Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi: We All Benefit from Increasing the
National Science Foundation Budget

June 5, 2002

House Democratic Whip Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) issued the following statement on the House floor this afternoon in support of H.R. 4664, the National Science Foundation Authorization Act, which authorizes a 15 percent budget increase each year over the next three years. That would bring the foundation's budget to a total of $7.3 billion in fiscal year 2005, with the goal of doubling the budget within five years. The House approved the bill late this afternoon by a vote of 397 to 25.

"Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this legislation, and I commend the Committee on Science for its excellent work on this reauthorization for the National Science Foundation funding. For a long time, our colleague from Texas, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, has sponsored this bill and given us all the opportunity to register our support for drastically increasing the funding of the National Science Foundation.

I am so pleased now that the Committee on Science has taken up that leadership, and the considerable leadership of the chairman, which would put us on a path to doubling the National Science Foundation budget.

A number of years ago, we in the Appropriations Committee set off on this path to double the funding for the National Institutes of Health. We are in our last year of that doubling effort. It was very important to the health of the American people. So too, is the doubling of the National Science Foundation. Not only do we have to do this, but we should also do more.

NIH-supported research has helped revolutionize the practice of medicine and future directions of scientific inquiry. Our increased investment in the NIH is already producing dramatic results such as the mapping of the human genome and emergence of the field of cell engineering.

The research and development funded by the NSF in the physical sciences leads to the development of this technology, which then enhances the diagnosis and treatment of our citizens.

In order to maximize the potential of our investment in NIH, we must dramatically increase the resources available for research through the NSF. Health research depends on technology, and there is a direct link between progress in the life sciences and advancements in the physical sciences.

We all benefit across the board in terms of biomedical research, which is so important to the American people. We also have economic success, which is so important to our country, as well as the fulfillment of the young people who have the talent and should be encouraged to study math and science and become scientists.

I am absolutely delighted today that in this bipartisan way we can come to the floor. I commend the distinguished chairman of the committee and the subcommittee, as well as the Members on both sides of the aisle, for making this a reality for the Congress to take this vote and make it a reality for our country.

I will do everything in my power working with them to ensure that this can be translated not only into an authorization, but an appropriation as well."