Washington, D.C. -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke at the 15th Annual Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) exhibition and reception this afternoon. CNSF supports the goal of increasing the national investment in the National Science Foundation's research and education programs. Below are the Speaker's remarks as prepared:
“Thank you to the Coalition for National Science Funding for making the case to Congress for substantial new investments in science, which are critical to spurring innovation and new jobs. I would particularly like to welcome our university presidents, researchers and graduate students from California and to thank them for keeping our state in the lead of scientific discovery.
“If you want to know the agenda for this Congress, think of four words: science, science, science, science.
“In 2005, Democrats sought out the best possible ideas on how to secure America's place as the world leader in innovation. We went outside of Washington, and met with leaders and CEOs from many fields: academia, venture capital, and entrepreneurs from the high-tech, biotech, and telecommunications sectors who are creating the jobs of tomorrow.
“Their innovative spirit informed our Innovation Agenda: a commitment to competitiveness to keep America Number One.
“In just the last two years we:
• Enacted comprehensive innovation legislation, the COMPETES Act
• Put America on a path doubling funding for basic scientific research
• Made college more affordable with the largest college aid expansion since the
• Helped to provide more highly qualified teachers in the fields of mathematics
science, engineering, technology
• Established a public-private partnership to educate and train the next
generation of mathematicians, scientists and engineers
• Extended the R&D Tax Credit
• Created a new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E) to
encourage high-risk, high-reward clean energy research
“And that is just the beginning. Because innovation is essential to rebuilding our economy, the recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act included:
• $3 billion for NSF to expand employment opportunities, improved facilities
and equipment, and bolster math and science instruction
• $2 billion for the Department of Energy for basic research, laboratory
improvements, and to support the mission of ARPA-E
• $360 million for the National Institutes of Standards and Technology for
grants to help improve research science buildings at colleges and universities
and $220 million for research fellowships, equipment and competitive grants
• A $500 increase in the maximum Pell Grant that will help make college more
affordable for approximately 7 million students.
“We now have a President who is equally committed to investments in science and innovation. President Obama pledged in his inspirational Inaugural Address to ‘restore science to its rightful place.' Those words were welcome in both Congress and the scientific community.
“The President's budget for the coming year reflects our continued commitment to NSF funding and basic scientific research. This bodes well for these critical initiatives in the Congressional budget resolution, this year's appropriations bills, and for steady and consistent funding for science well into the future.
“Investment in research and development is just that, an investment -- in the future strength of our nation. Federal research dollars have helped lure the best minds to your institutions. These innovations spin off into companies that create high-paying jobs and lead to economic prosperity.
“That is the shared mission of all of us here today: to build our nation's intellectual infrastructure. I look forward to working with you again this year to usher in the next generation of innovation.”