This week the House of Representatives will consider a framework for the federal budget for Fiscal Year 2008 that sets forth the funding priorities of our country and puts our federal budget back on the path to fiscal soundness.

I'm particularly pleased that the House Budget Resolution includes a strong endorsement of the Innovation Agenda: A Commitment to Competitiveness to Keep America #1. I worked with Speaker Nancy Pelosi to launch the Innovation Agenda after extensive consultations with our nation's leaders in industry and academia. Despite support for much of the Innovation Agenda by the Administration, the last Congress did not act on the important priorities laid out in the Agenda.

Speaker Pelosi has made it clear that the Innovation Agenda remains one of the top priorities of the Democratic Caucus and this is reflected in the Budget Resolution which provides an additional $2 billion above current funding levels for federal science, space, and technology programs. The Budget Resolution also provides an additional $300 million for energy programs and an additional $7.9 billion for education programs above the President's request for next year. These initiatives are only a down payment on the significant steps necessary to achieve the broad goals of the Innovation Agenda, but our Budget recognizes of the challenges we face.

From the text of the Budget Resolution:


(a) It is the sense of the House to provide sufficient funding that our Nation may continue to be the world leader in innovation, education, innovation, and economic growth. The budget resolution provides $450 million above the President's requested level for 2008, and additional amounts in subsequent years in Function 250 (General Science, Space, and Technology) and Function 270 (Energy). Additional increase for scientific research and education are included in Function 500 (Education, Employment, Training, and Social Services), Function 550 (Health), Function 300 (Environment and Natural Resources), Function 350 (Agriculture), Function 400 (Transportation), and Function 370 (Commerce and Housing Credit), all of which receive more funding that the President requested.

(b) America's greatest resource for innovation resides within classrooms across the country. The increased funding provided in this resolution will support important initiatives to educate 100,000 new scientists, engineers, and mathematicians and place highly qualified teachers in math and science K-12 classrooms.

(c) Independent scientific research provides the foundation for innovation and future technologies. This resolution will put us on the path toward doubling funding for the National Science Foundation, basic research in the physical sciences and collaborative research partnerships; and toward achieving energy independence in ten years through the development of clean and sustainable energy technologies.