Congressman Lipinski: President's Science Budget Falls Short

WASHINGTON, DC - At a hearing of the House Science Committee, Congressman Dan Lipinski criticized the Bush Administration's FY2007 science and research budget proposal. As one of eleven Members of Congress with an engineering degree, Congressman Lipinski is in a unique position to understand the impact of these funding levels on education and manufacturing.

"Although I was impressed with the emphasis that the President gave to science and math education and research in his State of the Union address, the budget falls short in those areas, especially in regard to K-12 education and manufacturing jobs," stated Lipinski.

Some science programs receive full funding in the President's budget, including FutureGen, a project to build a zero-emissions coal power plant which Congressman Lipinski supports. Unfortunately, these increases come at the expense of other, very successful programs. One example is the Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP) program that provides small and medium sized manufacturers with needed technical assistance. The FY07 request cuts the MEP by 56% and will hurt the ability of Third District manufacturers to maintain and create jobs.

"I am deeply concerned about the cuts to the MEP. Manufacturing jobs in the Third District keep going away and this program helps small firms like Chicago Export Packing and Quality Croutons succeed and stay in business," said Congressman Lipinski. "Many Americans are worried about their children's future standard of living. We need small businesses to thrive so we can help to restore the American dream."

"I am also deeply concerned about the cuts to K-12 education, specifically at the National Science Foundation," said Lipinski. "Without a strong math and science background, our children will not be prepared for the increasingly competitive global economy."

"Now is not the time to step back from the education and research challenges that lay ahead. We have some of the best and brightest minds in the world, and we must ensure that we give Americans every advantage to remain a leader in the global economy," stated Congressman Lipinski. "I will work with my colleagues in the House Science Committee to improve this budget, especially in the areas of education and manufacturing."

(February 21, 2006)


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