And They’re Off . . .

January 25th, 2006

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr.

Interesting times are ahead for science policy discussions for a lot of reasons. This story from The Hill mentions the bills that we referenced a few days ago:

A bipartisan group of senators will introduce an ambitious trifecta of bills today aiming billions of dollars in new spending at the nation’s sliding science and technology sector. The bills, collectively called Protecting America’s Competitive Edge (PACE), sprang from a request made by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) to the independently funded National Academies: What specific actions could Congress take to ensure continued U.S. competitiveness? When the National Academies came back with 20 recommendations and a report on how to implement them, the senators took notice, as did President Bush, who is reportedly considering making science and technology innovation a major theme of his State of the Union address. Alongside Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Alexander and Bingaman are sponsoring three versions of PACE: one for energy, one for education and one for tax policy. The bills would set up a new transformational-energy agency within the Energy Department, create science and math scholarships for 25,000 students and boost research spending at seven federal agencies. The bills are estimated to cost upwards of $9 billion, a price tag that could prove anathema to a congressional leadership already wary of the bloated federal deficit. But the PACE bills have the solid support of the GOP-leaning business community.

The brief article is here.

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