Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Nick Lampson Named Conferee to Lead Science, Academic, and Industry Legislation

You have to hand it to my congressman. He knows how to get on committees, and as a former science teacher and a committee member of the House Committee on Science and Technology, he is a good fit. That’s a good thing for us in Texas CD 22.

Based on two related bills recently passed in the House (HR 2272) and the Senate (S. 761) (Summary of S 761 here), COMPETES was enacted to promote science education in America and to put this country back in the lead in the fields of science and technology. While not yet signed by Bush, he would be a fool not to sign this bill as it 1) would make him look like a bigger idiot than he already looks and, 2) a veto in this case can be easily overridden. So this is going to happen.

The text of the press release appears below.


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today Congressman Nick Lampson (D-Stafford) was named as a conferee to the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Act ("COMPETES") conference committee. This legislative effort culminates work that began in the 109th Congress, and now is receiving a final push from the House Committee on Science and Technology, on which Congressman Lampson sits.

"I am honored to be a conferee on such important legislation that assists students, teachers, businesses, and hard-working Americans in so many academic and professional sectors," said Congressman Lampson. "This ground-breaking competitiveness and innovation initiative will greatly assist the southeast Texas economy, prepare our students for the future in the sciences, and continue to move our nation forward."

House and Senate conferees will meet in committee today to resolve differences between the America Competes Act (S. 761) and the 21st Century Competitiveness Act (H.R. 2272). The eventual conference report for the COMPETES Act will include several key pieces of legislation, including House-passed proposals authorizing a total of $23.6 billion over FY 2008 to 2010, including $21 billion for research and education programs at the National Science Foundation (NSF), $2.5 billion for the research labs, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and other activities at the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST), and $96 million for early career awards and teacher professional development programs at the Department of Energy (DOE). An additional $70 million is authorized for these programs at DOE for FY 2011 to 2012.

"Congress has neglected such key science-related funding for too long, and now our great nation stands in jeopardy of being surpassed by other countries in leading our global scientific efforts and innovation," added Congressman Lampson. "I will continue to work hard to ensure we fully fund these initiatives, as this is not a Republican or Democrat issue - this is about the future of American academics and industries, and a better and stronger economy for future generations."


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