RELEASE: Losing the Future: House Republican Budget Cuts Would Strangle Innovation
Washington, D.C. — Today the Center for American Progress released the article “Losing the Future: House Republican Budget Cuts Would Strangle Innovation” by Daniel J. Weiss and Kate Gordon, which outlines exactly how conservatives in Congress will cripple business and job growth by massively disinvesting in clean technologies.
In his recent State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama proposed a number of programs to speed the development and manufacturing of domestic energy efficiency and renewable energy sectors to help American businesses race with their Chinese, German, and other competitors. But before the president’s proposals had completed their initial laps in Congress, the Republicans’ proposed House “continuing resolution” (or spending bill) for the remainder of fiscal year 2011 waves the yellow caution flag that they would slow down—if not outright halt—the promise of America’s clean-tech revolution and all the ensuing companies and jobs it would create.
The new article, and accompanying chart, released by the Center for American Progress shows that the proposed bill would slash clean-tech and energy investments by nearly 30 percent, devastating this growing but immature industry that struggled during the Great Recession. The House Appropriations Committee majority brags that it “cuts climate change funding bill-wide by $107 million, or 29%, from the fiscal year 2010 enacted level.” The proposed budget includes many other cuts that would harm innovation, the economy, and public health. The House Appropriations Committee majority claims its bill would cut spending by more than $100 billion between now and October 1. And clean energy, one of the great hopes for American global competitiveness, is one of its biggest targets.
The proposed budget bulldozes the building blocks of clean-tech innovation and economic growth. It would slash spending for science, information, research and development, infrastructure, job training, efficiency, domestic manufacturing, solar and wind power, and transit options that could help reduce our oil dependence. Instead of proposing a budget that invests in future clean-tech jobs, the proposed House Republican budget turns back the clock to the Bush administration era when there was relatively little investment in clean tech and other countries began to lap us. The proposed House GOP spending bill for the remainder of 2011 would strangle clean-tech innovation, competitiveness, and economic growth.
Their proposed disinvestments in energy efficiency and renewable technologies and their disruption of business assistance and job-training programs would wave the white flag of surrender in the international race to lead the clean-tech industry in the 21st century. Americans should know that House Republican leaders want to force our best innovators, business people, and investors into an endless pit stop while we watch another nation cross the finish line first.
Daniel J. Weiss is a Senior Fellow and Director of Climate Strategy at the Center for American Progress. Kate Gordon is Vice President for Energy Policy at the Center for American Progress. Michael Linden, Associate Director for Tax and Budget Policy at the Center, contributed to this analysis.
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