The America COMPETES Act and the FY2009 Budget
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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The America COMPETES Act P.L. 110-69 responds to concerns that the United States may not be able to compete economically with other nations in the future due to insufficient investment today in science and technology research and in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics STEM education. A similar concern led President Bush to announce the American Competitiveness Initiative ACI in January 2006. In March 2008, both the House and Senate included in their budget resolutions support for the America COMPETES Act. The act authorizes increases in the nations investment in science and engineering research at the National Science Foundation NSF, the National Institute of Standards and Technology NIST laboratories, and the Department of Energy DOE Office of Science. In addition, the act authorizes new STEM education programs at NSF, DOE, and the Department of Education ED and enhances the funding of some existing programs at NSF including the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program. A concern to some policy makers is whether federal appropriations will meet the acts authorized levels. The act also establishes within DOE the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy ARPA-E and Discovery Science and Engineering Innovation Institutes. ARPA-E is designed to support transformational energy technology research projects with the goal of enhancing the nations economic and energy security. An issue for Congress is whether to appropriate funds to ARPA-E. The Presidents FY2009 budget does not request appropriations for ARPA-E. Instead, it requests funding of six new technology transfer collaborations that integrate basic and applied research. The FY2009 budget cycle will be the first time Congress can debate funding for America COMPETES Act programs at the beginning of the appropriations process. The purpose of this report is to compare the Presidents FY2009 budget request to the FY2009 authorized levels provided by the America COMPETES Act.
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