“The federal government plays an important role in promoting scientific research”

Washington, D.C. – House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) today issued the following joint statement expressing their intention to work together following this morning’s House Science Committee legislative mark-up reauthorizing agencies under the America COMPETES Act:

“We share the goal of reauthorizing the agencies under the America COMPETES Act this year. It was first signed into law by President Bush in 2007. The conversation about reauthorization of federal science and technology R&D agencies must include an honest assessment of how scarce federal dollars can have the greatest impact. As chairmen of the House and Senate committees charged with keeping federal research relevant and impactful, we look forward to working with our colleagues to maximize valuable research which, without federal support, might not happen.

“The United States, through the private sector and the federal government, is by far the largest investor in scientific research in the world, comprising 30 percent of global research and development. There is bipartisan agreement that the federal government plays an important role in promoting scientific research, especially in the basic research that is foundational to discovery. Our committees and the full Congress have an opportunity to ensure that the nation’s research priorities advance scientific discoveries that fuel our innovation economy and are vital to continued U.S. economic security and competitiveness. We look forward to engaging with our colleagues, our constituents, and key stakeholders as this important effort moves ahead.”

The COMPETES Acts of 2007 and 2010 served as the authorizing vehicle for the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Science, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).