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Public Statements

Academic Competition Resolution of 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California. I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time, and I rise in support of House Resolution 77. And I commend the chair of the committee and the ranking member for bringing this to the floor, and I hope that all of our colleagues will participate in this competition for students in STEM subjects to create these apps and to further, hopefully, their careers in STEM.

But I must tell you, Mr. Speaker, I am also deeply worried that our hopes to increase the number of students who will participate in STEM education and become part of the STEM careers that are available to them that this Nation so desperately needs could all be for naught, this resolution and all of our efforts, if on Friday we are not able to set aside the sequester and make a balanced proposal to reduce the deficit and to provide for the ongoing needs of this Nation.

Right now, if we do nothing between now and Friday, there will be a $740 million cut to title I, impacting over 1 million students, low-income students, and 9,000 teachers and staff jobs. Those are the people that we want to encourage to go into STEM. Those are the very same students that have a 1 in 7 chance of having a qualified teacher teach them mathematics or science in their schools. So the very population that you're trying to encourage will have less of a chance because of sequestration.

Over $600 million cuts for students with disabilities, eliminating some 7,800 teacher and staff jobs with respect to those students.

For those students who are trying to acquire the English language so they can participate in STEM careers and STEM academics, nearly 210,000 children and 450 teachers would be eliminated by the sequestration. And the same goes with community learning centers, where it's an opportunity to expose these students, after school and in additional time, to these careers, to these opportunities, to the applications and to the Web sites that are available to them that they can't use during class time.

But, finally, there is even a more direct harm that will be done by sequestration, and that is that the National Science Foundation would issue nearly 1,000 fewer research grants and awards, impacting an estimated 12,000 scientists and students and curtailing critical scientific research. That's the scientific research that builds this Nation.

And for that reason, I ask unanimous consent that the House now take up H.R. 699, a balanced approach introduced by Mr. Van Hollen, to replace the sequestration and save jobs and avoid these cuts in education that are so desperately needed.


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