President Obama Lowers The Boom On Republicans By Threatening To Veto Anti-Science Bill


President Obama issued a veto threat to yet another Republican attempt to starve and deny science and science-based programs.

If put on his desk as is, the President will veto science-slayer Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX)’s bill, H.R. 1806, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015, in part because it “would set an extremely harmful precedent of political interference in the scientific integrity of the regulation process”.

The Republican bill takes partisan aim at things like climate change research at the 
Department of Energy, so the reality based community would prefer it if Republicans like Congressman Smith kept his nose out of things he doesn’t understand or respect.

From the White House:


The Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 1806, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015, which would undermine critical investments in science, technology, and research.  The Administration believes that H.R. 1806 would be damaging to the Administration’s actions to move American competitiveness, innovation, and job growth forward through a world-leading science, technology, and innovation enterprise.
The Administration strongly opposes the bill’s appropriation authorizations for the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) that would establish maximum funding levels significantly below those provided in the President’s FY 2016 Budget.  For example, H.R. 1806 would weaken investments in critical clean energy research and development and grid modernization by providing authorization levels at less than half of the funding levels proposed in the President’s Budget for DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.  Additionally, the legislation would shortchange efforts to support fundamental research to address diverse and critical global challenges by providing an authorization level for the DOE Office of Science biological and environmental research program far short of the funding levels proposed in the President’s Budget.  The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 would also establish NSF authorizations levels for geosciences, education and human resources, international and integrative activities, and administrative activities well below the funding levels proposed in the President’s Budget, as well as an NSF authorization for social, behavioral, and economic sciences research that is 58 percent below the President’s Budget.  Additionally, the legislation would undermine efforts to implement sound science and technology policies by providing an authorization level for OSTP nearly 20 percent below the President’s Budget.

In addition to its strong opposition to the authorized funding levels in H.R. 1806, the Administration has serious concerns with several other provisions in the bill and looks forward to working with the Congress to address its concerns.  For example, the Administration opposes barring Federal regulatory authorities from relying on the results of certain Federally-supported research and development.  This provision would set an extremely harmful precedent of political interference in the scientific integrity of the regulation process, which would undermine the value of the Federal research and development enterprise as a whole.  The Administration also objects to the increased administrative burdens that the bill imposes on NSF and its awardees without commensurate benefit.  In addition, the Administration opposes reducing oversight at the DOE National Laboratories, which would increase the exposure of the Federal Government to risk and liabilities while also conflicting with the execution of the DOE mission.

H.R. 1806 undermines key investments in science, technology, and innovation and imposes unnecessary and damaging requirements on Federal support of research.  If the President were presented with H.R. 1806, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.


Introduced on April 15, the Republican authorization of appropriations bill claims to “provide for technological innovation through the prioritization of Federal investment in basic research, fundamental scientific discovery, and development to improve the competitiveness of the United States, and for other purposes.”

Or, as Jeffrey Mervis and Adrian Cho of Science Magazine explained when Smith first introduced his bill:

Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) has never hidden his desire to reshape federal research policy—
often over the objections of much of the scientific 
community—since he became chair of the House of Representatives science committee 2 years ago. Last week, he introduced legislation that lays out those plans in unprecedented detail, and the reaction was predictable. Although academic leaders say that some parts of the new, 189-page bill are better than previous versions, they believe it would seriously damage the U.S. research enterprise.

The bill not only sets out funding levels for several research agencies that in some cases depart sharply from those the Obama administration requested for 2016; it would also reshape key policies and priorities guiding those agencies.

Republicans are trying to kill science any way they can. On one hand they are busy denying science as a thing, favoring the childish notion of equating the opinion of financially invested parties with the opinion of experts and on the other, they are killing through defunding. Or, as they call it when running for office, “sustaining” a program by not outright murdering it, which would be bad press.

Republicans prefer to starve programs instead, so that when the program stops working due to lack of funds, Republicans can use that dysfunction to validate their ideology that government is unnecessary. This, of course, is a big win for big business, but a big loss for science and other reality based programs.

Luckily, President Obama is in the White House and can put a stop to this anti-science Republican nonsense.

55 Replies to “President Obama Lowers The Boom On Republicans By Threatening To Veto Anti-Science Bill”

  1. Scientists, policy wonks and politicians keep hedging on the grim truths of climate change

    If you missed David Roberts’s disturbing, depressing piece Friday at Vox, it’s more than worth a look. It’s essential reading. Roberts, until recently one of the mainstays of the award-winning online environmental magazine Grist, has written the awful truth about climate change no one wants to admit:

    The obvious truth about global warming is this: barring miracles, humanity is in for some awful shit.

  2. Republican’s are not evil, they’re Mis-informed, Brainwashed really.

    My Grandfather always said:
    “Democrats help those who need help…
    Republicans help those who don’t need help”

    Thanks, Papa!

  3. Ok, here’s the big climate debate. I base my argument on these three questions:

    Is global warming real?

    It is in debate. The IPCC says yes, but they have skin in the game, The UN has a plan for redistributing the energy from capitalist nations to less-developed ones. Others say the mean temperature of the planet has not risen in 18 years.

    Is global warming human caused?

    Also in debate but I think CO2 levels have risen partially because of burning of coal/oil/wood. I believe cycles of our sun’s energy output is a bigger cause.

    If humans are the cause, can we reverse it?

    That’s the Hell No! No nation will willingly go back to hunter/gatherer status on the CHANCE that MAYBE the earth would respond. What the UN wants to happen is for the industrial nations (like us) cut way back and strangle our economy so poorer nations can build their industry and level the playing field. That’s the scam.

    Ok, give me your best shot.

  4. Ok, for our debate let’s assume that your article is factual and not agenda driven. ( I mean, normally I would trust NASA but they don’t seem to have a space program anymore- so what do they have to do to keep the checks coming in from Obama?) But I digress.
    So, Earth got hotter. The article doesn’t say why. Is it people or sunspot activity? That would be important to know. Oh, and the “hottest since we started keeping records” is a blip. Most records for North America start in the 1880’s. Geologically, that’s blink of an eye. When The Nordics settled Greenland in the 1200’s it was a LOT warmer than it is now.

  5. Scientifically-illiterate members of Congress fail to appreciate the importance of basic research and its impact on R&D in applied areas, further demonstrating their cluelessness about “cause and effect” relationships.

  6. this is the deal Robert. climate change has happened numerous times on this planet. no one denies that. it is a natural cycle. the rate of those changes has remained pretty close but the climate we see today is changing at a much quicker pace and at a more dangerous rate compared to past cycles.

  7. I’m glad we agree about natural warming/cooling cycles of the planet. I know of nothing that says the planet is warming at an increased rate unless you are talking about the famous “hockey stick” graph based on a bad computer data. That has been pretty well debunked by now.
    If you goggle “No Increase in global temps for 18 years” you can see some of the stuff I’m reading.

  8. CNS NEWS? Founded by Brett Bozell? Climate depot? Marc Morano, publisher of the Climate Depot blog and a former Inhofe aide, … No wonder you are a dumbass

  9. Help me dj. CNS News, Brent Bozell, Climate Depot. What about them? What do they say? Sum it up for me and let me understand what you think. I will listen to your argument on climate change, if you have one. I have one against it. Tell me where and why I’m wrong.

  10. Where you are wrong is listening to Brett Bozell and a former aide to Jim Inhofe. I cant argue with idiots or their asinine positions. That is all

  11. dj, I looked up a video on CNS News dated 2/17/14 with Brent Bozell. The clip was of Bozell complaining about how the media always “puffs” climate change.

    Dude, I think Bozell’s on my side…

  12. They know climate change is real. For big oil, gas, coal…it’s not a money maker! It’s a money killer. Instead of investing in green energy, the Rethugs want to gut the science, environmental, and endangered species law! They want to turn our planet into a sewer where only the rich and powerful survive!!

  13. Climate change
    BP believes that climate change is an important long-term issue that justifies global action

    Chevron website
    Climate Change
    “[W]e recognize and share the concerns of governments and the public about climate change. There is a widespread view that the increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs) is a contributor to climate change, with adverse effects on the environment.”

  14. Oh, I see DJ: You think I am listening to Brent Bozell and CNS News. Nope. Never heard of it.

    Is CO2 up to 400 parts per million? You know it has been much higher than that in the ancient past. 400 parts per million is not 4% or .4%, it’s .04% of the atmosphere. It’s not very much, and we need to be careful to keep some around so the plants grow. If CO2 ever drops to 150 parts per million or lower, plant life will stop glowing. Instant starvation.

  15. You are the one to say google “No Increase in global temps for 18 years” and low and behold they were on top of the hit list so don’t try to walk it back now

  16. The oil companies have great public relations people. You bet they will not be caught looking like the bad guy, they will release those carefully prepared statements that don’t really say much or admit to much- certainly not blaming themselves! Then they will invest a little bit in solar and wind tech to show everybody they mean well. Surely DJ, you of all people can see through that little charade.

  17. I think that supports my argument more than yours. If there were two global warming events in history that killed things off, that means humans had nothing to do with it. The Earth decides to heat up or cool down and it doesn’t much care what we think. It’s folly to think man can dominate the planet’s weather, and even greater folly to think we can reverse it,

  18. As I said, I don’t know anything about Brent Bozell; he’s not a source of mine. If that google search brought his name up, it just means we both got our information from the same source. You might look up Fred Singer.

  19. I have much better things to do than TRY to educate one as ignorant as you seem to be.

    I’ve really HAD IT with the willfully ignorant.

  20. Massive climate change is ALWAYS caused by something! It doesn’t just “happen” for God’s sake. This time WE are the cause.

    Never mind. Someday you will be forced to acknowledge what’s happening right in front of your eyes. I really don’t understand how you can ignore what’s happening to your own weather now. By then it will be too late – it may be too late already thanks to smartasses like you who somehow think you know more than all those who are experts in this field.

    I do hope you have no children, because someday soon they will ask you why you didn’t do something while you still could.

  21. Robert, you’re in NO position to accuse anyone of “agenda driven” articles/posts. Facts never seem to back any of your rhetoric.

    You charge (most likely based on RW-Krauthammer’s allegations) that NASA is kowtowing to President Obama in order to “keep the checks coming”, but your baseless accusation flies in the face of documented facts as written in articles by reputable astronomers and astronauts like Buzz Aldrin himself.

    Buzz Aldrin: Steps Taken Following Obama’s Direction “Will Best Position NASA And Other Space Agencies To Send Humans To Mars.”

    Educate yourself and read the endorsements by reputable news sources that include astronauts as well as astronomers here:

  22. It is interesting that Republicans continue to go on and on about America being the leader in everything in the world blah blah. In reality we sink lower every day when it comes to leading the way….Voting against science, education,health care, jobs etc. certainly is helping us go down the chart compared to other industrialized countries.

  23. Robert, google “Svante Arrhenius”. He is one of the greatest physicists and chemists who ever lived. He discovered why the earth is NOT frozen from the poles to the equator. He published his discovery of the “hothouse effect” in 1896. It is as well established as Boyle’s Law of Gases or Newtons Laws of Motion and Gravity.

    So google “snowball earth” and “Permian Extinction”. The last time fossil fuels were burned at this rate most of earth’s species became extinct.

  24. Respectfully, you “know of nothing that says…” You don’t know because you live in the bubble of the right wing noise machine.

  25. I close with this thought: If the government can convince enough of you there’s a problem, and can use it to legislate, control and eventually take over the production of energy resources (for our own good, of course) then government finally will rule us completely. Everyone re-read your George Orwell kids, It’s going to be 1984 time.

  26. Your closing thoughts are wrong. It is not government convincing people of science, it is scientists. It is also the water rising on their streets, super storms like Sandy and Katrina devastating regions that were long untouched by disaster, glaciers disappearing, bird migration changing in their very yards and plants blooming when they shouldn’t yet, drought across entire west coast regions that normally had many feet of snow and water.

    Keep telling us it is the government fooling us, we will keep seeing it with our lying eyes and thanking gov’t for addressing our concerns.

    I read Orwell. I wrote papers on him. Wanna dance, Robert? I will lead.

  27. And Robert, what do your people have against using the sun? And wind (albeit they need to improve it so it doesn’t kill golden eagles in the west) but sun and wind are good sources as water fed the nations needs for a long time, watermills.

    Oil and Gas fracking. And coal. That is your fossil fuel alternative to clean energy.

    Go look at a story last week or so about wells in the endless mountain area of PA contaminated with fracking fluids.

    Water supplies conataminated for the region.

    NO BRAINER. I lived there, I sold my house there a year ago, I got out. They will not be able to sell their homes now.

    Great, remember Palin – drill here, drill now? Can we start in your backyard?

  28. Robert, your defence of denying climate change is illogical.

    If one googles “No Increase in global temps for 18 years”, you will get exactly what you are looking for. You will find ONLY those articles that deny climate change. Basically you are cherry-picking only those articles that deny climate change.

    However if you google “global climate change” you will get both pro and con articles. Try it sometime.

  29. If science tells you what you do not want to know, shut it down

    They make a strange and utterly ahistorical argument. When NASA was created in 1958, the agency’s very first responsibility listed by Congress was “the expansion of human knowledge of the Earth and of phenomena in the atmosphere and space.” Earth studies had been an explicit part of the agency’s mission statement ever since, but in 2006, under the Bush administration, the study of Earth was quietly dropped. (It was restored in 2011.)

  30. Silly space scientists studying earth. What for? Waste of good money to study our only planet found to be able to inhabit life.

    Self-destruct sequence activated. All systems go.

  31. So can Humanity influence the Climate and World wide environmental conditions?

    The Bible itself says: Yes.

    Remember the Great Flood of Biblical Mythology?
    Why did it happen?

    Oh yeah- because MAN chose to ‘disobey god’ or some such.

    So, man can cause a worldwide flood in the bible- and that’s OK.
    But man causing a modern day worldwide catastrophe? And that is ludicrous?

    Yeah right.

    Science is still right, even if you don’t like what it has to say.

  32. No, they’re evil, let’s not mince words. When I sent an informative short video to some friends about the dangers of keeping 9 volt batteries in drawers where they could actually ignite, one of my teabag acquaintances wrote back to me, “Good, I’m glad the guy’s house burned down since he was recycling.” She also claims to be a Christian. As a Christian myself, I wonder how these pseudo-religious people can justify an attitude like that with faith.

  33. ““Democrats help those who need help…
    Republicans help those who don’t need help””

    No offense to your granfather, but I’d modify that to, ” Democrats help those who need help..Republicans help those who help them”.

  34. The most accurate reading of the earth’s temperatures are from Satellite readings. They show no increase in the Earth’s temperature for 18 years. Are you Soros liberals a science denier?

  35. This is what we mean by watching fox just makes you a dumbass
    Earth has experienced rapid warming in the last few decades, and the most recent decade was the warmest of all. What has happened so far in 2014 extends this ongoing trend.

    You may have heard that September 2014 was the warmest September ever recorded and that the past six months were the hottest April through September in 130 years of records. NASA Earth Observatory readers sometimes ask: How much does it matter when a monthly or yearly temperature record is broken? And where does global temperature data come from?

  36. The GOP abhors facts, therefore, science has no place in their agenda. They keep their “heads in the sand” on most issues requiring an honest effort to that may offend any one else GOP.

  37. These brain-dead Republicans are a danger to the country and the world. It is time we dragged these fascist, anti-American, anti-world TRAITORS into the street and remove them from the work which they hate and misunderstand. Look, these assholes can hardly wait to get to their imaginary heaven. I say we send them on their way.

  38. Maybe I’m just a simplistic, common-sense kind of gal — but to me, the “Industrial Age” started a little over a century ago, and has done nothing but spew thick, toxic smoke into our air for those 100+ years.

    Simple, yes .. . .. but it explains a lot about the reason climate change is now happening so fast at this moment in the history of our planet.

    And Robert? When are you going to start trying to be a smart person? Your posts make it obvious where you get your “information.” And that’s not a good thing for anyone who’d like to be thought of as a “smart guy.”

  39. Republicans aren’t simply evil:

    They are the reincarnation of dead NAZIS……their mantra is to make the population as dumb as possible, to starve any and all scientific research, to make those without even MORE without, and then to say “look what the President has done to his people…..follow us into the showers, where WE will help you!!!” I think that I respect the Germans more than the republicaNAZI BASTARDS we have in office now, and would NOT hesitate to spit in the eye of boner if given a chance!!!!!

  40. This is a BFD for science and the health of the planet

    The White House has released a strategy this week to help the country’s honeybee supply, which has seen sharp drops every winter for the last ten years or so. For now, the nation’s beekeepers have been able to breed enough honeybees to cover losses, but that’s not a sustainable practice. It’s good to see some help coming for them.

    Not only is this good for the environment and the ecosystem, but it’s good business too. Pollinated crops are worth billions of dollars every year, from blueberries to okra to watermelon to sunflowers to cabbage and a whole range more. We’d be in a hell of a fix without honeybees, and it’s excellent that the White House is taking this seriously.

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