Washington – Three House Democrats who serve on both the Budget
Committee and the Science Committee expressed disappointment at the low
level of funding for science agencies in the Fiscal Year 2002 Budget
Resolution Conference Report. The Conference Report was adopted today in
the House by a vote of 221-207.

“I am deeply troubled that the Republican budget significantly
lowers funding for scientific research at the National Science Foundation,
the Department of Energy, and NASA,” said Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA). “As the
newest member of the Science Committee, I was proud to honor the
contributions of the NSF on the House Floor yesterday. It is unfortunate
that our Republican colleagues have chosen not to honor the NSF in a much
more meaningful way – by funding their scientific research adequately.”
“I continue to be concerned about the decreases in the budget for
the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy,” said Rep. Jim
Matheson (D-UT). “I was pleased to join my colleagues yesterday in
recognizing the contributions of the NSF over the last 50 years. The NSF
has been the backbone of basic research in the country and the impetus for
much of the innovation and discovery driving our national economy. We
should continue to support the NSF at a level providing for on-going

“If we do not invest in science education now, there will be fewer
scientists trained in the future to produce the innovations necessary to
drive our economy” said Rep Joseph Hoeffel (D-PA). “By cutting funding for
the NSF, NASA, and DOE the Republican budget stifles future technology
advancements necessary to keep the United States as the world leader in
science and technology.”

Budget Function 250, which includes the National Science Foundation,
all National Aeronautics and Space Administration programs except air
transportation programs, and the Department of Energy’s fundamental science
programs, is the principal category in the Federal budget funding civilian
research and development (R&D). The Conference Report includes $21.58
billion for Function 250 in FY 2002 – $620 million below the House-passed
level of $22.2 billion and a staggering $1.22 billion below the
Senate-passed level of $22.80 billion. Normally, a final conference
agreement is a compromise between the House and Senate positions. However,
in this instance, the conferees agreed to cut funding for these critical R&D
activities significantly below the levels previously approved in both the
House and Senate.

For the ten fiscal years 2002-2011, the Agreement provides $236
billion for Function 250, $11 billion less than the House level of $247
billion and $4 billion less than the Senate level of $240 billion. Over the
five-year period from 2002-2006, the Conference Agreement provides $112.2
billion for Function 250, $200 million less than the President’s requested
level of $112.4 billion.