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Health and social security cuts needed, says lawmaker

The future of scientific innovation in the United States is at risk because of the size of the national debt, according to Texas Republican Lamar Smith.

Smith, who chairs the House of Representatives’ Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, which has jurisdiction over the National Science Foundation and other science agencies, said in an opinion piece for Politico that innovation is in trouble despite strong congressional support for science.

In the article, published on 27 October, Smith noted that the country’s national debt was nearly $17 trillion for the first time in history. He suggested that priorities must be set and the nation’s spending brought under control. “To accomplish this we must reform entitlement programs,” he wrote. “If we don’t, experts warn, future funding for other budget priorities, including scientific research, could be in jeopardy.”

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