NSF & Congress
Summary: House Science Committee on President's budget request
for research and development
February 13, 2002
On February 13, the House Science Committee held a hearing to examine
the President's budget request for research and development.
Testifying at the hearing were: Dr. Jack Marburger, Director of the
Office of Science and Technology Policy; Dr. Rita Colwell, Director of
the National Science Foundation; Dr. Samuel Bodman, Deputy Secretary
of the Department of Commerce; and Dr. Bruce Carnes, Chief Financial
Officer of the Department of Energy.
In his opening statement Chairman Boehlert noted that the R&D priorities
in the President's budget request for research and Development were biomedical
research and homeland security. But he questioned whether these priorities
provide an appropriate balance, particularly for the long-term basic
research supported at NSF, emphasizing that the NIH budget is now larger
than the rest of the civil science agencies put together, and that the
FY 03 increase for NIH is larger than the entire NSF research budget.
Other members, concurring with the Chairman's support for the NIH increase,
also questioned whether growth in health research was coming at the expense
of non-biomedical investments.
Dr. Marburger stated that the Administration's priorities - national
security, homeland security, and economic growth - were reflected in
the budget request, and are the appropriatae priorities at this time.
Overall, R&D is up by 8 percent in the budget and important cross-cutting
areas such and nanoscale science and engineering were increasing at an
even faster rate.
Dr. Colwell outlined the NSF priorities, including the President's Math
and Science Partnership program, increases in graduate fellowship stipends,
information technology research, mathematical and statistical sciences,
nanoscale science and engineering, biocomplexity in the environment,
and a new priority area of social, behavioral, and economic sciences.
Committee members praised NSF's programs generally and most questions
from the committee reflected member's concerns over the imbalance between
health research and other research programs and how the budget would
affect research important to their state and local economies.