Of Note: S&T Policy Quotations of 2006

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Publication date: 
26 December 2006

The following are some of the more notable quotations that appeared in FYI during 2006. The (number) refers to the FYI issue which may be read at http://www.aip.org/fyi/2006/

“Let’s have only one train going through town.” - Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) on the need to avoid traditional S&T turf battles during budget process (13)

“On this issue, we must set political partisanship aside and work together to get the job done. Our future depends on it.” - American Physical Society President John Hopfield on S&T funding (13)

“I propose to double the federal commitment to the most critical basic research programs in the physical sciences over the next ten years.” - President George Bush in his State of the Union Address (16)

“. . . we have had three Nobel prize winners. So this is truly a gem within the federal government.” - Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez on NIST research program. (18)

“It is, in effect, a renaissance for United States science and global competitiveness.” - Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman on American Competitiveness Initiative (18)

“The only way that we can assure the best possible application of these funds is by sticking to the peer review process and making sure that congressional designated programs satisfy the requirements that we have for best practices.” - OSTP Director John Marburger on earmarking (18)

“Yes, there are winners, but also many losers.” - Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN), Ranking Minority Member on Science Committee on the Administration’s FY 2007 S&T request (29)

“It ain’t gonna fly.” - House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) on the proposed budget cut to the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership program (29)

“Not happy news.” - Energy Secretary Bodman on five-year delay for Rare Isotope Accelerator (29)

“I can’t tell you the danger that lurks out there.” - Under Secretary for Science Ray Orbach on the risk posed by any mismanagement of the ITER fusion project (31)

“I have to say, this is probably the most depressing hearing I’ve sat through.” - Rep. Gordon discussing proposed FY 2007 NASA science budget (34)

“The American people, the taxpayers, expect more from basic science research than new knowledge alone.” - Energy Secretary Bodman (43)

“I also want to give Dr. Orbach credit for instituting a long range planning process that lends credibility to the proposed science budget for ‘07.” - House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman David Hobson (R-OH) (44)

There is “no question the Earth is warming.” - OSTP Director Marburger (45)

“It’s the trend line that people worry about.” - Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV), Ranking Minority Member on House Science, State Justice and Commerce Appropriations Subcommittee on technological challenges posed by China and India (45)

“Anything less than full funding this year will make that [future] doubling highly unlikely, both politically and fiscally.” - Rep. Boehlert on FY 2007 NSF, Office of Science, and NIST requests (46)

“We . . . have created an irrational exuberance.” - NASA Administrator Michael Griffin on space science researchers’ expectations for future budgets (47)

“And so in order to make sure we remain the leader of the world, we have got to continue our focus in education on high standards, accountability, and a new focus – an intense focus on math and science.” - President Bush (48)

“The plain fact is that NASA simply cannot afford to do everything that our many constituents would like the Agency to do.” - NASA Administrator Griffin (52)

“Is this going to be a techno-whoops?” - Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) on the space station program (52)

“In today’s budget environment there is no interest - no matter how worthy - that can look on future funding as an entitlement. A strong case must be made in Congress and the public arena.” - Energy Secretary Bodman (53)

“The fact is that the FY07 cost of the ACI [American Competitiveness Initiative] is dwarfed by the $2.7 billion in current year earmarks in the research budget.” - OSTP Director Marburger (54)

“We have to light a fire.” - Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) commenting on America’s complacency about its international S&T position (57)

“A vote of confidence in us, in science.” - Under Secretary Orbach on FY 2007 DOE science funding request and its approval by the House of Representatives. (77)

“I don’t know what it takes to have this government get off its you-know-what and start dealing with the most critical environmental problem that confronts the entire planet.” - Rep. David Obey (D-WI), Ranking Minority Member of House Appropriations Committee, during House debate on a global warming resolution (78)

“I am a little bit concerned when everything that is wrong is our fault, that the human factor creates all the damages on this globe. That is pure nonsense.” - Rep. Don Young (R-AK) during House debate on global warming resolution (78)

“I’ve focused so far on appropriations because, as Willy Sutton famously said about banks, ‘that’s where the money is. . . .’ [N]ot to sell our own Science Committee work short, but the most important action to focus on in this area is what the appropriators do. . . . in the end, unless we get the money from the appropriators, our legislation won’t be worth a damn.“ - Rep. Boehlert (80)

“I’m just very, very gratified by the responsiveness of Congress.” - OSTP Director Marburger commenting on recommended funding levels in the draft FY 2007 appropriations bills (89)

“If you allow the [NASA] workforce to disappear from 2010 to, say, 2015 or 2020, you can never replace these people. The expertise that you lose cannot be put back together again. Once Humpty Dumpty and the skilled workforce is dead and depleted, you can never put it back together.” - Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) speaking in opposition to amendments to shift FY 2007 NASA funding (98)

“Some people attack Members of Congress for having Potomac fever. I think some Members of this House have Mars fever. The fact is, if we are going to make a choice about where to put the best money, right now, I think a far better bet is law enforcement.” - Rep. Obey (98)

“These agencies, which are not exactly on the tip of the tongue of most Americans, are keystones of our Nation’s economic future.” - Rep. Boehlert on NSF, DOE Office of Science, and NIST (100)

“It would really hurt the new initiatives.” - Under Secretary Orbach on consequences of flat funding if an FY 2007 DOE appropriations bill is not signed into law (101)

“Let me be clear. We need Yucca Mountain. I want to fix this program and make it work.” - Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Pete Domenici (R-NM) (110)

“Everyone knows that the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump is a dying beast. And it should die – it is a scientifically unsound project that would needlessly threaten the public health and safety of Americans everywhere.” - Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) (110)

“I will also tell you that we have been asked in the past, how could we speed this up? And we’ve been asked by folks from the White House to the Congress and elsewhere, and the answer is we need time . . . more money doesn’t necessarily help. There is a learning process that needs to happen.” - Under Secretary of Energy David Garman on hydrogen and fuel cell R&D (112)

“We have got to come to some answers on how we complete the appropriations process.” - House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), two weeks before the start of new fiscal year. (116)

“Right now, those of us who seek action [on climate change legislation] are confronted by ideology, by fear, by a reluctance to lead, by apathy, by comfort with the status quo. All of that has to change, and I think it is beginning to change.” - Rep. Boehlert (121)

“. . . having a bigger wish list than their pocketbook.” - Rep. Vern Ehlers (R-MI) on disparity between congressional desires for NASA and appropriations bill (124)

“Study after study tells us that we need major new investments in education and research and development to stay ahead. We cannot just tinker at the margins and expect to master our own destiny in the global economy.” - Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) (126)

“Promote a huge leap forward of science and technology; we shall put strengthening independent innovation capability at the core of economic structure adjustment.” - Chinese President Hu Jintao discussing fifteen-year plan to make China the technology leader in the world, as quoted by Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) (126)

“I am one of the most fiscally conservative Members of the Senate. But every dollar we spend on basic research is a dollar that will come back to us in spades in terms of stimulating economic activity and helping to keep the United States at the forefront of global innovation.” - Senator John Ensign (R-NV) (126)

“The fast track has cost us billions of dollars.” - Rep. David Hobson (R-OH) at a hearing on accelerating nuclear fuel reprocessing facilities (128)

“We’re at war. We have not gone far enough. We can go much further.” - Jay Cohen, Under Secretary for Science and Technology of the Department of Homeland Security (130)

“The world is counting on us to make ITER a success.” - Under Secretary Orbach at signing ceremony for the agreement to construct the fusion test reactor (134)

“We face strong competition from a state-managed science and technology research program in China. . . . If we are going to remain competitive, we need to focus our basic research at home and put more resources into funding it.” - Larry Wortzel, Chairman of the U.S. - China Economic and Security Review Commission (136)

“One of my top priorities will be to spotlight this [global warming] issue with the help of colleagues from both sides of the aisle with the goal of ultimately bringing legislation to the Senate floor.”- Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), incoming chairwoman of Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (139)

“I can assure you that will not happen.” - Outgoing Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee James Inhofe (R-OK), predicting that he will block climate change legislation from receiving a vote (139)

“I understand the challenges the leadership of Congress faces. . . . But, putting aside hard choices almost never leads to good results.” - Senator Domenici on the failure of Congress to pass the remaining FY 2007 appropriations bills (141)

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