WASHINGTON, D.C – House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) today released the following statement in response to the Administration’s proposed fiscal year 2003 budget:

“I have to greet the proposed fiscal year 2003 R&D budget with mixed emotions. On the one hand, non-defense research spending is being treated better than other domestic discretionary programs. Even excluding the substantial increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), non-defense research spending is slated to grow at a rate 1 percent higher than discretionary spending as a whole, which is also about 1 percent above inflation. I applaud the Administration for highlighting some priority programs, such as the $80 million Climate Change initiatives; for evaluating programs to ensure their productivity; and for recognizing the National Science Foundation as a model of effectiveness and good management.”

“All that said, however, research spending (excepting NIH) would remain anemic under this budget. The current concerns about defense and homeland security should make us more aware than ever that we need to make long-range investments now to fend off problems later. To take one obvious example, we must invest more in cybersecurity research, as the House will acknowledge later this week when it passes our bill, H.R. 3394. Yet this budget places too many eggs in one basket, “homeland security,” and then defines that basket narrowly to include only those programs that yield immediate benefits. I want to work with the Administration to re-examine the wisdom of that approach.”