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September 1, 1999 To all Members of Congress, the President, and the Vice President

Summary: September 1, 1999
To all Members of Congress, the President, and the Vice President:
On behalf of the Technology Network and the Computing Research Association, we are writing to express our profound
concern about the adverse impact that pending appropriations bills would have on federal investment in long-term
information technology research. We fear the current form of these bills would forgo critical opportunities to improve the
lives of the American people through the enabling power of computing and information technologies.
We urge the President and the Congress to work together to fully fund agency budget requests stemming from the
recommendations of the Presidents Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC), an independent, Congression-
ally chartered panel of distinguished leaders in information technology industry and research. The PITAC proposals are
embodied in bipartisan authorizing legislation, the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development
Act (H.R. 2086), authored by House Science Committee Chair James Sensenbrenner. They are also contained in the
Administrations Information Technology for the Twenty-First Century initiative. The PITAC proposals are backed by a
broad bipartisan coalition and deserve to be enacted regardless of how questions about the federal budget surplus are
resolved. Indeed, the surplus will not materialize as expected without continued economic growth, and economic growth
increasingly depends on the development and diffusion of information technologies.
The potential benefits of expanding federal support for fundamental IT research are tremendous. Advances in IT are
transforming every aspect of our society, from communications, commerce, and national security to education, health care,
and transportation. Yet many challenges remain that can only be addressed through sustained support for broad-based,
precompetitive research. A strong federal role is critical, as we have seen in the past: many of the computing and digital
communications technologies that underlie the Internet; systems for managing and accessing large datasets; computer


Source: Anderson, Richard - Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington at Seattle


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences