NATIONAL COMPETITIVENESS INVESTMENT ACT
(Senate - September 26, 2006)

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[Congressional Record Volume 152, Number 122 (Tuesday, September 26, 2006)]
[Pages S10126-S10134]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                NATIONAL COMPETITIVENESS INVESTMENT ACT

  Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, while we in the Senate have been busy 
doing many things and our minds have been all over the world, 
literally, with the war in Iraq and all kinds of things that have come 
before us and to us for consideration, we have been confronted with a 
very exciting opportunity for America and America's future.
  We have been listening to and acting on a rather remarkable effort 
involving three Senate committees, with valuable contributions from a 
number of other committees and a number of Senators from many 
committees. All of these Senators and all of these committees have 
worked to write this legislation and are deeply concerned about 
maintaining our Nation's ability to compete in the high-tech global 
marketplace.
  Today I join a bipartisan group of Senators in speaking about 
legislation that will be introduced later tonight by the distinguished 
majority leader and the minority leader. They will introduce the 
legislation later this evening. Its name will be the National 
Competitiveness Investment Act, and its number is S. 3936.
  All of us worked on this legislation because we are deeply concerned 
about America maintaining its ability to compete in the high-tech 
global marketplace.
  One year ago, the National Academy of Sciences released a report that 
highlighted the urgency of the challenge. It was called ``Rising Above 
the Gathering Storm'' report, which was written by a distinguished 
committee chaired by Norm Augustine, former chairman of Lockheed 
Martin. His committee included three Nobel laureates, presidents of 
leading universities, and chief executive officers of multinational 
corporations.
  The charge to Mr. Augustine and his committee was to develop a 
specific list of policy recommendations to bolster U.S. 
competitiveness. After an intensive 10 weeks of effort, the committee 
produced and recommended an impressive report with a list of 20 
recommendations.
  The recommendations all address a central problem; that is, we are 
not doing enough to harness and develop our national brainpower. The 
report recommends significant increases in

[[Page S10127]]

our investments in science and mathematics education at all levels--
kindergarten through high school, college and graduate school.
  The bill that will be introduced later tonight, as I have indicated, 
contains provisions to address nearly every one of the recommendations 
of the Augustine report. Many of these provisions were included in the 
Protecting America's Competitiveness Edge, or PACE, legislation, which 
I introduced in January along with Senators Bingaman, Alexander, 
Mikulski, and an additional 61 cosponsors.
  Through this new legislation, we are going to put the Augustine 
report's recommendations into action. We will authorize a doubling of 
research dollars to each research agency, including the Department of 
Energy, Office of Science, National Science Foundation, and the 
National Institute of Standards and Technology.
  As chairman of the Energy and Water Appropriations Committee, I was 
pleased I was able to slightly exceed the President's request for a 14-
percent increase in the Office of Science in fiscal year 2007, putting 
it on a track to double in a decade, which is the goal and objective of 
the Norm Augustine report. The NCIA, which it will be called, also 
includes provisions that will build on the educational program 
sponsored by the Department of Energy, by engaging the facilities and 
scientific workforce of the national laboratories, and these 
educational programs will help ensure that we are preparing today's 
young people for the demands of tomorrow's high-tech workplace. The 
NCIA is a good partner to the President's initiative. I applaud the 
President for his bold vision which he expressed to us in his State of 
the Union Address, and which we have built upon in the legislation we 
are talking about today.
  I applaud the President for his bold vision and leadership in the 
issue of U.S. competitiveness, which is so serious and about which many 
of us worry, because we know that without our remaining competitive, 
America has no chance in a world which is built on competitiveness. We 
need to take action to support our standard of living and to ensure 
that we continue to grow and prosper. If we do not, we can expect other 
nations to rival our global competitiveness and one day to surpass us 
without a doubt.

  I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record a chart I have 
prepared which examines and compares side by side the National 
Competitiveness Investment Act to the Augustine National Academies 
report and the administration's American Competitive Initiative to show 
how this bill compares with each of those.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

   BIPARTISAN SENATE, NATIONAL COMPETITIVENESS INVESTMENT ACT, COMPARISON TO THE AUGUSTINE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
                 REPORT AND ADMINISTRATION'S AMERICAN COMPETITIVENESS INITIATIVE, SEPTEMBER 2006
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        National
               Category                    Rising above the         Competitiveness         Administration ACI
                                           gathering storm           Investment Act
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Increase talent pool by improving K-   Recruit 10,000 science   .......................
 12 science/math Education.             & math teachers w/4     Robert Noyce
                                        year scholarships.       Scholarship Program to
                                                                 recruit and train math/
                                                                 science teachers $700
                                                                 million/5 years.
                                       Train 250,000 teachers   .......................
                                        via summer institutes,  NSF Teachers
                                        masters programs to      Institutes, DOE Lab
                                        teach AP/IB.             Teacher Institutes,
                                                                 $400 million/5 years.
                                                                Noyce Scholarship
                                                                 Teacher Masters
                                                                 Program (DoEd), $165
                                                                 million/5 years.
                                                                NSF Graduate Research
                                                                 Fellowship, $180
                                                                 million/5 years.
                                       Increase # of students   .......................  ``Math Now'' $147
                                        who take AP and IB      AP and IP Grants $58      million/year-FY 2007
                                        science and math         million/2 years.         and 2008.
                                        courses.
Strengthen the nation's traditional    Increase Federal         .......................  8%/year over 10 years
 commitment to research.                investment in           DOE/NIST/NSF NASA/NOAA,   DOE/NIST/NSF only.
                                        fundamental research     9.8%/year over 5 years.
                                        by 10% a year for 7
                                        years.
                                       Provide $500K/year over  .......................  X
                                        5 years to each of 200  $100 K/year............
                                        top early-career
                                        researchers.
                                       Create Coordination      X......................  X
                                        Office to manage $500m
                                        research-
                                        infrastructure fund.
                                       Allocate 8% of the       .......................  X
                                        budgets of Federal
                                        research agencies to
                                        discretionary funds.
                                       Create within DOE an     .......................  X
                                        organization like
                                        DARPA.
                                       Institute a              .......................  X
                                        Presidential
                                        Innovation Award
                                        program.
Increase talent pool by improving      Provide 25,000, 4-year   X......................
 higher education.                      competitive
                                        undergraduate
                                        scholarships.
                                       Fund 5,000 graduate      .......................
                                        fellowships for U.S.    PACE Fellows, $98
                                        citizens in ``areas of   million/5 years.
                                        national need''.        Fellows + IGERT, $91
                                                                 million/year.
                                       Provide tax credit to    Not Applicable, Finance
                                        employers for employee   Committee jurisdiction.
                                        S&T continuing
                                        education.
                                       Continue improving visa  Passed as part of
                                        processing for           Senate Immigration
                                        international students   Bill.
                                        and scholars.
                                       Extend stay of intl.     Passed as part of
                                        students with PhDs in    Senate Immigration
                                        science/math to remain   Bill.
                                        and seek employment.
                                       Institute a new skills-  Passed as part of
                                        based, preferential      Senate Immigration
                                        immigration option.      Bill.
                                       Reform current system    Issue has been resolved
                                        of ``deemed exports''    through administrative
                                        so foreign researchers   procedures in
                                        have same access as      consultation with
                                        non-cleared U.S.         Committees.
                                        citizens.
Improve incentives and infrastructure  Enhance and reform       X......................
 for innovation.                        intellectual-property
                                        protection system.
                                       Enact a stronger R&D     Not Applicable. Finance
                                        tax credit.              Committee jurisdiction.
                                       Provide tax incentives   Not Applicable. Finance
                                        for U.S. based-          Committee jurisdiction.
                                        innovation.
                                       Ensure ubiquitous        X......................
                                        broadband Internet
                                        access.
Five Total Authorizations............  .......................  $72.8 billion..........  $71.4 billion \2\
Five Year Net additional               .......................  $20.3 billion \3\......  NA
 authorizations.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Unofficial CBO draft bill estimate, September 15, 2006.
\2\ OMB ``Comparison of PACE Administration's Budget,'' July 2006.
\3\ Majority Staff estimate--assumes no inflation adjustment to FY 2007 authorizations.

  Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, I think it is good to summarize by 
saying that S. 3936 contains all but one of the provisions that are 
contained in the 20 suggestions made to us by the Augustine report, 
which has been heralded by so many to be such a vital piece of 
legislation which we ought to adopt and implement so as to keep our 
country free and competitive in a very changing world.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor to Senator Bingaman.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico is recognized.
  Mr. BINGAMAN. Mr. President, I thank my colleague, Senator Domenici, 
for his comments, and I join him and Senator Alexander and many other 
colleagues who have cosponsored this legislation and congratulate our 
majority leader, Senator Frist, and our minority leader, Senator Reid, 
for their leadership in getting this issue introduced into the Senate. 
I hope very much this bipartisan effort can succeed and that before the 
end of the 109th Congress, we can see this legislation on the 
President's desk for signature.
  This bill is the result, as Senator Domenici said, of a close, 
cooperative effort by three of our Senate committees: the Energy and 
Natural Resources Committee, which Senator Domenici chairs and of which 
I am the ranking member, and Senator Alexander is on that committee as 
well; the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee; and the 
Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. I commend the staffs 
of those committees

[[Page S10128]]

for their hard work in producing this legislation, as well as the 
personal staffs of all Senators involved.
  As Senator Domenici pointed out, this is a major piece of legislation 
which arises out of the good work that was done by the National 
Academies. This report which was done there made a series of 
recommendations which are clearly specific which will intend to put the 
country on a track to reverse some of the unfortunate trends we have 
seen in connection with our ability to compete with other countries in 
the world.
  Senator Domenici, Senator Alexander, Senator Mikulski, and I 
introduced three bills in January of this year in order to put into 
legislative form the recommendations of the National Academies report. 
Each of these bills went to a different committee.
  Since all three of us on the Senate floor today are members of the 
Energy Committee and since Senator Domenici chairs that committee, we 
were able to move more quickly in the Senate Energy and Natural 
Resources Committee with the legislation that was assigned to that 
committee, S. 2197, which authorizes a number of programs to strengthen 
the Department of Energy's role in promoting stronger math and science 
education from kindergarten through graduate school. It creates a 
Director for Math and Science Education in the Department of Energy. 
The bill strengthens the role of our national laboratories in this K-12 
math and science education. It authorizes a program whereby national 
laboratories adopt a nearby school to increase its math and science 
proficiency.
  The bill goes on and on with other initiatives which are taken 
directly from the recommendations of the Augustine commission that was 
referred to earlier. These provisions that are in S. 2197 have remained 
largely intact in the legislation that is being introduced today. In 
some cases, we had to reduce the authorization levels so that the 
increases to particular programs were ramped up over a period of time 
instead of suddenly doubling existing programs as had been recommended.
  In the education area, the National Academies report assigned highest 
priorities to this need to strengthen K-12 math and science education, 
and this legislation does so in a variety of ways. Senator Domenici 
elaborated on some of those. I will not go into great detail about 
them, but they are directly taken from the National Academies report.
  We are all aware here in the Senate that we operate on two different 
tracks: we operate on the track of authorizing legislation and the 
track of appropriating legislation. The legislation we are talking 
about today and introducing today is authorizing legislation, so it is 
only one of the steps needed in order to get action accomplished here 
in the Congress. But it is an important step, and it is particularly 
important when you are setting a long-term goal.
  That is what this legislation attempts to do: It tries to look long 
term. It tries to say that we need to ramp up our investment in these 
critical areas of concern so that 5 years from now, 10 years from now, 
we will see a change in these trend lines which have so concerned the 
National Academy of Sciences as well as many of us here in the 
Congress.
  This bill authorizes $73 billion to be spent over 5 years to maintain 
our Nation's competitive edge. Of that, about $20 billion is considered 
new funding; that is, it is funding above the 2006 level at which we 
are today. These are only authorizations. It is not an appropriation. 
It is going to be our job, and it is not an easy job, but it is going 
to be the job of the Congress not only to appropriate these new moneys 
we are here authorizing but also to make sure those moneys are not 
appropriated at the expense of other important programs in the 
Department of Education or in the National Science Foundation or in the 
Department of Energy. I think we are all aware that this has to be new 
money in a genuine sense of that term.

  Again, I thank my colleagues for joining in this bipartisan effort. I 
believe this is a very good piece of legislation. It is an important 
piece of legislation. Often we allow the urgent to crowd out adequate 
consideration for the important items that ought to be on our agenda. 
This is an exception to that. This is a case where we are giving 
attention to the important issues.
  Let me particularly single out for praise Senator Alexander. He has, 
at every step in this process, been pushing to get this initiative one 
step closer to the goal line. I compliment him for doing that. I 
compliment him for the introduction of this legislation today, and I 
compliment all my other colleagues who have been so cooperative in 
seeing that happen as well.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee is recognized.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from New Mexico and 
the senior Senator from New Mexico for their leadership and their 
comments. This is important legislation.
  It is worth pausing today to notice that this is legislation which 
will be introduced tonight by the majority leader of the Senate, 
Senator Frist, and by the Democratic leader of the Senate, Senator 
Reid. There are not very many things this year in this Congress that 
have been introduced by our distinguished two leaders. They do that for 
a reason. They usually don't even cosponsor legislation. But they have 
decided that in this case, this issue is so important that they wanted 
to send a signal to our country, to the rest of us in the Senate, to 
the Members of the House of Representatives, to all of us.
  The Presiding Officer and I deeply believe it is urgently important 
for our country to do what it takes to keep our edge in science and 
technology so we can keep our share of good-paying jobs in the United 
States of America and not see them go overseas to China and India and 
other places. This is the way to do that, and this is an important 
beginning. It would not have happened but for Senator Domenici and 
Senator Bingaman and a variety of other Senators--so many, it is hard 
to mention them all. In fact, the reason I think the bill is having 
such success as it moves through the Senate is that it has so many 
fathers and mothers, it is not possible to tell who they are because 
this is a subject matter which many Senators have been working on for a 
long time.
  This bill is about growing our economy, creating as many good new 
jobs as we can, so that in 20 years we don't wake up and wonder how 
countries such as China and India passed us by. This is a pro-growth 
investment. This $20 billion of new spending over 5 years is as much a 
pro-growth investment as a tax cut is.
  In my experience as a Governor of a State, we had low taxes, and that 
helped to create new jobs. But we also needed to make investments in 
centers of excellence and good teaching and distinguished scientists 
because we knew what most of the world now is learning: most of our 
good new jobs come from brainpower, from our advantage in science and 
technology. We are in a constant state of losing jobs every day as most 
healthy economies are. So the key to our success is how many good new 
jobs we can create, and the key to that is our brainpower advantage.
  We are not the only ones in the world who understand this. We have a 
Democratic leader who understands it. We have a Republican leader who 
understands it. We have a President of the United States, President 
Bush, who understands it and who made it a central part of his State of 
the Union Address. But let me mention just one other President who 
understands it.
  Just about a month ago, a group of Senators, led by Senator Stevens 
and Senator Inouye, traveled to China. We met with the President of 
China, President Hu Jintao. We also met with the Chairman of the 
National People's Congress, the No. 2 person in China, Mr. Wu. Just 2 
months earlier, in July, President Hu went to the Chinese Academy of 
Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering to outline a new 15-
year plan to make China the technology leader in the world. In his 
speech, the President of China said China must:

       Promote a huge leap forward of science and technology; we 
     shall put strengthening independent innovation capability at 
     the core of economic structure adjustment.

  His plan included reforming China's universities and massively 
investing in new research.
  The President of China concluded his speech this way:

       We all bear the time-honored mission to provide strong 
     scientific support for the construction of a well-off society 
     by improving

[[Page S10129]]

     our independent innovation capability and building an 
     innovative country. I hope that our scientists and 
     technicians will strive hard to make brilliant achievements 
     and constantly contribute to our country and the people.

  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the complete remarks of 
President Hu to the Chinese Academies of Science and Engineering in 
July be printed in the Record at the conclusion of my remarks.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (See Exhibit 1.)
  Mr. ALEXANDER. We met with President Hu for about an hour, those of 
us from the Senate. We talked about a variety of issues with him: North 
Korea, Iran, Iraq. He was more animated about this subject than any 
other subject, which is why I suppose we had 70 Senators--35 Democrats, 
35 Republicans--who cosponsored the Domenici-Bingaman bill that was the 
Augustine report. We all understand it is very important.

  We have seen what is happening in India. India is another great 
country with a distinguished group of scientists, and they now 
recognize if they want a bigger share of the world's economic pie, the 
way to do that is through science and innovation.
  The challenge America faces today is really a challenge about brain 
power and jobs. I appreciate the way the Augustine report especially 
put this into perspective. It didn't say the United States of America 
is about to fall off a cliff or that China and India are going to catch 
us tomorrow. It said we face a gathering storm.
  We need to realize how fortunate we are in the United States of 
America when it comes to our standard of living. We constitute between 
4 percent and 5 percent of the world's population. Last year we had 28 
percent of the world's wealth. The International Monetary Fund says the 
gross domestic product of the United States last year was 28 percent of 
the global total for just 4 to 5 percent of the people.
  The average Chinese person probably has a share of the gross domestic 
product that is one-twentieth of the average American. By some 
estimates, China may be moving fast enough to have a gross domestic 
product as big as that of the United States by the year 2040. But even 
then, the average American's share of that amount of wealth will be 
four to five times as much as that of the average Chinese person. So we 
are not about to fall off the cliff.
  But at the same time, we know if we want to keep our high standard of 
living for all Americans, we have to constantly create a large number 
of good new jobs. And the way we do that is brain power. Our good 
fortune comes from that advantage in brain power. We have the finest 
system of colleges and universities. We attract 500,000 of the 
brightest foreign students. They come here because these are the best 
institutions. Many stay here, creating good new jobs for us. Many go 
home. Many are going back to China and India to help their countries 
succeed. No country has national research laboratories to match ours. 
Americans have won the most Nobel Prizes in science. We have registered 
the most patents. That innovation has been responsible for at least 
half of our good new jobs.
  That is why we introduced this bill today. That is why we went, 
together, the Democratic side, the Republican side, to the National 
Academy of Sciences and said: We see this coming. Tell us what we 
should do. Tell us specifically what we should do, 1 through 10 in 
priority order. If you tell us, if you are specific about it, I bet we 
will do it.
  Some who watch Congress might think that is a little bit naive 
because we disagree about a lot and there are a lot of politics here. 
But the National Academies came back with 20 recommendations. The 
Council on Competitiveness already had a very good report. The 
President made his own proposal, which was very substantial. Lo and 
behold, we have worked together for 18 months and came up with an even 
better piece of legislation than any of us introduced to begin with. 
And we have virtually a unanimous agreement about it, among three of 
the largest and most important committees here, and the majority leader 
and the Democratic leader are sponsoring the bill themselves.
  We should pass this legislation this year. We should not go home 
without doing it. We can't do it this week. But by introducing the 
legislation today, Senator Frist and Senator Reid give our country a 
chance, while we all are at home in the next 4 weeks, to tell us what 
they think about it.
  There are a lot of people running for the Senate. I hope in every 
single Senate race this year someone asks the question, Are you in 
favor of the Frist-Reid competitiveness legislation, and do you believe 
it ought to pass the Senate before the end of the year? I hope that 
question is asked. I believe the answer will be yes.
  Our friends in the House of Representatives have been working hard on 
this issue, too. Again, it is not just a Republican initiative, not 
just a Democratic initiative, they have plenty of bipartisan effort 
there, too. It would be my hope that we can take what they have done 
and what we have done and do it before the end of the year. This is 
just the beginning of what we are able to do.
  Senator Domenici and Senator Bingaman did a good job of suggesting 
what the bill includes, so I will not belabor that. But I would simply 
like to conclude my remarks to try to bring these lofty words down to 
Earth a little bit in terms of how this legislation might actually 
affect one State.
  For example, if this legislation is enacted, many bright Tennesseans 
could receive 4-year scholarships to earn bachelor's degrees in 
science, technology, engineering, or math while concurrently earning 
teacher certification. The new teachers would be expected to teach in 
poorer schools for at least the first few years after graduation. That 
would be available in every State.
  There could be summer academies for math and science teachers in 
Tennessee. In our case, it could be at the Oak Ridge National 
Laboratory, providing opportunities for those teachers to work with 
distinguished scientists and go back to the classrooms and inspire 
their students.
  There would be more advanced placement training for 400 Tennessee 
math and science teachers so more students could learn math and 
science, we could have more home-grown scientists. There would be 
support for a proposed math and science specialty high school. Our 
Governor has recommended that. North Carolina has had one for 20 years. 
We never felt we could afford it in Tennessee, but this would give some 
help to our State in terms of having a specialty high school in math 
and science.
  There would be high-tech internships for middle and high school 
students across our State, and there would be growing support 
Tennessee-based researchers that would lead to new high-tech jobs. This 
is in addition to the increases in funding for the physical sciences 
authorized in this legislation, which would especially affect our 
research universities and our National Laboratories.
  So I am delighted to have had the opportunity to be a part of this. I 
look forward to advancing it. I certainly intend, as I go across 
Tennessee, to let our citizens know what the Frist-Reid competitiveness 
legislation offers our country. I intend to let them know that this is 
the way we keep our high standard of living and that we should be 
expected to act on it before the end of the year.
  I congratulate all those Senators who have worked on it, and I invite 
every single Member of this body to be a cosponsor

                               Exhibit 1

  Address by Hu Jintao at 13th Academician Conference of the Chinese 
Academy of Sciences (CAS) and 8th Academician Conference of the Chinese 
          Academy of Engineering (CAE), Beijing, June 5, 2006

       Dear academicians and comrades, Today witnesses the opening 
     of 13th CAS academician conference and 8th CAE academician 
     conference. First of all, on behalf of the CPC Central 
     Committee and the State Council, I would like to extend my 
     warm congratulations to the conferences, and my sincere 
     greetings to the academicians of CAS and CAE and all 
     scientists and technicians in China!
       The conferences of CAS and CAE are held in this crucial 
     moment of turning on the 11th Five-Year Plan. The success of 
     the conferences will have great significance in giving play 
     to the leading role of academicians of CAS and CAE in China's 
     scientific and technological development, and encouraging 
     scientists and technicians to build China

[[Page S10130]]

     into an innovative, well-off society in an all-around way.
       Today I would like to talk about three issues.


     i. Current Situation and Science and Technology Tasks of China

       China has maintained a sound momentum of economic growth in 
     the 28 years since reform and opening up. The process of 
     industrialization, urbanization, marketization and 
     globalization has been accelerated, social productivity, 
     technological strength and overall national strength have 
     been significantly enhanced, and people's living standard has 
     been improved. Socialist political and spiritual civilization 
     construction has been fully strengthened, China's standing 
     has been elevated and its international influence has 
     expanded. We have successfully completed the 10th Five-Year 
     Plan, and are striving for goals of the 11th Five-Year Plan 
     on a new starting point. At the beginning of this year, the 
     State Council issued China National Mid- and Long-Term 
     Science and Technology Development Plan. Meanwhile, CPC 
     Central Committee and the State Council decided to implement 
     the Plan and enhance independent innovation capability, while 
     holding a National Conference for Science and Technology, 
     calling for building our country into an innovative country 
     within 15 years. The scientists and technicians around the 
     country are striving vigorously for the strategic task.
       The more achievements we have made and the more promising 
     outlook we are facing, the calmer shall we remain. While 
     affirming the achievements, we shall analyze correctly the 
     opportunities and challenges we are facing.
       Seen from an international perspective, peace, development 
     and cooperation is the irresistible trend of the times, world 
     multipolarization and economic globalization are progressing, 
     science and technology are advancing rapidly, 
     international industry and technology transfer is 
     accelerating, and there is a growing tendency of foreign 
     countries to cooperate with China. Meanwhile, 
     international situation is experiencing profound and 
     complicated changes, instabilities and uncertainties that 
     affect peace and development are increasing, international 
     competition is being intensified, and our country is still 
     pressed by economic and technological advantages of 
     developed countries.
       As for domestic development, our economic strength has been 
     notably strengthened, and socialist market economic system is 
     improving. Abundant labor resources, huge market and stable 
     social politics lay solid foundation for the economic 
     development of our country and promise us a bright future. 
     However, China, the large developing country with over 1.3 
     billion people, is now in the primary stage of socialism and 
     will remain so for a long time to come. For the time being, 
     we are challenged by such acute problems: low productivity, 
     unbalanced development, low living standard, weak 
     agricultural foundation, extensive economic growth mode, 
     growing limitation by energy resources, worsening 
     environmental pollution and ecology contamination. We shall 
     make long-term efforts to tackle such problems and achieve 
     the goal of modernization.
       Now turn our eyes to the world's scientific and 
     technological development. Science and technology, especially 
     strategic hi-tech has become an increasingly decisive factor 
     of economic and social development, as well as the focus of 
     overall national strength competition. Science and technology 
     are advancing rapidly, creating many new cross-subject fields 
     through overlapping and penetration between subjects, between 
     science and technology, and between science and humanities. 
     Scientific discoveries are providing more favorable 
     conditions for technical innovation and productivity 
     development, leading to shortened S&T result 
     industrialization cycle, faster technological updating, and 
     rapid development of hi-tech and industries represented by 
     information technology and biotechnology. New scientific 
     breakthroughs and economic growth points have been created to 
     mark scientific innovation and advanced productivity, while 
     driving economic and social development. A nation's core 
     competition increasingly reflected in cultivation, 
     configuration and controlling capability of intelligence 
     resource and scientific results, as well as ownership and 
     utilization of intellectual property. In the surging waves of 
     world scientific development, it is clear that whoever 
     masters the new features and trends, grasps opportunities and 
     constantly improves scientific strength especially 
     independent innovation capability will hold priority in 
     overall national strength competition. Now, major countries 
     are accelerating their steps of scientific R&D. Rapid 
     scientific progress and its impelling influence have posed 
     inevitable challenges before us. The only way out for us is 
     to catch up with the developed countries with persistent 
     spirit and independent innovation capability, enhancing our 
     core competitiveness and boosting our productivity in order 
     to win in the fierce international competition.
       Through long-term efforts, we have made brilliant 
     achievements in science and technology, formed a complete 
     subject layout, and fostered a team of scientific scholars 
     who are in scientific innovation. Our R&D ability in some 
     crucial fields has ranked top in the world. However, compared 
     with the world's advanced level, we still have a long way to 
     go. There are problems that hamper economic and social 
     development, including weak independent innovation 
     capability, few invention patents, high dependence on key 
     technologies abroad, low proportion of hi-tech industry, 
     enterprises not truly becoming the mainbody of 
     technological innovation, scientific results not 
     industrialized yet, and lack of excellent talents etc. We 
     have to make great efforts to tackle them.
       In a word, seen from any angle, we are facing both 
     opportunities and challenges. Under the circumstance of 
     intensified international competition and complicated tasks 
     on domestic reform, development and stability, we must be 
     prepared for any eventualities, facing, meeting and defeating 
     challenges while recognizing, seizing and taking 
     opportunities. Furthermore, we should put more attention to 
     varied challenges that may affect current or long-term 
     development of our country, focus on vital contradictions and 
     problems, and promote the better, swifter economic and social 
     development based on technological development.
       To build an innovative country is a strategic decision made 
     by CPC Central Committee and the State Council based on the 
     consideration of building a well-off society in an all-round 
     way and creating a new situation in building socialism with 
     Chinese characteristics. To realize this objective, we shall 
     raise strengthening independent innovation capability to a 
     strategic position, create a new way for independent 
     innovation with Chinese characteristics, and promote a huge 
     leap forward of science and technology; we shall put 
     strengthening independent innovation capability at the core 
     of economic structure adjustment and economic growth mode 
     transformation, build a resource-efficient, environment-
     friendly society, and push forward swifter and better 
     development of national economy; we shall take strengthening 
     independent innovation capability to be our national strategy 
     and implement the strategy throughout modernization 
     construction; we shall inspire the nation's innovative 
     spirit, cultivate high-level innovative talents, form a 
     system or mechanism favorable for independent innovation, 
     promote innovations in theory, system and technology, and 
     continuously consolidate and develop socialism with Chinese 
     characteristics. With strong sense of historical 
     responsibility and worldwide vision, and under the guideline 
     of ``independent innovation, key breakthrough, sustainable 
     development and leading the future'', we shall persistently 
     take science and technology as primary productive force, 
     implement strategies of Invigorating China through Science 
     and Education and Reinvigorating China through Human Resource 
     Development, stick to the principle of ``rely economic 
     construction & social development on science & technology, 
     and science & technology progress serves economic 
     construction & social development''; develop major policies 
     and relevant measures for scientific development, push 
     forward national innovation system construction, strengthen 
     studies on basic science, hi-tech field and sustainable 
     development, quicken the transformation of knowledge and 
     technology to actual productivity in order to provide strong 
     technological support to economic and social development, and 
     make science and technology modernization the true drive 
     forces for rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.


     ii. Build a Large-scaled Team of Innovative Technical Talents

       Talents, especially innovative technical talents, play a 
     key role in building an innovative country. It is impossible 
     to realize this goal without the support of a powerful team 
     of innovative technical talents. The worldwide competition of 
     overall national strength is actually a competition for 
     talents especially for innovative talents. Only those who 
     cultivate, attract, and make good use of the talents 
     especially innovative talents can hold priority in the 
     fierce international competition, and realize the 
     development goals as well. Here, I would like to talk 
     about how to intensify the cultivation of innovative 
     talents.
       The whole technical innovation history has proved that 
     innovative technical talents are creators of new knowledge, 
     inventors of new subjects, leaders of technical breakthroughs 
     and development approaches, and strategic treasures for a 
     nation's development. Cultivation of innovative technical 
     talents with no hesitation is essential for improving 
     independent innovation capability and building an innovative 
     nation, and is also indispensable for realizing the state's 
     development goals and rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. We 
     should persist in the strategy that considers talents to be 
     primary resources, take cultivation of innovative technical 
     talents as a strategic measure to build an innovative nation, 
     and quicken our steps of building a large-scaled team of 
     innovative technical talents.
       To cultivate innovative technical talents, we should 
     thoroughly carry out the strategy of paying respect to labor, 
     knowledge, talent and creation, follow the requirements of 
     building an innovative nation and the rules of talent 
     development. We should attract the talents with business, 
     shape the talents with practices, spirit up the talents with 
     our system and protect the talents with our laws so as to 
     enlarge the team of the technical talents.
       The cultivation of innovative technical talents is complex 
     program that requires joint efforts from all party 
     committees, governments, relevant departments, universities, 
     scientific institutions and the whole society. We should 
     highlight the following aspects in our work:

[[Page S10131]]

       First, improve the cultivation system. The cultivation of 
     innovative technical talents is a long comprehensive process, 
     and we must begin from education. We should further enhance 
     education reform and the education for all-round development 
     according to China's economic and social development 
     especially technological development, in order to establish 
     an education system favoring for innovative technical 
     talents. We should take systematic control of primary 
     schools, middle schools, universities and employment in order 
     to establish an effective mechanism to cultivate innovative 
     technical talents. In addition, we should change the 
     traditional indoctrinatory way of education into a new 
     innovative manner, paying more attention to students' 
     initiative and creative thinking mode while respecting the 
     guiding role of teachers. We should reduce the homework 
     burden of primary and middle school students, inspire their 
     curiosity and exploration enthusiasm so that they will make 
     all-round development based on their interest and potential. 
     We should reform the course arrangement of colleges and 
     universities, update teaching materials, and pay more 
     attention to the combination of theory and practice, in order 
     to cultivate the students' innovation spirit and capability. 
     We should lay great emphasis on the cultivation of technical 
     development and practice capability, and improve the ability 
     to turn scientific achievements into project application. 
     Moreover, we should provide continuing education for on-the-
     job technicians at different layers through multiple 
     channels, and accelerate the establishment of an open, 
     independent networking life-long education system, so that 
     the technicians will learn new knowledge and skills 
     continuously to improve their capabilities of 
     technological innovation.
       Second, use talents without prejudice. We should establish 
     and complete a targeted management system and method to 
     distinguish and cultivate talents on an equal competition 
     basis. Instead of paying sole attention to one's educational 
     background, qualification or status, we should provide more 
     opportunities for excellent talents, especially young 
     innovative technical talents. We should carry out the state's 
     and industry's plan for technical talent cultivation, 
     actively push the building of the innovation team, and create 
     a good environment for cultivation and development of 
     innovative technical talents under the support of the state's 
     talent cultivation programs, important researches and 
     projects, major industry projects, key subjects and research 
     bases and international academic exchange projects. We should 
     carry forward the innovation culture, build harmonic 
     interrelationship, keep a free working environment, create a 
     solidaric organization system, understand the personalities 
     of the innovative talents, allow them to express their new 
     academic thoughts and ideas, encourage and cultivate their 
     innovation spirit, inspire their enthusiasm in innovation, 
     and ensure that they make innovations dedicatedly. The 
     technological innovation is risky and unpredictable, which 
     requires tolerance of failure during innovation. Therefore, 
     we should take good care of the talents facing frustrations, 
     and support their future work based on past experiences. In 
     addition, the leaders and managers of the technical team 
     should improve their leading and management capability, make 
     every effort to be the talent scout, and make good use of the 
     talents.
       Third, improve the system and policy support. We should 
     continue deepening the science & technology system reform to 
     give full play to the leading role of the government and the 
     fundamental role of market in the distribution of 
     technological resources. A comprehensive system pertaining to 
     talent training, utilization, appraisal, assignment and flow 
     should be established. By changing attitudes, practices and 
     systems that block the growth and accomplishment of talent, 
     we should guarantee the successful implementation of systems 
     and policies that encourage technological innovation in 
     scientific research institutions. Considering one's moral 
     character, performance, knowledge and capability, a 
     comprehensive appraisal system should be established to 
     realize management by objectives (MBO) for the innovative 
     talent's contributions and further curb the usual practice of 
     ignoring capability and performance while focusing on 
     educational background and seniority during appraisal. 
     Improve the mechanism of encouraging enterprises to increase 
     scientific investment in order to give play to their leading 
     role in technological innovation and diversify the pattern of 
     scientific investment. Establish an enterprise-centered, 
     market-oriented scientific innovation system that combines 
     production, education and research; encourage innovative 
     talents to gather in enterprises. Improve the intellectual 
     property system to inspire people's zest for innovation, 
     safeguard their rights and interests, and provide legal 
     protection for technological innovation and utilization of 
     innovative achievements. The title evaluation should be 
     restructured to encourage all kinds of talents to engage in 
     knowledge-based and technological innovation. More attention 
     should be put on key industries and human resource-intensive 
     organizations, technology extension in remote and poor 
     areas, industrial and agricultural production bases, 
     various enterprises and institutions that have brought 
     significant social and economical benefits, as well as 
     young and middle-aged technicians. Income distribution and 
     incentive systems that encourage innovation should be 
     established; priority shall be given to key positions and 
     distinguished talents, and talents with remarkable 
     contributions will get rewards. In this way, we can form a 
     mechanism in which posts are obtained by competition, 
     salaries depend on contributions, and eminent talents have 
     enviable income. The talent flow system and talent 
     information management system should be improved to wipe 
     out institutional obstacles in talent flow, promote the 
     orderly and rational flow of talents, let rare talents and 
     professionals demonstrate their full capabilities, and 
     ensure the reserve of talents for the state's major 
     scientific and technological projects.
       Fourth, adopt open cultivation. No innovative technical 
     talent, especially the pioneers, can be cultivated without 
     going deep into the reality. Under the critical situation 
     that international scientific and technological level 
     surpasses ours, it's hard to cultivate a group of innovative 
     talents in a short time without adopting an open manner. 
     Improving independent innovation capability based on 
     introduction and assimilation is an effective way to catch up 
     with international advanced level, while open cultivation is 
     the right method of bringing up internationally recognized, 
     top-notch talents and pioneers in science and technology. 
     Having studied abroad and communicated with the foreign 
     companions, most academicians in CAS and CAE and outstanding 
     technical workers have demonstrated their talents in 
     international exchange and cooperation, while learning 
     advanced innovation concept and latest technologies. By 
     sticking to the opening-up policy and communicating with 
     international scientific institutions in various forms, we 
     can benefit from global technological resources and learn 
     from all civilizations that human beings have created. 
     Scientific institutions and universities are encouraged to 
     cooperate with overseas R&D institutions to build joint 
     laboratories or R&D centers. International programs shall be 
     promoted under the protocol of bilateral and multilateral 
     scientific cooperation. National enterprises are encouraged 
     to establish R&D institutions or industrial bases in foreign 
     countries and multinationals are also encouraged to set up 
     R&D institutions in China. We should actively participate in 
     large international scientific projects and academic 
     organizations. Chinese scientists and scientific institutions 
     are encouraged to join or organize large international or 
     regional scientific projects. Utilize human resources from 
     both home and abroad by combining domestic talent cultivation 
     with introducing overseas talents. While developing human 
     resources at home and training talent independently, we 
     should step up efforts to introduce foreign talents as well 
     as new and high technologies. Various measures can be taken 
     to attract talents studying abroad to come back and start 
     their own business; highly-qualified overseas talents or 
     talents urgently needed for our social and economic 
     development are warmly welcomed.
       Fifth, create a social environment that fosters 
     technological innovation. Innovation culture and 
     technological innovation promote and encourage the 
     development of each other. The Chinese culture has long been 
     advocating innovation and our ancestors emphasized, ``A 
     gentlemen shall strive along with perseverance''. We shall 
     encourage the spirit of innovation so as to provide a 
     powerful cultural support to building an innovative talent 
     team and an innovative nation. Innovation awareness should 
     be raised in the whole society. We encourage people to 
     think innovatively, act initiatively and take risks in the 
     hope of creating a favorable social environment that 
     supports talents to start business and succeed. Scientific 
     knowledge, methods, ideas and spirit should be widely 
     spread to equip more common people with scientific 
     knowledge, which in turn will lead a trend of doing things 
     scientifically, loving science, studying science and 
     applying scientific findings. Publicize exemplary stories 
     and figures in technological innovation to make people 
     realize the role of innovation in driving economic and 
     social development. The value that ``innovation is 
     glorious'' should be emphasized, enabling technological 
     innovation to be a kind of work and activity respected by 
     the whole society. Science popularization should be 
     strengthened to foster a notion of technological 
     innovation in teenagers' minds and inspire them to become 
     the main force in technological innovation and scientific 
     development in the future.
       It is proved that innovative technical talents, especially 
     the pioneers, are all endowed with basic qualities and 
     characteristics necessary for their development and 
     technological innovation. In sum, there are six qualities to 
     become an innovative scientific talent in China today. First, 
     you must have high ideals for life, love the country, the 
     people, and science and technology, be qualified in both 
     ability and moral integrity, and realize your values of life 
     in making scientific contributions. Second, you shall have 
     enough aspiration and courage to seek truth, emancipate your 
     mind, draw conclusions from facts, keep pace with the times, 
     keep strong desire for innovation and exploration, have sharp 
     eyes on new things and knowledge, dare to challenge authority 
     and traditional concepts, and run forward without fear to 
     seek truth and innovation. Third, you must be competent in 
     precise and scientific thinking, master the thinking method 
     of dialectic materialism, and keep lifelong studying by using 
     scientific methods to constantly update your knowledge and 
     theories, build a wide, profound knowledge structure, and 
     foster comprehensive scientific and cultural

[[Page S10132]]

     quality. Fourth, you must have solid professional knowledge, 
     international vision and keen insight to grasp the trend of 
     scientific development and innovation, and be adept at 
     providing key solutions for major scientific problems. Fifth, 
     you must have strong team spirit to lead the innovative team 
     in implementing major scientific programs or tackling front-
     line science difficulties by organizing multi-subject experts 
     and collecting knowledge on all fronts. Sixth, you must be 
     honest and serious about your work, indifferent to fame and 
     wealth, have strong ambition and high ideals, hardbitten and 
     determined, unafraid of hardships and frustration. You must 
     have the courage to defeat difficulties in technological 
     innovation in order to make great achievements continuously. 
     These qualities can be found in successful scientists of any 
     country, as well as our academicians, excellent scientists 
     and technicians. We shall inherit and carry forward the fine 
     traditions and styles of Chinese scientists and technicians, 
     which will play a very important role in cultivating a large 
     group of innovative scientific talents.
       There is a Chinese saying, ``It is easy to recruit 
     thousands of soldiers, but it is not so easy to find a 
     general.'' A leading scientific elite, an international 
     scientific master or pioneer can lead a team of excellent 
     innovative scientific talents to make world-leading 
     scientific achievements, giving birth to competitive 
     enterprises and new industries. There are many such leaders 
     among our academicians, but there's shortage of such 
     talents in our whole country. So our work of cultivating 
     innovative talents shall focus on such talents esp. youth 
     or middle-aged leaders. Meanwhile, we shall cultivate 
     innovative talents at different levels, who will act as 
     backbone of academic and technical innovation and form a 
     talent structure suitable for scientific innovation, thus 
     promoting innovation practices in each field and at 
     different layers.
       The scientific and technological development in China is 
     now facing many opportunities for huge leap forward. Under 
     the background of reform, opening up and modernization 
     construction, it is urgent to develop science and technology, 
     and the scientists and technicians are able to exhibit their 
     brilliancy. The aspirant scientists or technicians shall 
     seize the opportunity to contribute to the construction of an 
     innovative country while realizing their own dream in this 
     course.


 III. Academicians of CAS and CAE Display their Talents in Building an 
                           Innovative Country

       Academicians of CAS and CAE represent our country's highest 
     academic level in science and engineering technology. They 
     enjoy highest honor and are respected by the whole society. 
     As leaders of national science and technology, academicians 
     of CAS and CAE has long been committed to our country's 
     scientific and technological development as well as economic 
     and social development. Thanks to their painstaking efforts, 
     we have made all these achievements from drawing of The 1956-
     1967 Science and Technology Development Plan to successful 
     development of ``two bombs and one satellite'' in hard times, 
     from drawing and implementation of ``863 Program'' and ``973 
     Program'' that play a key role in our scientific development 
     to the launch of manned spaceship of Shenzhou V and Shenzhou 
     VI, from a series of discoveries including hybrid rice, 
     nonmarine oilgeneration theory and application and high 
     performance computer to the great projects of Three Gorges, 
     south-to-north water diversion, west-to-east electricity and 
     gas transmission, Qinghai-Tibet Railway, and high speed 
     railway transportation. Mr. Wang Xuan who passed away 
     recently is just one of the most outstanding academicians. He 
     devoted all his life to science, and becomes the model of all 
     scholars with the spirit of pioneering, earnest aid to young 
     generation, and utter devotion. Academicians of CAS and CAE 
     are truly the pride of our nation and people!
       It has been proved that the academician system with Chinese 
     characteristics fits the real situation of our country. It is 
     very effective in gathering scientific elites to contribute 
     their ideas and tackle difficulties in economic and social 
     development, organizing innovative team for national major 
     scientific projects, and stimulating the scientists and 
     technicians to work for our country's flourishing and 
     prosperity. But after all, academician system has existed in 
     China for only decades. To give better play to its functions, 
     we shall continue improving the system based on real 
     situation and experiences.
       The Central Committee of CCP, State Council and Chinese 
     people have high expectations towards academicians of CAS and 
     CAE. We hope that, with the advantages of cross-subject, 
     cross-department and high academic level, CAS and CAE will 
     carry out macroscopic, strategic, proactive and comprehensive 
     decision consultancy on such major issues as promoting 
     economic and social development, improving people's living 
     standard and ensuring national defense. Meanwhile, they 
     shall organize scientific research team to play a leading 
     role in professional fields, provide the Party and 
     government with valuable opinions, and make major 
     decisions more scientific and democratic through real 
     efforts.
       We hope that academicians of CAS and CAE will endeavor to 
     become pioneers standing at the frontier of scientific 
     innovation with the patriotic spirit of love for our homeland 
     and conscientious devotion, scientific spirit of being 
     practical and innovative, exploration spirit of being 
     unafraid of hardships, and team spirit of being cooperative 
     and indifferent to fame and wealth. They shall bear in mind 
     the major scientific problems in economic and social 
     development, combine national demand and micro-deployment 
     with free exploration, continue to drive original innovation 
     and R&D of core technology and integrated technology, promote 
     introduction, assimilation and re-innovation, industry-
     academy-research integration, and work hard for huge leaps of 
     independent innovation capability as well as construction of 
     an innovative country.
       We also hope that academicians of CAS and CAE can take lead 
     in all-out efforts of building an innovative country; carry 
     forward the scientific spirit of seeking truth from facts, 
     foster socialist concept of honor and disgrace--Eight Honors 
     and Eight Disgraces; bear the responsibility of demonstrating 
     innovative behavior and achievements to the public and 
     promoting innovative culture; develop the people's interests 
     in science and technology, deepen their knowledge about 
     scientific innovation, and build innovative culture together. 
     Meanwhile, I sincerely hope you will shoulder the heavy task 
     of cultivating talents especially innovative scientific 
     talents, develop academic echelon, and make every effort to 
     support the innovation and rapid growth of youths.
       Dear academicians and comrades!
       We all bear the time-honored mission to provide strong 
     scientific support for the construction of a well-off society 
     by improving our independent innovation capability and 
     building an innovative country. I hope that our scientists 
     and technicians will strive hard to make brilliant 
     achievements and constantly contribute to our country and the 
     people.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nevada.
  Mr. ENSIGN. I ask unanimous consent to speak in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. ENSIGN. Mr. President, I join Senators Alexander, Bingaman, and 
others in talking about a topic that I personally have spent a great 
deal of time on over the past two years: how to improve the ability of 
the United States to compete in an increasingly global marketplace.
  We have held many hearings in the Commerce Committee and in the 
Commerce Subcommittee that I chair on technology, innovation, and 
competitiveness issues. I know that both the HELP Committee and the 
Energy Committee have also examined related issues of competitiveness 
and innovation within the scope of their jurisdiction. A major focus of 
these hearings has been to consider how we keep America on the cutting 
edge.
  We have learned some startling statistics. First of all, we find out 
that America will graduate somewhere around 60,000 to 70,000 engineers 
this year. China and India together will graduate a much larger number 
of engineers in that same time period.
  In the 21st century, we need to encourage more people to go into the 
technology fields, into science, math, and engineering. We need more 
students to pursue advanced degrees in these fields. We need to inspire 
more of our young people to go into these fields.
  One interesting fact that came out is that if our kids become 
disinterested in science and math in elementary school, the chances of 
them ever becoming interested in these fields later on in life are 
virtually nil. So we have to focus on inspiring our young kids to go 
into science, technology, engineering, and math from a very young age.
  We had a fascinating hearing with the Director of the Museum of 
Science in Boston--Dr. Ioannis Miaoulis--who put it very simply. He 
said: When we started our curriculum in the United States for 
elementary school, we started it back in the late 1800s. Engineering 
was not a big field back then, so it didn't get a lot of attention then 
and that has carried over into our current curriculum. Now when we 
teach about science, we learn a lot about nature. Those are good things 
to learn. As a matter of fact, I have kids in school now, and one of 
the things we all learn about is how a volcano functions. Dr. Miaoulis 
talked about this when he testified before my Subcommittee. We all 
build our model volcanos with our kids and see how a volcano works.
  Dr. Miaoulis posed this question. He said: Have you ever noticed how 
everybody in America learns how a volcano functions, but nobody really 
learns how a car functions?
  Then he asked this question: Where do you spend more time, in a car 
or in a volcano?

[[Page S10133]]

  As the story suggests, our children are not learning enough about 
engineering concepts in our schools, and as a result they are not 
becoming interested in those engineering concepts. The National 
Competitiveness Investment Act that I am happy to join with my 
colleagues in introducing today focuses on three primary areas of 
importance to maintaining and improving the innovation of the United 
States in the 21st century: research investment, increasing science and 
technology talent, and developing an innovation infrastructure.
  A tremendous amount of bipartisan cooperation has gone into the 
development of the National Competitiveness Investment Act, going back 
well over a year to when Senator Lieberman and I first started drafting 
legislation to address key concerns, identified in ``Innovate 
America,'' a report from the Council on Competitiveness.
  Subsequent reports such as the National Academies' ``Rising Above the 
Gathering Storm,'' have raised similar concerns and have led several 
Senate committees to look at programs related to basic research, 
education, and other areas of competitiveness within their respective 
areas of jurisdiction.
  As a matter of fact, Senators Alexander, Bingaman, and Domenici 
introduced what they called their PACE bills that addressed a lot of 
the problems that were identified in the National Academies, ``Rising 
Above the Gathering Storm'' report. During the past several weeks we 
have undertaken a bipartisan effort to combine the work products of the 
Senate Commerce Committee, the Senate Energy Committee, and the Senate 
HELP Committee. This effort has included the involvement of the 
chairmen and ranking members, both Republicans and Democrats, from all 
of these committees, as well as several other Members who have been 
involved. This has been under the direction of the two leaders' 
offices. This is the most bipartisan effort on any bill probably in the 
last several years in the Senate.
  This was no easy task, especially when we need to be ever vigilant 
about growing deficits. We were forced to take a hard look at how to 
best address pressing needs related to science, technology, 
engineering, and math education, basic research and barriers that U.S. 
companies are facing as they compete in this global economy.
  I believe the legislation before us today is a good compromise, and 
it reflects a good mix of spending on key priorities like basic 
research and education, while being sensitive to avoiding the 
duplication among various federal agencies. This legislation will 
ensure these programs are being evaluated and are being responsive to 
key needs, while at the same time being fiscally responsible.
  Specifically, the National Competitiveness Investment Act would 
increase authorization for the National Science Foundation, or the NSF, 
from approximately $6 billion in fiscal year 2007 to more than $11 
billion in 2011.
  We doubled the funding for the National Institutes of Health, the 
life sciences, and it is now time to do the same for basic research in 
the physical sciences. This is an investment in our country.
  I am a fiscal conservative. I am one of the most fiscally 
conservative Members of the Senate. But every dollar we spend on basic 
research is a dollar that will come back to us in spades in terms of 
stimulating economic activity and helping to keep the United States at 
the forefront of global innovation.
  By the way, those who are concerned about tax revenues coming in, the 
better our economy does, the more tax revenues come into the Federal 
Government.
  The bill also expands existing NSF graduate research fellowship and 
traineeship programs. It requires NSF to work with institutions of 
higher education to develop professional science master's degree 
programs and strengthens the NSF's technology talent program.
  It also helps to prioritize activities in NSF's research and related 
activities account to meet critical national needs in the physical or 
natural sciences--technology, engineering, mathematics; or to enhance 
competitiveness or innovation in the United States. And there is 
language to authorize the National Institutes of Standards and 
Technology from approximately $640 million next year to $940 million 4 
years later.
  It would require the same agency to set aside no less than 8 percent 
of its annual funding for high-risk, high-reward innovation 
acceleration research.
  This is very important because this is different than what people do 
today. We need to invest in high-risk, high-reward basic research and 
setting that 8 percent as a minimum is very important.
  This bill also requires the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a 
study to identify the forms of risk that create barriers to innovation 
1 year after enactment and 4 years after enactment. It establishes the 
Innovation Acceleration Research Program to direct Federal agencies 
funding research in science and technology to set a goal, once again, 
of dedicating approximately 8 percent of the research and development 
budget toward high-risk frontier research.
  It also authorizes increased funding for the Department of Energy's 
Office of Science over the next 5 years. We all know how important it 
is for the Department of Energy to be involved in basic research.
  There are other provisions to assist States in establishing specialty 
schools in math and science to benefit high-need districts. The bill 
also strengthens the skills of thousands of math and science teachers 
by establishing training and educational programs at summer institutes 
hosted at the National Laboratories.
  The bill also establishes partnerships between the National 
Laboratories and local, high-need high schools to create centers of 
excellence in math and science education.
  Finally, the bill authorizes competitive grants to States to promote 
better alignment of elementary and secondary education with the 
knowledge and skills that are needed to succeed at institutions of 
higher education and in our marketplaces in the 21st century.
  This is a comprehensive piece of legislation to address the key 
recommendations in the two reports, ``Innovate America'' and ``Rising 
Above the Gathering Storm.''
  While I am sure there are many other well-intentioned ideas of other 
provisions to add to this bill, I would plead with my colleagues to not 
overload this bill. We have worked diligently together in a bipartisan 
fashion over the last 2 years to remain absolutely disciplined and to 
confine this effort to enacting the key provisions that relate to 
innovation and competitiveness. We have worked hard to keep the cost of 
this bill within a responsible budgetary framework.
  I believe we have a solid work product that will help the United 
States be competitive as we enter an increasingly difficult global 
marketplace where our students and our U.S. companies need to be 
prepared to meet an unprecedented global challenge.
  I am pleased that Senators Frist and Reid have agreed to address an 
issue of this tremendous importance to the United States on a 
bipartisan basis.
  I thank my colleagues from the Commerce Committee, Senator Stevens 
and Senator Inouye; from the HELP Committee, Senator Enzi, Senator 
Kennedy, and Senator Alexander; and, from the Energy Committee, 
Senators Domenici and Bingaman and their staff for great bipartisan 
work to pull this bill together.
  I also would like to specifically recognize Senator Hutchison for her 
great work, and all of the staff--my staff and all of the Senators' 
staff--who have contributed a great deal of personal time and effort on 
many of the key provisions of this legislation.
  Finally, I would like to acknowledge the work of my colleague, 
Senator Lieberman, who started in this endeavor with me many months 
ago.
  As Senator Alexander said a few moments ago, we encourage all of our 
colleagues to join us in cosponsoring this important piece of 
legislation. Now is the time to act. We have a rare opportunity to put 
aside our party labels and to put our country first. In many other 
areas, we should be not Republican, not Democrat, not Independent--we 
should be Americans. This is such a bill. This piece of legislation is 
critical for the future competitiveness of our country.
  I urge all of our colleagues to join us in this bipartisan effort
  I thank the Chair. I yield the floor.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, I would like to acknowledge the role of

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Senator Ensign in this competitiveness piece of legislation.
  It would not have gotten started without him and the work he did with 
Senator Lieberman in the Council on Competitiveness, and it would not 
have been finished without he and his staff taking a lead role in 
helping to bring the Senators together.
  It is important the way he characterized this as a progrowth 
initiative. This is progrowth legislation. It is part of a progrowth 
agenda. Sometimes we forget that.
  It is a great pleasure to work with him on this legislation. I wanted 
to acknowledge his leadership.
  I want to say to the Senator from Massachusetts that I appreciate his 
leadership on this legislation. He was already a veteran when I was a 
Senate aide here many years ago. He has been deeply involved in these 
issues for a long time. He and his staff made it possible for us to 
bring this to a conclusion.
  There are many ideas about how to do this. To have three committees 
basically unanimously agree that this is how we should begin--there are 
many other issues to be dealt with. Many of them may be dealt with in 
amendments after the recess. But without Senator Kennedy's leadership 
and without Senator Ensign, nothing would have happened.
  After Senator Kennedy's remarks, I would like to say a word about 
Secretary Spellings' speech today. I appreciate him allowing me to 
speak now.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Coleman). The Senator from Massachusetts.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I just want to say a few words on the 
competitiveness legislation to which Senator Alexander and Senator 
Ensign referred. My full statement will accompany the bill's 
introduction later today, but I do want to mention that I am a very 
strong supporter of the bill. As Senator Ensign and Senator Alexander 
mentioned, it is the result of a strong bipartisan process.
  Americans know how to rise to challenges and come out ahead. We've 
done it before and we can do it again. We were called into action in 
1957 when the Soviet Union sent Sputnik into space. We rose to the 
challenge by passing the National Defense Education Act and inspiring 
the nation to ensure that the first footprint on the moon was by an 
American. We increased the commitment we made to math and science and 
doubled the federal investment in education.
  Money in itself may not be the answer to everything, but it is a very 
clear indication of a nation's priorities.
  Now we are faced with the challenges of globalization, and now we 
must decide--are we going to get consumed by it, or are we going to 
embrace the challenge and make sure that every individual, whether in 
Tennessee or in Massachusetts, is going to be prepared to respond to 
it; that our States are going to be prepared to respond to it; and that 
our country is going to be prepared to respond to it? This is critical 
not only for the sake of our economy, but for the sake of our national 
security.
  We need the same bold commitment today that we made four decades ago, 
in order to help the current generation meet and master the global 
challenges of today and tomorrow. The National Competitiveness 
Investment Act is a strong first step in that effort.
  I will not take the time here to review how America is slipping 
behind in technology and engineering compared to what is happening in 
India and in China and other countries. But one brutal fact is that the 
jobs of the future are going to go to the societies and the economies 
that are on the forefront of innovation. That is where the economic 
strength is going to be, and it will directly impact our national 
security. This legislative effort is a very important downpayment on 
ensuring that the United States is that society at the forefront of 
innovation. And the legislation is the result of a good deal of work.
  The good work of the Senator from Tennessee, Mr. Alexander, of 
Senator Bingaman from New Mexico, and the large bipartisan group the 
Senator from Nevada mentioned. It stems from the work of the National 
Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the 
Institute of Medicine as well as some very important leaders in the 
private sector who have played an extremely important role in our 
efforts to keep America on the cutting edge.
  We are also dealing with other important issues that are before the 
Senate today. But I agree with my colleagues that these issues related 
to America's competitiveness are issues that Congress needs to act on 
as soon as possible. It is extremely important.
  At a time in Washington when the debate seems to be dominated by 
partisan politics, it should be reassuring to the American people that 
we are united in recognizing the importance of investing in America's 
competitiveness in the years to come. I look forward to working with my 
colleagues as the bill moves forward to ensure that Congress provides 
the new investments needed to fully support and build on these 
important proposals.

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