Looking Ahead: President Obama, Incoming Science Committee Chairman on S&T

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Publication date: 
4 November 2010

It  will be weeks, if not months, before there is a clearer indication of how this  week’s election will impact science and K-12 STEM education legislation and  budgets.  Several comments by President  Barack Obama at yesterday’s post-election news conference reiterated his support  for S&T and STEM education:

“I  think the American people are expecting, and what we owe them, is to focus on  those issues that affect their jobs, their security, and their future:  reducing our deficit, promoting a clean  energy economy, making sure that our children are the best educated in the  world, making sure that we’re making the investments in technology that will  allow us to keep our competitive edge in the global economy.” 

“I  think everybody in this country thinks that we’ve got to make sure our kids are  equipped in terms of their education, their science background, their math  backgrounds, to compete in this new global economy.  And that’s going to be an area where I think  there’s potential common ground.”

“We  already had a big deficit that I inherited, and that has been made worse  because of the recession.  As we bring it  down, I want to make sure that we’re not cutting into education that is going  to help define whether or not we can compete around the world.  I don’t think we should be cutting back on  research and development, because if we can develop new technologies in areas  like clean energy, that could make all the difference in terms of job creation  here at home.”

“There's  been discussion about how we can restart our nuclear industry as a means of  reducing our dependence on foreign oil and reducing greenhouse gases.  Is that an area where we can move forward?”

Ranking  Member Ralph Hall (R-TX) is on track to become the next chairman of the House  Science and Technology Committee.  The  Republican section of the committee’s website has the following statements:

On  September 23, Hall issued the below statement after House Republicans released  their Pledge to America:

“The  American people have spoken loud and clear: stop frivolous spending in  Washington, and make the Federal government more efficient, more effective, and  more transparent.  I couldn’t agree more,  and I think the Science and Technology Committee can play a key role in this  effort.  We need to streamline R&D  programs and eliminate duplication, cut wasteful spending, and help ensure that  science policy is a driver of innovation and jobs.”

Yesterday,  Hall released the following statement:   

"Nationally,  I am heartened that Americans returned Republicans to the majority in hopes of  providing a check on runaway spending in Washington and getting the economy  back on track toward growth and job creation.   I look forward to working with current members on the Science and  Technology Committee, as well as hearing from our new members, to formulate and  advance an agenda that keeps our nation moving forward.  The Science and Technology Committee will be  a place where every member’s ideas will be respected and considered, and all  Republicans can play a role in crafting good science policy.”