American Geological Institute

Government Affairs Program


Support Letter for Neal Lane Nomination

Posted: July 27, 1998, Action completed 7-29-98

This update was originally sent out as an e-mail message to AGI's member societies on July 24. AGI and 5 of its Member Societies signed on to the letter. Lane was confirmed by the Senate on July 29.

To: AGI Member Society Presidents and Executive Directors

From: Dave Applegate, AGI Director of Government Affairs

CC: AGI Member Society Council, AGI Executive Committee, AGI GAP Advisory Committee

The following message was sent out by American Chemical Society Government Affairs Director Flint Lewis, asking society leaders who signed on to the "Unified Statement on Research" (as many of you did) to co-sign a letter to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott asking for Senate confirmation of NSF Director Neal Lane to be Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, i.e. the President's science advisor. Lane's successor as NSF Director, Dr. Rita Colwell, has already been confirmed but cannot take up her job until Lane is confirmed for his new one. Thus, both NSF and OSTP are in limbo.

In recent weeks, the Senate has brought the process of confirming presidential nominees to a grinding halt. Although press coverage has focused on judicial nominations, many other noncontroversial nominations have also been held up in the process, among them the nomination of Dr. Lane . The Lane nomination is not the least bit controversial. He has strong bipartisan support but is simply caught up in the broader political storms.

With the support of the AGI Executive Committee, AGI President Susan Landon has agreed to co-sign the letter. If the head of your society wishes to be included on the letter as well, please let me ( or Kasey Shewey ( here at AGI know or contact Flint Lewis directly. They are seeking responses by the close of business on Wednesday, July 29th.

Date sent: Mon, 27 Jul 1998
From: "Flint H. Lewis"
Subject: Letter for your approval

We are seeking permission to add your name as the head of your organization to the following letter, which urges that Dr. Neal Lane be confirmed as the White House Science Advisor. The letter, which was drafted by the American Physical Society, strongly states support for Dr. Lane's nomination.

As the Senate recess break is imminent, please email your approval by close of business Wednesday, July 29. In your reply, please indicate your name, title, and organization. Given the short session this year, we would like to get this to Senator Lott as soon as possible. (This letter is being sent to all of the signers of the Unified Statement in support of doubling research.)

DRAFT Letter to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott

July 29, 1998

The Honorable Trent Lott
Senate Majority Leader
S-230 Capitol Building
Washington, DC 20510-7010

Dear Senator Lott:

We write to ask you to schedule floor time as soon as possible to consider confirmation of Dr. Neal Lane as Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. The position for which President Clinton nominated Dr. Lane and for which the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation unanimously approved Dr. Lane by voice vote on July 9, is vital to the effective and efficient conduct of many R&D activities of the federal government.

Science and technology have become increasingly important to the health, economic well-being and security of all Americans. Today, almost all major agencies house portions of the $76 billion federal R&D portfolio. The coordination of the research activities across agencies and the implementation of the broad R&D policies established by Congress are the responsibilities of OSTP. We believe that the nation's scientific and engineering enterprise will be adversely affected if the Director's position is left vacant for a protracted period of time.

Dr. Lane, a well-known and respected physicist, has served with distinction as Director of the National Science Foundation. His integrity and commitment to working on our nation's science and technology policy issues in a bipartisan manner is unquestioned. We agree with the unanimous opinion of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee that he should be confirmed as the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. We urge you to bring his name forward for a full Senate vote as soon as possible.

Contributed by David Applegate, AGI Government Affairs

Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI Government Affairs Program.

Uploaded July 27, 1998

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