Chemists urge swift passage of Commerce Justice State Appropriations bill

October 19, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 18, 2007 -- American Chemical Society President Catherine T. Hunt, Ph.D., applauded the Senate's passage on Tuesday of the Fiscal Year 2008 Commerce Justice State (FY08 CJS) Appropriations bill and urged Congressional leaders to maintain their momentum in bringing a final bill to President Bush's desk.

"As Congressional leaders bring this important spending bill to conference, we commend their foresight in committing to renew our nation's focus on research and development in the physical sciences and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education," Hunt said. "We call on Congress and the President to work together to guarantee the vital programs funded by this legislation."

The Senate bill would make critical investments in scientific research and technology to improve America's competitiveness. The bill has followed the recommendations of the National Academy's Rising Above the Gathering Storm report, making significant investments in our science agencies that will pay dividends for our future. The related House bill, passed on July 26, would fund research and science education at $28 billion, an increase of $2 billion over the previous fiscal year and $1 billion above the President's request for research and STEM education as part of the Innovation Agenda to keep America competitive in the global market.

Of particular note, the Senate legislation would provide significant increases to two accounts at the National Science Foundation: $5.2 billion for the research budget; and $851 million for education, a full $54 million above the President's request. Additionally, the Senate's bill proposes to increase funding for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) by $192 million above the President's request. These investments underscore the continuing emphasis Congress has placed on competitiveness and scientific innovation following broad, bipartisan passage of the America COMPETES Act earlier this year. On a less positive note, the Senate voted to lower the commitment to NIST's Advanced Technology Program, which would receive nearly $31 million less than was authorized by Congress earlier this year.

"The American Chemical Society appreciates the efforts congressional appropriators have made in the FY08 CJS bill to fund this groundbreaking innovation and competitiveness agenda. We hope that the spirit of bipartisanship that defined America COMPETES will carry over into the conference negotiations," Hunt added. "We urge swift passage of the final CJS bill by Congress and approval by the President; commitments were made in the COMPETES Act and we look forward to this investment in our Nation's future."
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The American Chemical Society -- the world's largest scientific society -- is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

American Chemical Society

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