WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House today
affirmed Congress’ support for investment in federal R&D by
approving the fiscal year 2002 VA-HUD Appropriations bill by a vote
of 401-18.  The bill includes sound increases for several
agencies under the Science Committee’s jurisdiction.

Under the bill, the National
Science Foundation will be funded at its highest level ever, $4.8
billion.  The 8.2 percent increase is $363 million over last
year’s budget and includes funding for several important education
initiatives including National Math and Science Education
Partnerships and the Noyce Scholarship Program championed
byScience Committee
Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY)
and passed by the Science
Committee earlier this year. 

The legislation also increases
NASA’s funding by $508 million over last year, including an 11
percent increase in Science, Aeronautics and Technology. 
Additionally, the bill will hold NASA accountable for managing the
International Space Station within the existing budget.

The Environmental Protection Agency
also fared well, especially the Science and Technology account, which
received nearly a $60 million increase.

"I am very pleased that the
Congress overwhelmingly approved this bill," stated Chairman
Boehlert.  "This is a clear signal that this Congress
understands the importance of federal R&D and is prepared to
invest in it.  Moreover, instead of just talking about the
problems in science and math education and the declining high-tech
workforce, we are doing something about them.  I believe that
the education partnerships and Noyce Scholarship Program funded in
this bill will pay dividends for years to come.  The bill also
strikes an important balance by strengthening NASA’s science programs
while making it clear that Congress is not going to bail out the
agency for its management failures.

"This is a significant first
step, but more can still be done.  I look forward to continuing
the fight to ensure that America’s research and development effort
remains second to none.  Chairman Walsh and Ranking Member
Mollohan should be commended for their hard work and leadership on
this bill."

Science Committee Ranking Member
Ralph M. Hall (D-TX)
added, "Basic research discoveries
launch new industries that bring returns to the economy far exceeding
the original public investment, so I am very pleased with the eight
percent funding growth for NSF.  The increase will enable the
Foundation to expand its investments in
exciting, cutting-edge research initiatives like information
technology and nanoscale science and engineering. 
Ideally, I would have preferred a
continuation of the five-year doubling track that the Committee
adopted for NSF last year.  But I understand the constraints
Chairman Walsh and Ranking Member Mollohan faced, and I believe they
did a wonderful job under the circumstances."

The Senate is expected to pass the
measure by the end of the week clearing it for Presidential