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California Capitol Hill Bulletin



                           Volume 7, Bulletin 23 -- July 13, 2000    [or see pdf version]

CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE:

Senate Passes Export Control Review Amendment

Senate Subcommittee's Up Energy & Water Bill Cuts DOE's High Energy Physics and Fusion

Judiciary Subcommittee Examines Genome Patents

Supplemental Appropriations Sent to President; Attached to Military Construction Appropriations

Senate Includes Permanent R&D Credit in Estate Tax Bill

Ways And Means Votes for Normal Trade Relations With China

Senate Judiciary Committee Debates Online Music Downloads

Senate Completes Work on Defense Authorization Bill

Kaiser Finds Discrepancy in California Health Care Trends: Care Costs Less in California, But State Has Higher Rates of Uninsured

Senate Energy Hears Feinstein's Title Transfer Bill

Proposal Would Spend FHA Budget Surplus on Affordable Housing

House Agriculture Panel Discusses Impact of Methyl Bromide Ban; $218 Million in Lost Producer Revenue In California

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Approves Lake Tahoe Restoration

House Commerce Marks Up Formula Revision for AIDS Grants

Headwaters land: Superior Court Halts Logging

Science Advocates Press Case for Basic Research in Physical Sciences


To expand communications between Washington and California, the California Institute provides periodic faxed bulletins regarding current activity on Capitol Hill which directly impacts our state. Bulletins are published weekly during sessions of Congress, and occasionally during other periods. The e-mail edition is made possible in part by in kind donations from Sun Microsystems and IBM Corp.

Senate Passes Export Control Review Amendment

On Wednesday, July 12, the Senate included in the Defense Authorization bill (S. 2549) an amendment to shorten from 180 days to 60 days the period of time Congress has in which to act on the Administration's proposed changes to export controls on high performance computers. See, Bulletin Vol. 7, No. 17 (5/18/00). Under the 1998 National Defense Authorization Act, after the Administration increases the processing capability (measured in millions of theoretical operations per second or MTOPS) of computers that may be exported, Congress has 180 days to review the change and legislatively preempt it if it chooses. Information technology companies have long argued that the 180 day review process is too extensive, given the rapid pace of changes in the industry and global competition. See, Bulletin, Vol. 7, Nos. 12 (4/6/00) & 13 (4/13/00). The Senate vote was 86-11.

The House included a similar measure in its DOD Authorization bill, which it passed on May 17.

 

Senate Subcommittee's Up Energy & Water Bill Cuts DOE's High Energy Physics and Fusion

On Thursday, July 13, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development completed work on its FY 2001 spending bill. In its Department of Energy accounts, the bill reduces funding for high energy physics and fusion sciences programs.

The Senate panel funded fusion energy sciences at $227 million, well below the $250 million level of the year before, and even further below the House level of $255 million. (In addition, the Senate bill lacks the $25 million provide by the House under separate defense accounts for high average power lasers and related R&D.) California is a perennial winner of federal fusion dollars. In addition, the National Ignition Facility (NIF), which is under construction at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, was funded at $74 million, the same as the House and the President's budget. Experts have recommended a $300 million level for fusion sciences, though even this level would be 25% below the FY 1995 level.

The Senate Subcommittee also proposed a cut in high energy physics (HEP) programs. The panel proposes funding of $677 million for HEP programs, down $31 million from the FY 2000 level of $708 million, and below the House level of $715 million. In its proposed report, the panel nevertheless expresses its support of HEP programs and calls the reductions "a result of the severe budget constraints within which it must provide funding." The report specifically notes that funding for the Next Linear Collider (NLC) would be cut by $19.2 million; the NLC is a key component of future operations at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Experts will discuss the HEP situation with California delegation leaders on Friday, July 14.

An amendment offered by Senator Harry Reid (NV) would increase funding for solar and renewable research by $70 million with the offset coming from an across the board reduction in the rest of the bill's non-defense DOE accounts, including science and fusion programs.

According to sources, Subcommittee Chairman Pete Domenici (NM) stated during the markup that overall funding levels in the bill are excessively low for the non-defense programs and expressed hope that more dollars would come prior to conference with the House. Funding for DOE R&D is 10% below its 1990 level, in real dollar terms, while NSF funding has risen 60% and NIH funding nearly 80% over the same period. The full Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to consider the bill next Tuesday.

The Institute will examine other aspects of the Senate Energy and Water bill when it can obtain complete bill text and report language.

Judiciary Subcommittee Examines Genome Patents

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property held a hearing on Thursday, July 13 to examine the current status of patenting genes and other genomic inventions. Federal courts have previously ruled that human and other animal genes are eligible

for patent protection. The Patent Office is presently reviewing its standards for issuing such patents in order to provide greater certainty and clarity by requiring that such patents meet a standard of "useful, substantial and credible" discoveries. Some consumer rights advocates and others, however, argue that the public interest is not being served by awarding these patents because of the risk that accessibility to the discoveries made will be impeded.

The Subcommittee heard from several witnesses, including Q. Todd Dickinson, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (PTO), Dr. Randal W. Scott, President and Chief Scientific Officer, Incyte Genomics, and Dennis J. Henner, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Research, Genentech, Inc.

Secretary Dickinson explained the rigid requirements that must be met before a patent is issued for a gene or genomic invention and stressed that the PTO is vigilant in ensuring that the greater good is not unduly burdened by the issuance of patents. He also emphasized that rather than impede access, the patent system historically has proven to nurture development in such fields as telephony, aeronautics, and computers.

Dr. Scott defended the need to allow patents for genomics. He stated: "genomic inventions and gene patents are critical to the continued success of the genomics industry, providing incentives for private enterprise to make the necessary investments and, in contrast to trade secret laws, encouraging broad access to and use of gene-based inventions. Given the impact of genomic inventions on health care, the award of patents on these inventions is entirely consistent with the Constitution's goal of granting patents to enable 'progress in science and the useful arts.'"

Dr. Henner reiterated this position, stating that Genentech alone invests more than $400 million each year in the research and development of new therapeutic products. He argued that patents are crucially important to biotechnology companies like Genentech because they provide the means for recouping the significant investments made to discover and develop products and bring them to market. Moreover, he stated that patent protection does not mean a lack of therapeutic competition, noting several products, such as Genentech's cardiology drug tPA, that have competitors in their therapeutic class.

The testimony of all the witnesses may be obtained on the Subcommittee's website at: http://www.house.gov/judiciary .

 

Supplemental Appropriations Sent to President; Attached to Military Construction Appropriations

Before heading home for the Fourth of July recess, the House and Senate passed the conference report to the Military Construction Appropriations bill, after attaching a $11.2 billion FY00 supplemental package to the bill. H.R. 4425 also included $8.83 billion in FY01 funding for military construction and earmarks $4 billion for federal debt reduction.

The supplemental appropriations provides $6.4 billion for defense needs, including $2 billion for Kosovo peacekeeping efforts, and $1.6 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which provides subsidies to low income individuals, generally living in the Northeast, facing higher than normal heating costs.

Also included in the bill was funding for disaster assistance. Relief for the recent New Mexico fires was funded at $61 million, another $350 million was included for other wildfire needs, and $316 million was provided for disaster assistance for damages caused by Hurricanes Floyd, Dennis, George, and Mitch.

Before bringing the bill to the floor, the conference committee struck provisions in the bill that would have lifted the sanctions against selling food and medicine to Cuba, North Korea, Libya, Iran, and Sudan. Most agricultural interests object to these unilateral sanctions and argue they only hurt citizens, not governments.

The House passed the conference report, H.Rpt. 106-710 on Thursday, June 29 by a vote of 306-110. The Senate followed on Friday, June 30, passing the bill by unanimous consent.


Senate Includes Permanent R&D Credit in Estate Tax Bill

The Senate on Thursday, July 13 voted overwhelmingly (98-1) to make the research and experimentation (known as "R&D") tax credit permanent. The current five-year extension of the credit was enacted by Congress last year and is set to run out June 30, 2004. High technology companies, including information technology and biomedical companies, have long supported a permanent R&D credit to allow them the stability needed to rely on the credit in making business decisions.

The credit was included as an amendment to the estate tax bill, which would eliminate inheritance taxes. Whether the credit will survive further Senate action is unknown at this time. The House has not taken any action on the R&D credit this year.

 

Ways And Means Votes for Normal Trade Relations With China

On Thursday, July 13, by a unanimous voice vote, the House Ways and Means Committee adversely reported a resolution that would prohibit the President from extending normal trade relations (NTR) to China for another year. Because the Senate has not yet acted on permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with China, the Administration in June formally extended NTR for an additional year. The resolution before Ways and Means was introduced by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (Huntington Beach). The resolution is privileged and the House must vote on it within 60 days. No amendments can be offered. Floor consideration may come as early as next Tuesday.

In the meantime, the Senate seems closer to taking up PNTR for China before the beginning of the August recess. Negotiations have been bogged down on a bill that would impose sanctions on China if it is engaging in weapons proliferation. The bill's authors, Sen. Fred Thompson (TN) and Robert Torricelli (NJ), have insisted that the China-PNTR bill not go to the floor, unless their bill was also separately considered. Thompson and Torricelli are willing to change their bill in an effort to make it more palatable, but the Administration continues to strongly oppose it because it would hurt U.S.-China relations. Nevertheless, the Senate leadership appears closer to working a deal to bring the bill to the floor, and then consider China-PNTR before the end of July.

 

Senate Judiciary Committee Debates Online Music Downloads

On Tuesday, July 11, the Senate Judiciary Committee met to debate the extent to which music should be sold, shared, or duplicated over the Internet.

Through the Internet, companies like Emusic.com and MP3.com allow users to download music files for a price. Emusic.com enters into contracts with independent record labels and allows their sales to pay royalties. MP3.com describes itself as a "Music Service Provider" that, in addition to selling downloads, allows a customer to purchase a CD online and instantly listen to that CD, while waiting for it in the mail. A controversial program, Napster, provides an index of 20 million people who share music files at no cost. Because Napster is not technically a server, it sees itself as a provider of an index of files, which according to its terms of use, are not for commercial use. The last and most controversial medium today is Gnutella, a system in which each user can go directly into the hard drive of every other user's computer, eliminating the middleman or server, and retrieve a file almost instantaneously. Because there is no central server, Gnutella is untraceable to one person or company, and therefore raises questions of accountability.

Generally, those companies offering free downloads (Napster, Gnutella) argue that their method comes at zero marginal cost; saves environmental resources used in making CDs; increases portability of music, making listening and buying more convenient; and provides exposure of less well known artists to a large market. Napster argues that they are a sampling station for music, that encourages listeners to buy the CDs they sample, thereby increasing record sales. They also question why, despite an eight percent overall increase in record sales over the past year, prices of CDs have remained high. Lastly, they contend that the industry needs to adapt to this new technology, just as the entertainment industry adapted to VCRs, music industry to tapers, and the literary world to libraries; in essence, they are asking that the industry look outside of the traditional business model, and create a new one.

Those in favor of selling music downloads include some musicians, record labels and various employers of the music industry. They believe downloading at no cost is stealing from musicians, producers and other individuals that contribute to making CDs. Those at the hearing also expressed concern about what they see as a rebellion against capitalism.

At the hearing, several witnesses testified: Senator Dianne Feinstein; Lars Ulrich, Drummer and Co-Founder, Metallica; Roger McGuinn, Member and Co-Founder, The Byrds; Hank Barry, CEO, Napster (San Mateo); Michael Robertson, Chairman and CEO, MP3.com (San Diego); Fred Ehrlich, President, New Technology, Sony Music Entertainment; Gene Hoffman, Jr., Founder, CEO and President, Emusic.com (Redwood City); Gene Kan, Computer Software Developer, Gnutella (Belmont); and Jim Griffen Founder and CEO, Cherry Lane Digital & OneHouse LLC's (Los Angeles).

Lars Ulrich of Metallica, who has spearheaded a lawsuit against Napster, testified that companies like Napster are stealing from Metallica and argued that his "band authored the music which is Napster's lifeblood - a company with no rights in our recordings, which never invested a penny in Metallica's music or had anything to do with its creation. The choice has been taken away from us."

Hank Barry from Napster argued that the opposite is true: since Napster's inception in 1999, record sales have increased eight percent - attempting to draw a causal relationship between Napster's ability to increase interest in music and record sales. Gene Kan, a representative of Gnutella, testified that it is almost impossible to reign in technology and recommended appealing to the profit motives of pirates with incentives, rather than a legislative catch-up approach. Gene Hoffman, from Emusic.com believes that market forces and the courts will resolve this controversy and encourages all in the industry to sell music at reasonable prices (Emusic currently sells one song downloads for 99 cents).

Senator Feinstein also spoke at the hearing, and raised concerns about the anonymity of companies like Napster.

The House International Economic Policy and Trade Subcommittee of the House International Relations Committee is expected to take up the same issue on July 19.

For full testimonies, contact the Senate Judiciary Committee at (202)224-5225 or their web site: http://www.senate.gov/~judiciary .


Senate Completes Work on Defense Authorization Bill

By a 97 to 3 vote on Thursday, July 13, the Senate finally completed work on its $310 billion version of the defense authorization bill for FY 2001. The approval ends weeks of on-again off-again consideration. Senate substituted the text of its bill, S. 2549, and sent its version to conference with the House version, H.R. 4205.

On a 52-48 vote, the Senate rejected an attempt to slow the proposed national missile defense (NMD) system by requiring further testing. While a go/no-go decision on moving forward with NMD was expected from the White House in the near future, there is growing speculation that the decision may be postponed.

 

Kaiser Finds Discrepancy in California Health Care Trends: Care Costs Less in California, But State Has Higher Rates of Uninsured

In Health Care Trends and Indicators in California and the United States, the Kaiser Family Foundation, in conjunction with the Center for Health and Public Policy Studies and the University of California Berkeley School for Public Health compares the state of health care in California with the rest of the nation.

The report notes a significant difference in California's demographics with respect to health care: 24 percent of the non-elderly in California are uninsured compared to 18 percent nationwide. Furthermore, one third of Hispanics are uninsured and one fourth of Asian/Pacific Islanders and African Americans are uninsured in California. Between 1994 and 1998 numbers of uninsured continued to grow.

In attempting to explain the increasing numbers of uninsured, many point to high cost. In California, however, where 53 percent of the insured are enrolled in health maintenance organizations (HMOs), high costs do not seem to account for the whole issue. In fact, the "average HMO premium for family coverage offered by an employer in 1999 was $405 per month in California versus $445 nationwide." According to the report, Californians also pay an average of eight percent less of the portion of their premium for family coverage.

In all firm sizes, only 48 percent of California businesses versus 61 percent nationwide offered health benefits. However, those covered by California firms were allowed a wider variety of health plans to choose from -- 80 percent in California are offered more than one plan as a choice, versus 65 percent of those covered nationwide. And non-traditional partners are more likely to be offered coverage in California than in the rest of the nation.

For more information, contact The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation at (650)854-9400 or at its website http://www.kff.org .

 

Senate Energy Hears Feinstein's Title Transfer Bill

On Tuesday, July 11, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee met to discuss a number of water bills, including S. 2672, introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein to provide for the conveyance of the Sugar Pine Dam and Reservoir to the Foresthill Public Utility District, a state political subdivision. The Foresthill Divide Subunit of the Central Valley Project (CVP), including the Sugar Pine Dam and Reservoir, is owned by the United States Bureau of Reclamation and is authorized as part of the Auburn-Folsom Unit of the CVP in 1965. For approximately 20 years the Dam and Reservoir have been managed and authorized by the Foresthill Public Utility District.

While the Administration has worked closely with Senator Feinstein on this measure, Eluid L. Martinez, Commissioner, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, testified in opposition to the proposed title transfer on the grounds that: language in the bill would exempt the transfer from provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA); financial interests are not protected by the amount of payment; water rights, held by the federal government should be carefully analyzed in conjunction with the title transfer; and more analysis of the capital construction costs is needed.

John Sweikar, Foresthill Public Utility District and Brice Bledsoe, CVP, both testified in support of the title transfer. Mr. Sweikar reassured the committee that the transfer would preserve public interest as well as ensure safety and environmental protection. Mr. Bledsoe expressed concern that there has been an inequity in cost allocation associated with Sugar Pine, and that those costs should be deferred until benefits associated with the Project begin accruing to the CVP contractors.

For more information, contact the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee at (202) 224-4971 or at their web site http://www.senate.gov/~energy .

 

Proposal Would Spend FHA Budget Surplus on Affordable Housing

The National Training and Information Center of Chicago has announced its proposal to use the Federal Housing Administration's $5 billion surplus to fund affordable housing for 200,000 families across America. The study describes a "chasm" between the supply and demand for low-cost units, "that has widened as new housing construction has been outpaced by the loss of over 1.5 million affordable units in the past three years." The crisis, can also be attributed to owner's prepayment of HUD-insured mortgages and an owner's decision to drop out of the Section 8 program upon expiration of HUD contract -- 155 such project-based units have been lost in California. Nationally, between 1995 and1998, the study reported that "the federal government provided no new Section 8 vouchers."

Specifically, the proposal would include: construction of 200,000 affordable housing units; a Federal Housing Trust Fund to dedicate all future FHA surplus funds towards construction of affordable housing; $5 billion to the HOME Investment Partnerships; and creation of a federal and state matching grant program to preserve the nation's affordable housing. Senator John Kerry (MA) will introduce legislation to establish the Federal Housing Trust Fund and he and Senator Jim Jeffords (VT) introduced S. 1318 to create the matching grant program. Reportedly, the proposal could mean 2,000 new housing units in the San Francisco Bay Area.

On March 7, President Clinton announced that in 160 days, the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Housing and Urban Development will make a recommendation on how the surplus should be used..

For more information, contact the National Training and Information Center of Chicago at http://www.housingamerica.net .

On a similar note, on Thursday, July 6, State Sen. President pro Tempore, John Burton and Committee on Housing and Community Development Chairman Richard Alarcon wrote Senator Feinstein, Rep. Jim Walsh (NY) and Rep. Alan Mollahan (WV) requesting that the President's request of $6.5 billion be funded. Among other concerns, the legislators were particularly concerned with the "inadequate funding to the HOME and Community Development Block Grant programs."

 

House Agriculture Panel Discusses Impact of Methyl Bromide Ban; $218 Million in Lost Producer Revenue In California

On Thursday, July 13, the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Horticulture held a hearing on the impact of using an alternative to methyl bromide for agricultural uses. Chairman Richard Pombo (Tracy) presided over the hearing on methyl bromide which is used as a fumigant on more than 100 crops to control pests, nematodes, weeds and pathogens. In 1997, the Montreal Protocol ordered a gradual phase out of methyl bromide, due to its carcinogenic properties. For developed nations, the scheduled phase out begins with 25 percent by 1999; 50 percent by 2001; 70 percent by 2003; and a full phase out by 2005. For developing countries the calendar is much different, with full phase-out postponed until 2015.

At the hearing, many testified in opposition to the phase out time line and argued that the alternatives to methyl bromide are less effective and not as environmental friendly. When crops are not treated with methyl bromide, they grow on weak roots, therefore beginning a domino effect of problems: disease, weeds, mortality leading to a larger demand for labor. According to growers, the time line allotted for developed nations gives an unfair advantage to competitors, due to the fact that America's competition - developing nations such as Mexico, Chile, China and India - will not have to phase out the carcinogen until 10 years after the United States.

Several witnesses testified at the hearing including: Carl B. Loop, Jr., President, Florida Farm Bureau for the American Farm Bureau (AFB); Robert Driver, on behalf of the California Walnut Commission; Cecil Martinez, strawberry grower (Oxnard); Mark Norton, Vice President of Production, Bay State Milling Company; James Culbertson, Executive Manager, California Cherry Export Association (Lodi); Janet E. Carpenter, Research Associate, National Center for Food and Agriculture Policy; Dr. John Duniway, Professor, University of California, Davis; Dr. Joseph Noling, Associate Professor, Citrus Research and Education Center; and Dr. Scott Enebak, Associate Professor, Auburn University.

Mr. Loop of the AFB testified to the economic impact that the ban will ultimately have, especially in California which stands to lose $218 million in lost producer revenue. Strawberry growers alone are expected to lose 15-20 percent of their producer revenue. Mr. Driver of the California Walnut Commission stated that after a visit to a walnut nursery in China, it was discovered that one nursery in China had the "capability to produce more nursery stock than all California nurseries put together." Ms. Martinez agreed in her testimony, and said of competing developing nations: "imagine how difficult it will be to compete with farmers who have cheap labor, less stringent environmental standards, and methyl bromide."

Dr. John Duniway and Jim Culbertson testified on the lack of effective alternatives to the chemical, as envisioned by the creators of the ban.

For full testimony, contact the Subcommittee at (202)225-1564 or their web site at http://www.house.gov/agriculture/hearings/testimony.htm .

 

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Approves Lake Tahoe Restoration

On Thursday, July 13, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved S. 1925, a bill introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein to restore Lake Tahoe. The bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Barbara Boxer, Harry Reid (NV) and Richard Byron (NV).

Specifically, the proposal would require the U.S. Forest Service to develop a list of priority restoration projects, with $200 million over ten years for their implementation. Under the plan, local governments would receive $100 million over ten years for erosion control activities. California and Nevada have also pledged to provide over $300 million towards the restoration project; matching funds will also come from the private sector and local entities.

For more information, contact the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee at (202) 224-4971 or their web site: http://www.senate.gov/~energy .

 

House Commerce Marks Up Formula Revision for AIDS Grants

On Thursday, July 13, the House Commerce Committee approved a bill to reauthorize and alter the formula for distributing funds under the Ryan White AIDS Emergency Relief Grants. To date, funds have been distributed based on the prevalence of actual AIDS cases in a given area; the Commerce Committee bill (H.R. 4807) would also include persons infected with HIV, the virus which causes AIDS. San Francisco and other cities with high concentrations of persons suffering from full-blown AIDS stand to lose funding unless overall dollars to the program rise. California received $58.5 million (or more than 23%) of the nation's $252 million in emergency relief funds distributed by formula in fiscal year 1999.

Provisions of the bill are designed to avoid a precipitous decline in funding. First, the formula change would not take effect until FY 2005. In addition, the bill would limit the first year decrease in funds to 2% of the prior year's amount, and assure that no state's receipts would have been cut more than 25% by the five-year mark. A Senate-passed bill, S. 2311, would not alter the funding formula.

 

Headwaters land: Superior Court Halts Logging

On Monday, July 10, Superior Court Judge Quentin Kopp blocked Pacific Lumber's plans to cut 595 acres of unprotected redwoods which are fully contained in the Headwaters Forest sanctuary. Two environmental groups sued the timber company and asked for a permanent injunction; Judge Kopp's injunction orders the plaintiffs to post a $250,000 bond to cover any damages suffered by Pacific Lumber if it ultimately prevails in the underlying suit. While the California Forestry Department had approved the logging, problems have arisen involving the physical extraction of the trees, due to its location in the Headwaters.

The 1999 Headwaters deal allowed for the purchase of 10,000 acres of old-growth forest.

 

Science Advocates Press Case for Basic Research in Physical Sciences

This week several hundred university administrators, professors and students traveled to Washington to urge that Congress maintain and increase its investment in basic science and engineering research. Organized by the 400-member Science Coalition, the participants were in town for an event entitled "Science: Invest in the Future" which was held in Washington on July 11 and 12. The coalition includes many California universities and companies.

California continues to be the largest winner of federal science spending, reaping between 18% and 22% of such expenditures. Significant federal science funding to the state flows from various agencies, including the Department of Energy, Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, NASA, and other federal agencies.

The coalition notes that advances in biomedical research increasingly depend on advances in science and engineering. Coalition materials note that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology owes its development to physicists experimenting with the behavior of hydrogen atoms, as well as to basic and applied research in chemistry, integrated circuits and superconductivity. The group also quotes NSF director Rita Colwell as stating, "Engineering and the physical sciences - taken together - accounted for 50% of federal research spending in 1970. That's down to 33% today."

The coalition quotes investment advisor Peter Lynch, who commented that, "By the end of the 1990s, America will have added 17 million new jobs while the European Union, with one third more population, will have added none. We have the same savings rate, the same education levels, and it's not that we're smarter; our advantage is that America makes the investment in basic science."

While federal research funding for the life sciences has tripled since1970 (even after adjusting for inflation), federal engineering research remains at roughly the same level as 30 years before. In addition, according the American Association for the Advancement of Science, federal spending for physical sciences is roughly 10% below the 1990 level and only slightly above the 1970 level.

For further information, see http://www.sciencecoalition.org .

 

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