WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 30 June 1989 Washington, DC
CHINESE RESEARCHERS IN THE US WHO RECEIVE SUPPORT FROM THE NSF
are invited to apply for supplemental funds to cover an extension
of their stay resulting from President Bush's offer of a one-year
delayed departure. APS President Krumhansl, in a letter to key
members of Congress, points out that during this time Chinese
scholars would remain ineligible for permanent resident status
and could still be placed in grave personal jeopardy when they
return to China. His letter urges that legislative action be
taken to enable Chinese students and scholars on J-1 visas to
apply for permanent resident status. "Far from representing a
burden to the United States," he says, "these young people are
among the most brilliant and dedicated researchers in the world."
. THE SUPERCOLLIDER SURVIVED AN ATTACK ON THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE
Wednesday during debate on the Energy and Water Appropriations
Bill. The measure appropriates $200M for the SSC, including $110M
to begin construction, which was an important political and
psychological barrier. The $110M was apparently taken from other
high-energy programs in the General Science and Research budget.
If this happens every year, there might not be any high-energy
physicists left to use the $6B Supercollider when it is completed
in nine years. The total is $50M less than the Administration
request, but it could have been a lot worse. An amendment was
introduced to strip off the entire $110M for construction by
simply deleting the money; the cut in General Science and
Research would not have been restored. It was easily defeated.
3. MAGNETIC CONFINEMENT FUSION WAS SLASHED BY $69M
in the same
House appropriations bill. No construction funds were included
for the Compact Ignition Tokamak or the Confinement Physics
Research Facility. The DOE was directed to concentrate on
research at existing facilities. The Senate has yet to act.
4. NSF AND NASA FACE THE PROSPECT OF SUBSTANTIAL CUTS IN FY 90
a result of the House Appropriations Committee allocations to the
VA-HUD-Independent Agencies Subcommittee. This is the catch-all
Subcommittee that is responsible for NSF and NASA as well as
veterans, housing and an assortment of minor agencies. The
allocation is $700M below the President's request, which was
itself too low to meet the needs of the programs for which the
subcommittee is responsible. In past years when this happened in
the House, the Senate would control the damage by increasing its
VA-HUD-IA allocation. As a result, lobbying for NSF and NASA has
concentrated on the Senate, but that strategy may fail this year.
The House and Senate Appropriations Committees have agreed to
work together to narrow their differences, and the Senate, which
has yet to make its allocations, has promised not to "game" the
House by offsetting cuts. The best hope for NSF and space
science programs is that Space Station Freedom will be killed.
Its carcass could be used to feed the other VA-HUD-IA programs.