"Our nation must make a ... bold commitment to invest to in the future of our country by tripling the innovation budget -- federal basic research and development -- over the next decade," Wolf wrote in a Tuesday letter to President Bush. Wolf is the chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Science, State, Justice, and Commerce, and Related Agencies.
The call is reminiscent of the pledge to double the funding for the National Institutes of Health during the Clinton administration. That effort, although successful, caused concern in the end as it diverted funding from other research disciplines.
Wolf cited competition from China and India, as well as the falling percentage of patents and scientific papers from U.S. researchers, as reasons more support for basic research is needed.