WASHINGTON – Ranking Republican Ralph Hall (R-TX) today issued the following statement regarding the Administration’s fiscal year (FY) 2008 budget proposal:

“It should be no surprise that we are operating in a very tight budget environment.  Given these circumstances, I am pleased with a budget proposal that first and foremost will reduce the National Deficit, but will also increase American competitiveness through more funding for research and development (R&D).  The research agencies highlighted in the American Competitiveness Initiative would get a significant boost under the President’s FY08 proposal, equivalent to a 7.1 percent increase.  I am particularly pleased with the increased funding for R&D at the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

“As for NASA, the overall budget would increase by 3.1 percent.  As promised, the President has prioritized funding for NASA, which speaks volumes for his dedication to funding American competitiveness and keeping our nation at the cutting edge of human space flight and exploration.”

“The past few years of economic growth were due in large part to pro-growth policies, and if we remain faithful to those principles, we have an opportunity to continue to grow our economy and to sustain those programs that are vital to helping keep our Nation competitive.  Our space program is at a crossroads.  We need to focus our energies on transitioning from the Space Shuttle to the new Crew Exploration Vehicle so that we can maintain America’s prominence in space.  Energy research and development also needs our full support as our Nation strives to become more energy independent.  We need to invest in technologies to use existing domestic resources more cleanly and efficiently, and we need to invest in next generation technologies for the future.”