Committee on Science and Technology
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Press Releases :: May 13, 2010

Chairman Gordon Comments After Pulling COMPETES from Consideration

(Washington, DC) – Today, House Leadership pulled H.R. 5116, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, from consideration at Chairman Gordon’s request after the Minority offered a Motion to Recommit that cut funding for the basic research programs, on top of the 10.3 percent reduction from the bill as introduced that was adopted at the Committee Markup; defunded the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy, which is pursuing revolutionary breakthroughs in clean energy technology; and eliminated programs to support economic development and job creation right now. The Motion to Recommit also included a small piece of language that would prohibit any funds authorized in this bill from being spent to pay the salary of any federal employee who had been disciplined for viewing pornography. 

 
Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN) made the following statement:
“I’m disappointed that politics trumped good policy. The Minority was willing to trade American jobs and our nation’s economic competitiveness for the chance to run a good political ad. 
 
If at any point during the 48 hearings we’ve held on this bill, the Minority brought up their concerns with isolated incidents of federal employees viewing pornography, or if they had made an amendment in order during any of the three Subcommittee markups, the Full Committee Markup, or the Floor Consideration, I would have been happy to vote for that amendment. 
 
We’re all opposed to federal employees watching pornography. That is not a question; but that’s not what this was about. The Motion to Recommit was about gutting funding for our science agencies.
 
I believe in American leadership, and I think COMPETES is too important to let die. I would like to see it brought up again, but timing is unclear. Advocates for science, technology, manufacturing, and education—including the 750 organizations that endorsed COMPETES and their memberships—need to make their case to Members of the House and Senate why this bill needs to be signed into law.”
 
For more information on the Committee’s work on COMPETES, please visit our website.
 
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