EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT: STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY H.R. 1806 – America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 (Rep. Smith, R-Texas, and 10 cosponsors)

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EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20503

 

May 18, 2015

(House Rules)

STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY

H.R. 1806 – America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015

(Rep. Smith, R-Texas, and 10 cosponsors)

 

The Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 1806, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015, which would undermine critical investments in science, technology, and research.  The Administration believes that H.R. 1806 would be damaging to the Administration’s actions to move American competitiveness, innovation, and job growth forward through a world-leading science, technology, and innovation enterprise.

The Administration strongly opposes the bill’s appropriation authorizations for the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) that would establish maximum funding levels significantly below those provided in the President’s FY 2016 Budget.  For example, H.R. 1806 would weaken investments in critical clean energy research and development and grid modernization by providing authorization levels at less than half of the funding levels proposed in the President’s Budget for DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.  Additionally, the legislation would shortchange efforts to support fundamental research to address diverse and critical global challenges by providing an authorization level for the DOE Office of Science biological and environmental research program far short of the funding levels proposed in the President’s Budget.  The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 would also establish NSF authorizations levels for geosciences, education and human resources, international and integrative activities, and administrative activities well below the funding levels proposed in the President’s Budget, as well as an NSF authorization for social, behavioral, and economic sciences research that is 58 percent below the President’s Budget.  Additionally, the legislation would undermine efforts to implement sound science and technology policies by providing an authorization level for OSTP nearly 20 percent below the President’s Budget.

In addition to its strong opposition to the authorized funding levels in H.R. 1806, the Administration has serious concerns with several other provisions in the bill and looks forward to working with the Congress to address its concerns.  For example, the Administration opposes barring Federal regulatory authorities from relying on the results of certain Federally-supported research and development.  This provision would set an extremely harmful precedent of political interference in the scientific integrity of the regulation process, which would undermine the value of the Federal research and development enterprise as a whole.  The Administration also objects to the increased administrative burdens that the bill imposes on NSF and its awardees without commensurate benefit.  In addition, the Administration opposes reducing oversight at the DOE National Laboratories, which would increase the exposure of the Federal Government to risk and liabilities while also conflicting with the execution of the DOE mission.

H.R. 1806 undermines key investments in science, technology, and innovation and imposes unnecessary and damaging requirements on Federal support of research.  If the President were presented with H.R. 1806, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.

 

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