Hall Praises the President’s Continued Emphasis on R&D to Promote American Competitiveness

WASHINGTON – The House Committee on Science and Technology today heard from Dr. John Marburger, III, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, on the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2008 (FY08) budget proposal for Federal research and development (R&D) funding. 

Ranking Member Ralph Hall said of the proposal, “I am pleased to see that the FY2008 Budget Request continues to build upon many elements of the President’s American Competitiveness Initiative, particularly with regard to substantially increasing the funding for physical sciences and engineering at the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Office of Science at the Department of Energy.”  

“The returns that we receive from our investments in these agencies far exceed the costs.   Whether it is fighting the war on terror abroad or at home, ending our dependence on foreign oil, or inspiring our children to enter high-tech fields so that the United States can continue to push the frontiers of innovation, these agencies have critical roles to play.” 

Marburger described the President’s budget request as a great success for R&D, especially given the framework of an extremely tight budget environment.  “This year, President Bush presents a Federal Budget that will balance in five years,” Marburger said.  “The President proposes to do this by continuing strong pro-growth economic policies and by holding non-security discretionary spending below inflation. This strategy inevitably requires establishing priorities and allocating resources to achieve the greatest impact.”

He continued, “Winning the war on terror, securing the homeland and strengthening the economy remain the President’s top priorities, and this year’s budget once again emphasizes investments in America’s future competitiveness through research and development. The President is proposing a record $142.7 billion 2008 Federal R&D Budget, an increase of $5.5 billion over the 2007 Budget. And while the overall 2008 non-defense discretionary budget grows by on 0.65 percent relative to the 2007 levels in the current continuing resolution, non-defense R&D is increased by 4.26 percent, or almost seven times faster.

Marburger concluded that “The President’s commitment to the government’s R&D enterprise is strong, and the advancement of science remains among his top budget priorities.”