Chairman Cartwright Statement at Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request for the National Science Foundation Hearing

2022-05-11 13:42

Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Chairman of the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee's hearing on the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request for the National Science Foundation.

Good afternoon, everyone.  Today, I’m pleased to welcome back the Director of the National Science Foundation, Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan, to speak to us on the fiscal year 2023 budget request. 

A brilliant and accomplished scientist prior to joining NSF, Dr. Panchanathan is now approaching the end of his second year as Director of the Foundation, where he oversees a budget that provides a major source of funding for university research, our country’s next generation of STEM workers, and research and development at the frontiers of technological advancement.

Dr. Panchanthan, I want to start by thanking you for joining me last month at Penn State – Scranton and Schott glass’s advanced manufacturing facility in my district to see demonstrations of applied technologies for defense, aerospace, and medicine. 

I was pleased to see examples in Northeastern Pennsylvania of how Americans can turn the skills of a STEM education into jobs on the cutting edge of innovative manufacturing.  NSF education programs are cultivating the next generation of our workforce; they are building unique collaborations; and they are boosting the U.S.’s scientific productivity.

As you know, the House voted in February to pass the America COMPETES Act, which would authorize additional, critical investments in American global competitiveness.  The NSF is well-represented in this initiative, with key provisions included to boost your reach and impact.  America has long been a global leader in science, but the National Science Board’s 2022 Science and Engineering Indicators report shows that we are losing ground to our biggest competitors.  We are overdue for catch-up action, and I strongly support America COMPETES and NSF’s role in a renewal and revival of scientific investment. 

So, I am pleased to see that the President’s request for fiscal year 2023 includes historic funding levels for NSF, as well as initiatives to strengthen the agency’s foundational research and accelerate its translation of successful experiments into new technologies and partnerships.  The budget proposes $10.5 billion for NSF, an 18.7% increase over the 2022 enacted level. 

Fittingly, the FY 23 request includes focus on Emerging Industries for U.S. Competitiveness.  This includes $879.9 million for NSF’s new Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships, or TIP, Directorate.  TIP will connect different scientific disciplines and different business sectors to help shape the industries of the future.  I look forward to discussing this new directorate, and how TIP will translate into breakthroughs and new, high-paying American jobs.

NSF’s role in discovering and advancing new technologies also includes those that will reduce emissions and create solutions to climate change.  I’m pleased to see that the President’s budget proposes a $1.5 billion investment and focus on climate science and clean energy.  Advancement in these areas will be critical to bolstering economic growth and national security through sustainable energy independence.

The request additionally includes a 37% increase – or $371 million over fiscal year 2022 – for STEM education programs, and it emphasizes removing barriers to participation in STEM for underrepresented groups.  We have not fully utilized the talent that exists across the socioeconomic, racial, and geographic diversity in America, and NSF equity and education programs help tap into this potential.

Thank you once again, Dr. Panchanathan, for joining us today, and I look forward to discussing the NSF’s fiscal year 2023 budget request with you.

117th Congress