White House: GOP's technology budget cuts are political

The Clinton administration today accused Republicans on Capitol Hill of "playing politics with science and technology funding" in their effort to cut budgets for key technology programs while also proposing a major national tax cut.

"Republicans in both the House and the Senate are proposing risky tax and budget cuts that will guarantee that federal funding of R& D is slashed in the future," White House Chief of Staff John Podesta said at a National Press Club briefing today. "Investments in science and technology—both public and private—have driven economic growth and improvements in the quality of life in America for the last 200 years."

Proposed cuts include $1 billion from NASA's budget as well as a $147 million reduction for the Advanced Strategic Computing Initiative, which replaces live underground nuclear testing with computer simulations, and elimination of Federal Aviation Administration funding for the a program that would depend on the Global Positioning System for future air traffic control needs.

Republicans argue that all federal programs, not just technology programs, must be cut and point to a 1997 agreement with the president to cap federal spending, thereby building a budget surplus.

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