Home / Press Release / Rohrabacher Bills Pass House Science Committee

Rohrabacher Bills Pass House Science Committee

May 17, 2005

Washington, May 17, 2005 - Today Representative Rohrabacher was pleased to announce the Science Committee’s passage of the George E. Brown, Jr. Near-Earth Object Survey Act (H.R. 1022) and legislation to establish a Science and Technology Scholarship Program to award scholarships to recruit and prepare students for careers in the National Weather Service and in Administration marine research, atmospheric research and satellite programs (H.R. 2364).

“This legislation is two-fold; it provides an incentive for students to pursue careers in math and science and allows the government to compete for highly-qualified individuals that are needed at many government agencies,” said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher on H.R. 2364. “In order for the government to attract the type of people needed, agencies such as the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration should be able to offer rewards to potential candidates luring them away from lucrative private sector jobs. Scholarships in exchange for service will bring fresh new talent to the government agencies that need such expertise.

H.R. 2364 provides one year of scholarship for two years employment at a government agency.

“In addition, this bill promotes math, science and engineering careers that will benefit the private sector as well. If a scholarship-funded student wishes to work in the private sector he or she simply repays the scholarship with interest. This is a win-win situation no matter which career direction the student chooses, public or private sector.

“The ability for our country to remain competitive in the world of innovation and discovery depends on the next generation of scientists and engineers. Providing additional incentives to future generations to enter these fields will further secure America’s future.”

The George E. Brown, Jr. Near-Earth Object Survey Act would authorize $20,000,000 each year for two years for NASA to use in enhancing their current program of surveying space for asteroids that may hit Earth.

“The potential catastrophe of an asteroid hitting Earth should no longer be ignored. We need to know what is out there,” stated Rep. Rohrabacher. “Accounts of asteroids passing close to Earth with almost no prior warning should be enough to get our attention. The first step is to assess the threat. Given the vast number of asteroids and comets that inhabit the Earth's neighborhood, greater efforts for tracking and monitoring these objects are critical. This bill would direct NASA to expand their current program to track and detect potential threats and would provide a funding authorization. Any threat that would wreak havoc on our world should be studied and prevented if possible. We have the technology, we need the direction – this bill provides that.”

“I would like to thank the Chairman and the members of the Science Committee for their support and I look forward to moving these bills to the House floor.”