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Why is Speaker Pelosi Afraid of Compromise?

Washington, D.C. - Alaskan Congressman Don Young released the following statement today following House leaders’ decision to pull from the floor consideration of a bill (H.R. 5116, the COMPETES Act) that would provide a five year authorization for the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy's Office of Science, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology to provide for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) educational programs.

"Today, my colleagues and I had the opportunity to work together to change legislation that would benefit students interested in math and science careers in a bipartisan manner, but Speaker Pelosi’s arrogance shut down that process. After agreeing by a vote of 292 – 126 to amend the COMPETES Act to keep our federal science and technology programs student-focused in a fiscally responsible manner, House leadership yanked the bill from further consideration.

"The COMPETES Act shifts funding to new programs that are duplicative of existing programs or involve activities not associated with research and development. In addition, this bill authorizes nearly $86 billion in funding, which is $22 billion above the FY2010 base amount, at a time of unsustainable government spending and large federal deficits. I strongly oppose altering programs that currently work well to create new programs, particularly at a time when we’re faced with a growing national deficit.

"After a year and a half of having bloated spending bills shoved down taxpayers’ throats, a majority of House Members stood against Speaker Pelosi’s continued assault on the budget. Her hostility toward fiscal restraint has prevented the House from showing the American people that we can work together across the aisle to fund worthwhile programs in a responsible manner."

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