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Mr. QUAYLE. Madam Chair, this amendment would strike the new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia, also called AmTech, and apply the $21 million that was provided in the bill to the spending-reduction account. This new program is intended to establish a public-private partnership initiative that would provide Federal grants to identify and support research projects focused on long-term industrial needs.
We all recognize the importance of advanced manufacturing and the value of collaboration and innovation policy. My hometown of Phoenix has a strong high-tech base and great research universities. I also serve as the chairman of the Subcommittee on Technology Innovation, which has jurisdiction over NIST. Our committee has a long bipartisan record of support for NIST and its contributions.
That being said, in the current budget environment, I simply do not believe it is appropriate to be establishing and funding a new program. Even without the new $21 million Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia, this budget is still nearly 8 percent higher than was provided last year.
Madam Chair, when you look at the amount of debt that we've accumulated over the course of many years and you look at the budget process that we're going through right now, this AmTech was actually requested for the funding last time around when we were going through the appropriations process, and we rightfully did not fund this new program. There are already programs in place for manufacturing, and there are other places that we can go in the private sector to be able to deal with that in the research and developing new ways to be innovative in advanced manufacturing. It is not the time to be wasting another $21 million in spending that we don't have in order to put forth a new program.
I urge my colleagues to support this amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.
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