President Bush passes law cutting spending

Rachel Abbey

President George W. Bush signed a bill Wednesday cutting federal spending. The Deficit Reduction Act was passed by Congress last week and, with Bush’s signature, is now a law.

Bush also announced his budget proposal for 2007 this week, which aims to reduce the U.S. government’s overall debt, while some programs would receive more funds.

The proposal supports the federal government’s recent trend toward increasing economic competitiveness by improving the science, math, technology and engineering fields. The American Competitiveness Initiative, designed to better prepare students in math and science and promote research, is one area that would receive funding.

“Higher education will benefit through some additional research money,” if the proposal is successful, said Constance Hawke, director of federal relations and associate university counsel. There could also be some financial aid for students pursuing these and foreign language fields.

The federal government has realized the United States is falling behind in the math and science fields internationally, said David Creamer, vice president for Administration.

“The light bulb, as slow as it was to go on, did finally go on,” he said.

Now, they are trying to reverse that trend, Creamer said.

They will have to invest in these areas at the elementary and high school levels, as well as the collegiate level, by training teachers in those fields. This could take decades.

“We need to spend a lot of attention and a lot of money to fix some of the issues we’ve created,” Creamer said.

The House of Representatives and the Senate will probably start working on the budget in March, Hawke said. The 2007 fiscal year will begin in October 2006, so the budget should be completed by then.

“The presidential budget is important, but it’s just a proposed budget,” Hawke said. “But in terms of the implications, these numbers are going to change a lot.”

Contact administration reporter Rachel Abbey at [email protected].