WASHINGTON – House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) issued the following statement today regarding the Administration’s proposed fiscal year 2006 budget:

“As everyone knows, this is a very tight budget, with an overall cut to non-defense domestic discretionary spending.  Given that context, the science programs fared relatively well.  I was especially pleased to see the significant increase proposed for the laboratories at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. 

“That said, I would certainly like to see more robust increases in the science budget, particularly for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy Office of Science.  And I am especially troubled by the proposed cuts in the education programs at NSF.  The Committee will be reviewing the overall civilian R&D budget in some depth at our February 16 hearing. 

“As for NASA, the budget appears to be reasonable and balanced overall.  But we must review the details of the budget and also think carefully about how NASA should fare relative to other science agencies.  Concerning the Hubble Space Telescope, I am still thinking through the testimony we received last week.  As I said then, I would love to save the Hubble, but the decision needs to be made in the context of the overall NASA budget.  We will be able to pose questions to NASA about the Hubble at our Feb. 17 hearing.  Congress will have to make a decision about Hubble very soon – probably no later than the end of March – if a servicing mission of any kind is to have a realistic chance of moving forward.”