wide range of fields.  The resulting discoveries
will help drive economic growth and enhance the quality of life for
all Americans."

Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) said,
"Investment in research and development is one of the single
largest contributing factors to the nation’s past, present and future
economic growth.  The federal government must play an integral
role in the longer-term, basic research that leads to fundamental
innovations.  Over the last few years, other priorities have
overshadowed this goal, and as a result long-term research is
threatened at a time when it is most critical.  It is essential
that we invest in basic research to ensure that the productivity
gains generated by improved computing performance continue.  HR
4664 is an important step toward restoring balance to our scientific

Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA) said,
"The NSF Authorization Act not only sets the NSF on the path to
double its funding over the next five years, but it also provides $30
million for the NSF to award grants to minority-serving institutions
to enhance the quality of undergraduate science, mathematics, and
engineering education.  These institutions serve a unique
purpose.  They educate and train underserved, and often
overlooked, segments of our population."

"Every single one of the jobs
the Department of Labor lists in the top ten ‘fastest growing
occupations’ between now and 2010 requires specialized knowledge in
the fields of math and science.  The NSF authorization bill will
provide adequate resources for technology, math, and science programs
that will directly contribute to students’ success in those
fields," said Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA). 

Rep. Jerry Costello (D-IL) added,
"The important research conducted at the National Science
Foundation leads to advances that strengthen our national security
and our economy.  This bill will provide the resources necessary
to fulfill this mission."

Rep. Mark Udall (D-CO) commented
that, "As a cosponsor of H.R. 4664, I support this important
bill that will put the NSF on track to double its budget in five
years. We all recognize that investing in basic research is critical
for a strong economy, global competitiveness, and national security.
I’m proud that the largest NSF grant in the field of atomic,
molecular, optical and plasma physics was awarded last year to JILA,
the joint institute of the University of Colorado and NIST. On
average, NSF annually awards grants totaling $250 million to more
than fifty institutions in Colorado, including the University of
Colorado and the University Consortium for Atmospheric Research in

Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-NC) said,
" NSF funds cutting-edge research in science and technology and
supports research and education programs that are crucial to
technological advances in the private sector and for training the
next generation of scientists and engineers.  I am pleased with
the accomplishments that NSF has made in its research and education
initiatives and I strongly support the doubling of the NSF’s budget.
As the former Superintendent of Schools in my state of North
Carolina, I have worked for many years to improve science and
mathematics education in our schools. Appropriate investments in the
NSF are critical to enable students to compete in today’s
knowledge-based economy.