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President Bush Signs Legislation Sharing Goals Of His American Competitiveness Initiative
Today, President Bush Signed Into Law The America Creating Opportunities To Meaningfully Promote Excellence In Technology, Education, And Science Act (America COMPETES). This bill shares the goals of the President's American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI), a comprehensive strategy to keep America the most innovative nation in the world by strengthening our scientific education and research, improving our technological enterprise, attracting the world's best and brightest workers, and providing 21st century job training.
* The President Appreciates Congress' Bipartisan Response To The Competitiveness Challenge Since He Announced ACI In January 2006. He appreciates House and Senate appropriators' support for funding for ACI basic research programs starting in FY 2007 and commends them thus far in the appropriations process for fully funding his corresponding FY 2008 budget request for the National Science Foundation, the Energy Department's Office of Science, and the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology.
The Legislation The President Signed Today Continues A Bipartisan Spirit Of Cooperation In Meeting The Goals Of ACI
As The President Proposed, The Act Supports Doubling Funding For Basic Research Programs In Physical Sciences. This increased funding will encourage scientists to explore promising and critical areas such as nanotechnology, supercomputing, and alternative energy sources.
The Act Authorizes The President's Math Now Proposal To Improve Instruction In Mathematics. The programs will give teachers research-based tools and professional development to improve elementary, and middle school students' achievement in math.
The Act Authorizes The President's Proposed Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate (AP/IB) Program. This program would expand low-income students' access to AP/IB coursework by training more high school teachers to lead AP/IB courses in math, science, and critical foreign languages in high-need schools.
Congress Has More Work To Do To Assist Our Nation's Competitiveness
In Addition To Giving Priority To Full ACI Funding In This Year's Appropriations Bills, The President Calls On Congress To Complete Work On The Remaining Components Of ACI, Including:
* Modernizing And Making Permanent The Research And Development Tax Credit. The R&D tax credit allows businesses to deduct part of their R&D investments from their taxes, but this tax credit has been allowed to expire in the past. To help our businesses invest and stay ahead of the competition, we need more certainty in our tax code. The President is also committed to working with Congress to modernize the credit to make it even more effective and efficient at encouraging private sector innovation.
* Authorizing The Adjunct Teacher Corps Program. This initiative would bring 30,000 math and science professionals to teach in our Nation's classrooms over the next eight years.
* Increasing Our Ability To Attract And Retain The Best And Brightest High-Skilled Workers From Around The World. The President supports attracting and retaining the best and the brightest high-skilled workers from around the world by reforming the nation's immigration system, while maintaining national security priorities.
The President Is Concerned That The Legislation Includes Excessive Authorizations And New Duplicative Programs. The bill creates over 30 new programs that are mostly duplicative or counterproductive - including a new Department of Energy agency to fund late-stage technology development more appropriately left to the private sector - and also provides excessive authorization for existing programs. Accordingly, 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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