Just one week after Congress passed the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education and Science Act (COMPETES) Act, President George W. Bush signed the comprehensive legislation into law.

America COMPETES aims to improve U.S. competitiveness through significant investments in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) research and education. The law authorizes $43.3 billion over three fiscal years (2008-2010) for STEM research and education, and received a great deal of bipartisan support in Congress. Specific provisions of the law can be found in the 6 August 2007 Public Policy Report (http://www.aibs.org/public-policy-reports/20070806.html).

In a press conference immediately prior to the bill signing on 9 August 2007, the President expressed his appreciation for the bipartisan support of provisions in the legislation that followed from the Administration’s American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI). These included increases in federal investments in research at the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology laboratories, and the Department of Energy Office of Science as well as increased investment in a number of science and mathematics education programs.

However, the President also expressed concern that “the bill Congress sent to my desk leaves some of the key priorities [of ACI] unfulfilled, and authorizes unnecessary and duplicative programs.” Accordingly, the White House Fact Sheet for America COMPETES that was released after the signing stated that “the President will request funding in his 2009 budget for those authorizations that support the focused priorities of the ACI, but will not propose excessive or duplicative funding based on authorizations in the bill.”

 


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