"Ed-Flex" bills, which would give states and local school districts more flexibility in the use of federal education funds, were passed by both the House and Senate on March 11. The House bill (H.R. 800) passed by vote of 330-90, the Senate bill (S. 280) passed by a 98-1 vote. Under both pieces of legislation, the Department of Education could grant any state the authority to waive some of the requirements that come along with federal education dollars.
Perhaps the best recent indication of the Clinton Administration's position on science and technology is Vice President Gore's January 24 speech to the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Gore touched on several important issues, as well as describing the Administration's upcoming budget request on information technology and the extension of the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit. Selections of the Vice President's address follow:
In President Clinton's 80-minute State of the Union address to Congress last night, he did not emphasize science and technology issues to the degree he did last year. There were several passages of note -- quoted below from his speech as delivered. Further White House background information is included as it relates to issues covered by FYI.
"[A]ll of us want to get a budget done as quickly as possible, [and] get the appropriations process done. We're making very good progress on coming up with the size of the ultimate budget. And once that's decided, we pledged to work together to get the appropriations bills moving as quickly as possible. That would be a welcome relief from the old budget battles of the past."
The Keynote Address at last week's AAAS Colloquium on Science and Technology Policy was delivered by Lawrence B. Lindsey, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy. Lindsey opened his speech by declaring:
President Bush sent his FY 2002 budget request to Congress yesterday. During the next two weeks, FYI will provide detailed information on physics-related programs. Below are the percentage changes in total funding for selected programs between this year and the President's FY 2002 request. Please note that program content can change between years. No adjustment has been made for inflation, which is likely to be similar to the Consumer Price Index for 2000, which was 3.4%.
At a March 29 press conference, President George Bush was asked about his position on the control of CO2. He replied:
". . . circumstances have changed since the campaign. We're now in an energy crisis. And that's why I decided to not have mandatory caps on CO2, because in order to meet those caps, our nation would have had to have had a lot of natural gas immediately flow into the system, which is impossible. We don't have the infrastructure able to move natural gas.
There has been much speculation in Washington about the approach that President George Bush will take to science and technology. A meeting yesterday at the White House with 150 high technology executives provided the President with the opportunity to name one of the co-chairmen of the President's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology (PCAST), and to discuss S&T, the FY 2002 budget, education, and the R&D tax credit.
The following is the text of President George Bush's letter to four Republican senators regarding the control of carbon dioxide. In this letter, Bush states that "I do not believe...that the government should impose on power plants mandatory emissions reductions for carbon dioxide." Rather, the president wrote, "we will be able to develop technologies, market incentives, and other creative ways to address global climate change."
Reaction to President Bush's FY 2002 budget has centered on tax reduction. There has been less discussion about his spending proposals, since they are not complete, and because Congress has until the start of the new fiscal year on October 1 to act on them.