Congress rolls back 2 years of science policy progress

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Peter Harsha updates us on the status of science and innovation policy in the funding omnibus currently moving through Congress.

Cameron Wilson at USACM’s Technology Policy Blog has a great dissection of the FY2008 Omnibus Appropriations bill in which Congress managed to reverse two years worth of positive efforts in science and innovation funding policy. His piece is titled “Congress Abandons Commitment to Basic Research; Puts NIST in the Construction Business” and it’s a must read.

And he provides us with some revealing analysis on who’s doing what to whom

Finally, it’s worth pointing out some interesting statistics. Late last summer, 367 members of the House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 2272, The America COMPETES Act, which we celebrated and covered in great detail. It was an unequivocal demonstration of support for strengthening the federal investment in basic research in the physical sciences, computing, mathematics and engineering and the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Of those 367 members who voted for the COMPETES Act, 244 voted for this omnibus bill — a bill which represents a nearly 180 degree reversal from the goals of COMPETES. 206 Democrats, 38 Republicans.

He closes with a list of the offending members. Light up the darkness.