Republican News

Republican News

EMBARGOED UNTIL 9:00 PM

Washington, D.C. – Senators Pete Domenici, R-NM, Jeff Bingaman, D-NM, Lamar Alexander, R-TN, and Barbara Mikulski, D-MD, today commend President Bush for announcing the Administration’s American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI) in tonight’s State of the Union speech. The ACI contains a majority of the proposals from the Protecting America’s Competitive Edge (PACE) Act. The PACE Act was introduced in the Senate last week as a package of three bills: S. 2197 – PACE Energy; S. 2198 – PACE Education and S. 2199 – PACE Finance.

The PACE Act aims to help America maintain its leading edge in science and technology and implements twenty recommendations contained in a recent report by the National Academy of Science titled "Rising Above the Gathering Storm." The bills now have 60 cosponsors, including both Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.

Senator Domenici’s statement:

The President tonight made it clear maintaining American competitiveness around the globe is one of his top priorities. The Administration, over 10 years, will invest $50 billion in research, education and workforce training to maintain our leading edge. I share the President’s grave concern and congratulate him for his vision and leadership. We must develop the brain power of America to meet the challenges of the future. There is a strong bipartisan commitment in the Senate to fixing problem. I look forward to working closely with the Administration to implement the President’s plan and complement it with our legislation.

Senator Bingaman’s statement:

I applaud President Bush for making this a priority, and for his desire to reverse the trend of reduced funding for R&D and education. I look forward to seeing the White House budget proposal for next year and hope that the president will use his leadership to help us enact the PACE Act, which has the support of well over half of the Senate.

Senator Alexander’s statement:

Tonight the President put the issue of competitiveness front and center on the nation’s agenda. This represents a giant step forward. The President’s competitive agenda will help keep America’s brainpower advantage so that we grow the best jobs here instead of shipping them to China and India. The President’s proposal contains many of the ideas in our legislation, which is based on a report from the National Academies, and now has 60 cosponsors, 30 Republicans and 30 Democrats, including the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders. Hearings on this legislation are set to begin this month.

Senator Mikulski’s statement:

I am ready to work with President Bush and my colleagues in the Senate on these important initiatives. We have to look at where the new ideas that are going to generate the new products for the 21st century are going to come from. A country that doesn’t innovate, stagnates. If we’re going to be safer, if we’re going to be stronger, we truly have to act smarter.

Protecting America’s Competitive Edge (PACE) Act provisions include:

  • Doubling the nation’s investment in basic research over seven years
  • Establishing a new research agency within the Department of Energy
  • Providing 10,000 new scholarships for future math and science teachers at $20,000 per year  
  • Increasing to 1.5 million the number of students who take Advanced Placement courses in math and science
  • Providing 25,000 new scholarships of $20,000 per year and 5,000 new fellowships for future America scientists
  • Streamlining the visa process for bright foreign students so we attract the world’s brightest to study alongside America’s brightest
  • Doubling and making permanent the research and development tax credit to encourage private, job-producing research