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IEEE-USA commends president for asking Congress to double support for critical research

WASHINGTON (29 January 2008)-- IEEE-USA President Russ Lefevre commends President George W. Bush for asking Congress to double federal support for critical basic research in the physical sciences in his State of the Union address Monday night.

We appreciate the president reminding Congress how paramount funding into basic research is to keeping the United States the worlds technology leader, IEEE-USA President Russ Lefevre said. "Much of our nations economic growth over the past 50 years can be attributed to the fruits of research by scientists and engineers.

President Bush also referred to the America Competes Act authorization bill that he signed into law last August, but was not fully funded by Congress. The bill supports many of the same initiatives he outlined in his January 2006 American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI). See

Here are President Bushs remarks:

To keep America competitive into the future, we must trust in the skill of our scientists and engineers and empower them to pursue the breakthroughs of tomorrow.

Last year, Congress passed legislation supporting the American Competitiveness Initiative, but never followed through with the funding. This funding is essential to keeping our scientific edge.

So I ask Congress to double federal support for critical basic research in the physical sciences and ensure America remains the most dynamic nation on earth.

Both the ACI and the America Competes Act call for a doubling of federal funding at the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy Office of Science and the National Institute of Standards and Technology labs.

The America Competes Act also includes significant funding increases for NSFs Math and Science Partnership Program and the Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program. The former is designed to make significant improvement in K-12 math and science education, while the latter strives to encourage science, technology, engineering and math majors and professionals to become K-12 science and math teachers.

While serving a 2001 IEEE-USA congressional fellowship as Sen. Jay Rockefellers (D-W.Va.) science adviser, Lefevre led the Senate effort to establish the Math and Science Partnership Program and was personally responsible for inclusion of the Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program.

The America Competes Act has the potential to play a critical role in our nations economic and technological future, Lefevre said. We will continue to lobby Congress to provide full funding for this important legislation.


Contact: Chris McManes

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