NSF & Congress
National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 1997
(Senate - May 12, 1998)
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there
will now be 10 minutes of debate equally divided on
S. 1046, which the clerk will report.
The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:
A bill (S. 1046) to authorize appropriations for fiscal
years 1998 and 1999 for the National Science Foundation,
and for other purposes.
The Senate proceeded to consider the bill.
Mr. JEFFORDS addressed the Chair.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Vermont.
AMENDMENT NO. 2386
(PURPOSE: TO AUTHORIZE APPROPRIATIONS
FOR FISCAL YEARS 1998, 1999, AND 2000 FOR THE NATIONAL
SCIENCE FOUNDATION, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES)
Mr. JEFFORDS. I understand there is a substitute amendment
at the desk. I ask for its immediate consideration.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:
The Senator from Vermont (Mr. Jeffords),
for Mr. McCain, Mr. Hollings,
Mr. Jeffords, Mr. Kennedy,
Mr. Frist, Mr. Rockefeller,
and Ms. Collins, proposes an amendment
Mr. JEFFORDS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent
that reading of the amendment be dispensed with.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so
(The text of the amendment is printed in today's Record
under 'Amendments Submitted.')
Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I rise
to offer an amendment to the S.1046, the National
Science Foundation Authorization Act of 1998. This
amendment authorizes the National Science Foundation
for a period of three fiscal years, 1998, 1999 and
I am very pleased to see that this amendment represents
a bi-partisan effort by both the Commerce and the
Labor Committees. These two Committees share jurisdiction
of the National Science Foundation. I would also like
to thank the co-sponsors of this amendment, Senators
Kennedy, Frist and
Rockefeller, for their support of
The National Science Foundation (NSF) plays a critical
role in the development of much of this country's
science and technology infrastructure. Its efforts
cover a variety of issues such as education--from
the kindergarten to the post-doctorate levels--research
and development, and Internet development.
Given that half of the new economic growth in the economy
is due to technological advancements, the role of
the National Science Foundation in basic research
is an important one. Many companies in the private
sector have indicated that they cannot afford to conduct
the long term basic research required for many of
these technological advances. They have come to rely
upon the basic research of the National Science Foundation
and other government agencies as the basis for many
of their commercial products. For it is through the
commercialization process of these research results
that the government and the American public benefits.
From this process, new industries are started, jobs
are created, and many new products are generated to
improve our quality of life of all people.
Because of the research at the National Science Foundation,
we have the Internet today. The growth of the Internet
and the role it is playing in electronic commerce
today is far beyond anyone's expectations when the
project was started. We look forward to the National
Science Foundation's involvement in the Next Generation
In a time when we are hearing of the terrible performance
of America's students in math and science education,
it is important that we do our jobs as members of
the Senate and authorize agencies' such as the National
Science Foundation to ensure that the federal government
is doing its share to improve upon the lives of all
Americans through education and other related research
I urge the other members of the Senate to support this
amendment and the final passage of the bill. Again,
I would like to thank the co-sponsors of this amendment
for their support and hard work.
Mr. JEFFORDS. Mr. President, I know of no objection
to the amendment. I urge its adoption.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the amendment
is agreed to.
The amendment (No. 2386) was agreed to.
Mr. JEFFORDS. Mr. President, it is a great pleasure
to come before you today to seek Senate approval of
S. 1046, the National Science Foundation Authorization
Act of 1998. I introduced this legislation, along
with my colleagues Senators Kennedy,
Frist, and Collins,
on July 22, 1997. The bill was reported unanimously
by the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources
on October 15, 1997. This bipartisan proposal will
be further enhanced by the manager's package I am
bringing to the floor on behalf of my colleagues Senators
Rockefeller, and Collins.
This package reflects similar bipartisan cooperation,
builds upon the foundation contained within S. 1046
and contains improvements proposed by both Committees.
This legislation will make an important investment
in our nation's scientific and technological future.
S. 1046, as amended, will authorize more than $9 billion
for research and development activities, and $2 billion
for math and science education activities over the
next 3 years. The bill will support more than 19,000
projects at 2,000 colleges, universities, primary,
elementary, and secondary schools across the Nation.
This authorization bill also recognizes that the future
of science in this country will be determined by our
basic educational policy. Two billion dollars is authorized
over the next 3 years for K through 12 math and science
systematic reform, undergraduate science education
activities, graduate education, and efforts to advance
the public understanding of science. These efforts
will continue to contribute to improvements in the
education we offer to our children and maintain a
strong cadre of scientific leaders needed to remain
competitive well into the next century.
S. 1046 provides a strong bipartisan response to the
research and science education challenges facing the
The strong bipartisan support which NSF enjoys is a
reflection of its historic contribution to both our
national security and our economic competitiveness.
The prominent role of science in the American war
effort during World War II left us with a new appreciation
of the importance of research in establishing and
preserving economic and military security. Federally
funded research led to the development of radar, sonar,
blood plasma, sulfanilamide, penicillin and the atomic
bomb. In 1944, President Roosevelt charged Vannevar
Bush, his chief science adviser, with evaluating the
most effective way to harness this technological infrastructure
in peacetime. The Bush report--Science--The Endless
Frontier--established a strategy and rationale for
Federal support of basic research. The report argued,
and argued correctly, that `a nation which depends
upon others for its new basic scientific knowledge
will be slow in its industrial progress and weak in
its competitive position in world trade regardless
of its mechanical skill.' This report provided the
blueprint for creation of the National Science Foundation.
NSF was established in 1950 to `develop and encourage
the pursuit of a national policy for the promotion
of basic research and education in the sciences.'
Following the 1957 Soviet launch of the Sputnik satellite,
this mission was expanded to provide greater support
for science education and literacy. Over the next
three decades, NSF became the primary Federal sponsor
of basic research in mathematics, physical sciences,
computer science, engineering and environmental science
at colleges and universities. Equally important to
the future of our Nation, NSF became a catalyst for
the reform of math and science education.
The manager's amendment which we are bringing to the
floor authorizes more than $11 billion for research
and development activities at NSF over the next three
years--$3.5 billion in fiscal year 1998, $3.7 billion
in fiscal year 1999, and nearly $3.9 billion in fiscal
year 2000. This Federal funding will be very well
invested. Although the National Science Foundation's
budget accounts for only 4 percent of Federal research
and development funding, NSF provides 25 percent of
Federal support to academic institutions for research.
NSF grants support more than 19,000 research and education
projects at 2,000 colleges, universities, primary,
elementary, and secondary schools, businesses, and
other research institutions. Competition for these
grants is fierce. NSF funds only about one-third of
the 30,000 proposals it reviews annually and the grants
that survive this review process represent the finest
proposals that the research community can put forward.
The importance of this investment in basic research
cannot be exaggerated. Over the past decade, private
sector investment in research and development has
eclipsed Federal investment in public science. However,
the Federal investment in basic science is a major
contributor to industrial innovation in the United
States. A recent review of American industrial patent
applications revealed that the Government or nonprofit
foundations supported 75 percent of the main papers
cited as the foundation for new industrial innovation.
A few of NSF's contributions illustrate the importance
of our investment in basic research and development:
The Internet--Over the past decade, NSF has transformed
the Internet from a tool used by a handful of researchers
at the Department of Defense to the backbone of this
Nation's university research infrastructure. Today
the Internet is on the verge of becoming the Nation's
Nanotechnology and `Thin Film'--50 years ago scientists
developed the transistor and ushered in the information
revolution. Today 3 million transistors can fit on
a chip no larger than the first fingernail-sized individual
transistor. NSF's investments in nanotechnology and
`thin films' are expected to generate a further 1,000-fold
reduction in size for semiconductor devices with eventual
cost-savings of a similar magnitude.
Genetics--A great deal of attention is paid to the
effort conducted by the NIH to map the Human Genome.
What is often overlooked; however, is the critical
role played by NSF in supporting the basic research
that leads to the breakthroughs for which NIH justly
receives so much credit. Research supported by NSF
was key to the development of the polymerase chain
reaction and a great deal of the technology used for
Magnetic Resonance Imaging--MRI technology is widely
utilized to diagnose a wide array of illnesses. The
development of this technology was made possible by
combining information gained through the study of
the spin characteristics of basic matter, research
in mathematics, and high flux magnets. The Next Generation
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imager, currently under
construction, will allow for the identification of
the 3-dimensional structures of the 100,000 proteins
whose genes are being sequenced by the HGP.
Buckeyballs--One of the most exciting recent discoveries
in the world of material science was the discovery
of carbon-60. Although this occurs in nature, its
(which won the researchers a Nobel prize) was the product
of work by astronomers. This in turn led to the discovery
of the nanotube which has been found to be 100 times
stronger than steel and a fraction of the weight.
Nanotubes may produce cars that weigh no more than
CD Players--CD players rely on data compression algorithms
that were developed using an NSF grant. These algorithms
were first used in the transmission of satellite data
and now provide the foundation for new developments
in data storage.
Jet Printers--The mathematical equations that describe
the behavior of fluid under pressure provided the
foundation for developing the ink jet printer.
Plant Genome--Research into the genome of a flower
plant with no previous commercial value, led to the
discovery of ways to increase crop yields, the production
of plants with seeds having lower polyunsaturated
fats and to the development of crops that produce
a biodegradable plastic.
Artificial Retina--Researchers at North Carolina State
University have designed a computer chip that may
pave the way for creation of an artificial retina.
Problems with bio-compatibility have been solved by
researchers at Stanford who developed a synthetic
cell membrane that adheres to both living cells and
Cam Corders--Virtually all camcorders and electronic
devices using electronic imaging sensors are based
on charge-coupled devices. These devices, sensitive
to a single photon of light, were developed and transformed
by astronomers interested in maximizing their capacity
for light gathering.
I could go on at length about the many technological
advances that we enjoy today that are attributable
to basic research supported by NSF. These advances
would not be possible, however, if we as a nation
did not continue to train and support a cadre of the
world's most talented researchers. S. 1046 recognizes
the importance of maintaining an investment in human
resources and authorizes more than $2 billion for
the education and human resources directorate over
the next three years. This directorate has primary
responsibility for NSF's education and training activities.
In contrast with the programs of the Department of
Education, NSF science and math education programs
are experiments which link learning and discovery.
Proposals are selected by outside peer review panels
on the basis of their potential to provide long-lasting
and broad impact. NSF has made notable contributions
in the areas of curriculum and instructional material
development, professional development, and improved
the participation in science research and science
education of women, minorities, and individuals with
disabilities. The legislation before you strengthens
and enhances these efforts.
The Education and Human Resources Directorate also
provides funding for the Experimental Program to Stimulate
Competitive Research. As noted in the Committee report,
this program plays an important role in ensuring that
small states, like Vermont, build the capacity to
more fully participate in NSF's research programs.
The program has been particularly successful in developing
infrastructure in those states where a limited research
base has made the attraction and retention of young
faculty, equipment purchases, network connections,
human resource development, research project development,
and technology transfer difficult. Such infrastructure
building remains a crucial part of guaranteeing that
the participating states are competitive and must
The Foundation has initiated a new co-funding effort
which is designed to integrate the research community
in the EPSCoR states more completely into the larger
research community. As research funding for NSF increases
in general, I expect that the matching requirements
for cofunding will not result in the displacement
of non-EPSCoR NSF funding which institutions would
otherwise receive. I look forward to working closely
with the Foundation to ensure continued growth in
the co-funding initiative without reducing the amount
available for standard grants.
And finally, I want to proudly note the partnership
that has been forged between the National Science
Foundation and the State of Vermont. NSF currently
supports over 74 projects in the Green Mountain State.
Grants have been provided to the Barre Town Elementary
School, Middlebury College, Mountshire Museum of Science,
Woodbury College, Cabot School, Charlestown Elementary
School, St. Michael's College, Johnson
State College, Trinity College, and the University
of Vermont. In 1992, the Vermont Institute for Science,
Math and Technology received a five-year award of
$7.9 million to establish a collaborative statewide
education reform effort linking business, higher education,
government, and community sectors. This year, as a
result of the success of this collaboration, NSF has
elected to extend the award for an additional five
years. In addition, Trinity College was this year
awarded $1.2 million to improve the instruction of
math and science in our primary, secondary, and elementary
This legislation builds upon partnerships like that
forged with the State of Vermont. It provides a strong
bipartisan response to the research and science education
challenges facing our Nation. I also want to note
that it reflects the hard work of staff for both Committees.
I particularly want to express my appreciation for
the work of Scott Giles of my staff, Danielle Ripich,
Marianna Pierce and Jonathan Halpern of Senator Kennedy's
staff, Floyd DesChamps of Senator McCain's
staff and Lila Helms of Senator Hollings'
staff and I urge all my colleagues to support this
I urge all of my colleagues to support this package.
Mr. KENNEDY addressed the Chair.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts.
Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I strongly support passage
of the National Science Foundation Authorization Act.
It is a privilege to join Senator Jeffords,
Senator McCain, and Senator
Hollings in sponsoring this bipartisan
legislation, which looks to the future by strengthening
our national commitment to research and development.
It also ensures the continued success of the teacher
training and professional development programs of
the NSF. In addition, it will improve science and
math education from kindergarten to graduate school,
and help maintain America's competitive edge into
the 21st century.
Few federal agencies deliver as much `bang for the
buck' as the National Science Foundation. It is now
funding 20,000 peer-reviewed science and education
projects at more than 2,000 colleges, universities,
schools, businesses and research facilities in all
parts of the United States.
Last year, these projects involved 27,000 senior scientists,
21,000 graduate students, 28,000 undergraduates, 110,000
precollege teachers, and 14,000 students from kindergarten
through the twelfth grade. Almost 15 million people
are affected by NSF activities through museums, television
programs, videos, journals, and outreach activities.
NSF accounts for 4 percent of total federal research
and development funding. But it provides 25 percent
of basic research support at academic institutions.
It provides as much as half of all federal funding
for research in fields such as mathematics, computer
science, environmental science, and the social sciences.
NSF also plays an important role in training teachers
and developing math and science curricula to prepare
students for tomorrow's challenges. It promotes innovative
education programs in partnerships with colleges,
universities, elementary and secondary schools, science
museums, and state and local governments. These programs
encourage the discovery of new knowledge and its application
to real-world problems.
NSF support for basic research and science education
has also had an important role in encouraging economic growth over
the last fifty years. According to a recent study,
each dollar that the federal government spends on
basic research contributes 50 cents or more to the
national output each year. In other words, investing
in NSF pays for itself in two years. These benefits
are spread throughout the economy, enhancing the productivity
of the nation's workforce and improving the quality
of life for all Americans.
At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for example,
NSF funds have enabled scientists to explore the commercial
applications of their research. Technology developed
at MIT had a role in the launching of 13 companies
in 1995. They manufacture products ranging from computer
chips to communication networks. These enterprises
have bolstered the state and local economies, and
provided jobs and opportunities for many citizens.
In fact, a 1997 report by BankBoston found that research
and development at MIT has created 125,000 jobs in
In our state, NSF is funding a wide range of other
projects on the cutting edge of research. NSF grants
have been instrumental in building the state's biotechnology
industry, mapping the oceans at the Woods Hole Oceanographic
Institute, developing new superconductors at the Material
Research Science and Education Center at Harvard,
and creating cooperative partnerships with schools,
parents, businesses, and community organizations to
strengthen math and science education.
Nationwide, NSF grants cover a broad range of projects
from providing health care to fighting crime to protecting
the environment. Specific grants are improving the
treatment of arrhythmia, facilitating more accurate
identification of crime suspects, developing new biotechnology
techniques to cleanup hazardous waste sites, enhancing
the speed of semiconductors in processing information,
and even analyzing the Antarctic meteorite to determine
whether life existed on Mars.
NSF funds benefit the humanities as well. The Next
Generation Internet Project will give researchers
access to information from the world's libraries and
museums at rates that are 100 to 1,000 times faster
than today's Internet.
This authorization Act will put research and development
on a more secure footing over the next two years.
It will increase NSF funding by 10 percent in FY1999
and 3 percent in FY2000, which are consistent with
the levels recommended in President Clinton's FY1999
budget. The increased funding will provide larger
award amounts, so that scientists can undertake longer-range
The legislation also strengthens efforts to improve
science, mathematics, engineering, and technology
training for teachers and students. In addition, it
authorizes the Office of Science and Technology Policy
in the White House to prepare a report analyzing indirect
costs, which play a vital but little understood role
in federal R&D spending.
The National Science Foundation is doing an outstanding
job in fulfilling its missions. Passage of this bill
will strengthen America's leadership in science and
technology, and I urge all of my colleagues to support
this important legislation.
I congratulate our chairman for bringing us to this
point in the legislative process.
Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I would
like to engage Senator Lott, Senate
Majority Leader, and Senator Jeffords, Chairman
of the Labor and Human Resources Committee, in a colloquy
on certain programs within the National Science Foundation.
Mr. LOTT. I would be pleased to join Senator McCain
and Senator Jeffords in
a colloquy on this subject.
Mr. McCAIN. As Chairman of the Commerce
Committee, I have noted with great pleasure the success
and impact on the NSF's program to establish outstanding
research and education centers at colleges and universities
in partnership with industry. These centers are making
great contributions to research, science, and technology
education, and the economic development and global
competitiveness of our nation.
Mr. JEFFORDS. As Chairman of the Labor Committee, I
too have been a strong supporter of the NSF's efforts
to strengthen research and education efforts at colleges
and universities across the nation. NSF provides support
to over 2000 colleges and universities and nearly
17,000 researchers nation-wide.
Mr. LOTT. A particular success is the Engineering Research
Centers Program which has stimulated focused university-industry
partnerships in research and education, and has served
as a catalyst for economic development within the
United States. Much success can be attributed to the
Foundation's leadership in ensuring each center establishes
a clear vision and conducts careful strategic planning
involving their industry partners. Among the impacts
of this program are: Next generation engineering systems
developed from new knowledge discoveries and new technological
developments; Technology transferred to hundreds of
companies and governmental agencies; Technical assistance
and training provided for industry and government;
Thousands of undergraduate and graduate students involved
in the research of the centers and exposed to next
generation systems research and development; and Outreach
to K-12 and to underrepresented groups.
NSF Science Technology Centers and other NSF university
centers have likewise cultivated strong university-industry
affiliations with centers focused on specific research
areas related to industry needs. For example, the
modern Internet browser was developed at the NSF National
Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University
of Illinois; a turbomachinery computational model
developed at the Engineering Research Center for Computational
Field Simulation at Mississippi State University is
now used by all jet engine manufacturers; the Center
for Molecular Biotechnology at the University of Washington
is developing tools for industry use to analyze and
interpret the information content of biological molecules
such as DA and proteins, to analyze and interpret
the information content to biological molecules; and
the Center for High Pressure Research at the State
University of New York at Stony Brook works with several
companies to develop new ways that industry can use
high-pressure technology to produce exotic materials,
such as industrial-grade diamonds. Hundreds of similar
contributions can be cited from these and other NSF-funded
I believe this program should be greatly expanded and
that the NSF should become even more active in ensuring
the development of long-term vision and strategic
planning of each center. Further, NSF should build
on successful centers and seek ways to sustain the
investment with continual support when appropriate.
Areas that show great potential for the future include:
computation engineering, biotechnology and bioengineering,
manufacturing, and industrial systems, electronics
and communications systems, materials processing including
polymers and composite materials, manufacturing systems,
remote sensing systems and technologies, and optical
systems as well as ship building, telecommunications
and super-computing supercomputer technology for university
Mr. McCAIN. I thank the distinguished
Majority Leader and the Labor Committee Chairman,
for their insights into these matters and how important
research and education is to the overall National
Mr. JEFFORDS. The distinguished Majority Leader should
be commended for his strong support for basic scientific
and engineering research and I look forward to working
with him to strengthen the engineering research centers
Mr. LOTT. I also would like to thank Senator McCain
and Senator Jeffords for
their leadership in these areas of science and technology.
SMALL BUSINESS INNOVATION RESEARCH
PROGRAM (Senate - May 12, 1998)
Mr. ENZI. I would like to raise an issue that has been
brought to my attention since the Labor Committee
reported this bill in October. It relates to the Small
Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program and I
want to highlight the fact that recent NSF decisions
may have a negative effect on this very successful
program. I have worked closely on small business issues
with my friend from Montana, Senator Conrad
Burns, who also serves on the Small
Business Committee with me. It is not my intention
to hold up this legislation by offering an amendment
at this time, but I want the Chairman, Senator Jeffords,
to know that it is a very important issue for me.
I would like to yield to Senator Burns
for a minute and ask him to describe the situation.
Mr. BURNS. On August 8, 1997, Ms. Linda G. Sundro,
Inspector General for the National Science Foundation
(NSF) recommended that NSF reduce their SBIR set-aside
by approximately $2.5 million by excluding certain
education and training costs, as well as program support
overhead costs from their total extramural R&D budget.
Although funded by the Congress as part of their overall
R&D budget, the Inspector General concluded that these
costs could be excluded because they do not fit the
statutory definition of R&D as set forth in the Small
Business Research and Development Enhancement Act
of 1992, (Public Law No. 102.564, 15 U.S.C. Part 638(e)(5)).
The Inspector General's recommendation does not take
into consideration the guidance provided by the Congress
in determining the calculation. The legislation requires
each agency `which has an extramural budget for research
or research and development' (15 U.S.C. Part 638(f)(1))
to set-aside a percentage for the SBIR program. The
legislation clearly defines extramural budget as `the
sum of the total obligations minus amounts obligated
for such activities by employees of the agency in
or through Government-owned, Government-operated facilities
* * *' (15 U.S.C. Part 638 (e)(1)). Under existing
law, the only exclusion from the calculation is for
funds dedicated to intramural R&D efforts.
In its April 17, 1998 report on the SBIR program, the
General Accounting Office identified the calculation
of the extramural budget as an issue for the SBIR
program. Their analysis found that each participating
agency was utilizing different methodologies in the
calculation. The GAO recommended that the SBA issue
guidance to the participating agencies to ensure consistency
across the program. The SBA agreed with this recommendation.
Accordingly, I believe the NSF Inspector General's
recommendation is inconsistent with the current law
and would ask that the Director of the National Science
Foundation hold the recommendation in abeyance until
such time as the SBA issues guidance to the participating
Mr. ENZI. Would the Senator yield for a question? This
is clearly a very important issue for members of the
Small Business Committee. Would the Senator agree
that NSF's coordination with SBA is critical to ensuring
a strong SBIR program?
Mr. BURNS. I believe the NSF and all agencies participating
in the SBIR program should coordinate with the SBA
in determining their extramural research budgets.
This is what the GAO recommend.
Mr. ENZI. I thank the Senator from Montana and I thank
you, Senator Jeffords, for considering
this important issue.
Mr. HOLLINGS. Mr. President, I rise today to encourage
my colleagues to support passage of S. 1046, the National
Science Foundation Authorization Act of 1998. University
research continues to be a great American success
story, and NSF can be proud of its role in helping
to create and sustain this great research enterprise.
We continue to ask much of NSF and our universities
because we know what this system has contributed to
the Nation in the past, and we know that greater contributions
await us in the future.
Mr. President, by themselves, universities cannot solve
our national problems such as technological competitiveness,
the environment, and social issues like crime, poverty,
and education. However, the research and trained young
people provided by our universities will continue
to play a major role in addressing these pressing
issues. S. 1046 authorizes the continuation of the
vital programs of NSF that support these efforts,
including EPSCoR which has helped strengthen science
and technology in many of our smaller states.
I would like to take a moment and thank Senator McCain,
Senator Kennedy, and Senator
Jeffords for their efforts in getting
this bill passed. The managers' amendment before the
Senate today reflects agreement by the Commerce Committee
and the Labor Committee on many issues relating to
NSF's programs and funding. The two committees worked
well together within the guidelines set forth in the
standing order of March 3, 1988. Because of this bipartisan
effort to address issues that are within the jurisdiction
of the two committees, this is a good bill, and I
encourage my colleagues to support its passage.
Mr. BURNS. Mr. President, I am pleased to support the
National Science Foundation (NSF) authorization bill,
which is before us today. Prior to this Congress,
when I became chairman of the Communications Subcommittee,
I served as chairman of the Subcommittee on Science,
Technology and Space, which has jurisdiction over
the authorizations for the NSF. I conducted several
hearings on NSF during that time. I am also a member
of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on VA-HUD
Independent Agencies, which funds the NSF. As a result,
I have had the opportunity to get to know this agency
and its program as well.
I will have to tell you that when I came to the U.S.
Senate, I did not expect to become a champion for
the National Science Foundation and for scientific
research, education and technology. But, I quickly
became a strong supporter.
I have seen what this agency can do, and its importance
to the people in our states. NSF is about seeking
new scientific knowledge and using that knowledge.
It is about helping the researchers and teachers in
our colleges and universities and helping them to
make certain that their students receive a good education,
with scientific, mathematical, engineering and technological
opportunities. It is about offering better training
and materials for our K-12 teachers. And, it is about
developing infrastructure, such as advanced telecommunication
and computing opportunities. Such infrastructure is
particularly important for rural states, such as Montana.
NSF has funded research which led to Montana State
University's Jack Horner's now famous work on dinosaurs.
It has helped us start new program in computational
biology. It has funded an Engineering Research Center,
which has undertaken cutting edge research in networking
connection and supported other networking and telecommunications
programs. There is interest in new research opportunities
on life in extreme environments, which could include
the Yellowstone area, and in the plant genome initiative.
I also want to say a few words about a program that
is of particular importance to my state--the Experimental
Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).
EPSCoR was created to assist states such as Montana
become more competitive in the federal R&D arena.
Unfortunately, federal R&D funds are highly concentrated
in a few universities in a few states. That is not
justifiable. Today's global economy requires that
all parts of our nation share in scientific and technology
development if we are to keep our entire nation and
its industries and workforce competitive. Today, we
know that scientific and technological problems and
issues in one area of the country are likely to affect
people in other areas. And, we know that we cannot
have a healthy national science and technology system
unless there is widespread support throughout our
country for it.
The EPSCoR program is the base for much of our rural
states' scientific and technological activities. It
helps Montana and 17 other states develop infrastructure.
It helps us develop new programs and take advantage
of special opportunities. It has recently been assisting
our states on participating more fully in other NSF
programs. And, it was instrumental in ensuring that
the EPSCoR states participate in the vBNS connections
program and the Next Generation Internet initiative.
I believe in the EPSCoR program, and would like to
see the program expanded in terms of financial assistance,
especially when NSF funding overall is increasing
and also since the co-founding, which is scheduled
to increase in this budget year, should be matched
by a similar increase in the base EPSCoR program.
I know that the report prepared last fall by the Senate
Labor and Human Resources Committee endorsed by EPSCoR
program, and we on the Senate Commerce, Science, and
Transportation Committee are equally supportive.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, S.
1046 is deemed read a third time, the Labor Committee
is discharged from further consideration of H.R. 1273
and the Senate will now proceed to its consideration.
Under the previous order, all after the enacting clause
is stricken, the text of S. 1046, as amended, is inserted
in lieu thereof, and the bill is deemed read a third
The bill (H.R. 1273), as amended, was deemed read a
Mr. JEFFORDS. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
There is a sufficient second.
The yeas and nays were ordered.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is, Shall the bill
pass? On this question, the yeas and nays have been
ordered, and the clerk will call the role.
The legislative clerk called the roll.
Mr. NICKLES. I announce that the Senator from Oklahoma
(Mr. Inhofe) is necessarily absent.
The result was announced--yeas 99, nays 0, as follows:
ROLLCALL VOTE NO. 27 Leg.
- Smith (NH)
- Smith (OR)
The bill (H.R. 1273), as amended, was passed.
Mr. JEFFORDS. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the
vote by which the bill was passed, and I move to lay
that motion on the table.
The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
Mrs. BOXER addressed the Chair.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from California.
Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent
that I may speak as in morning business for 3 minutes.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so