Obama touts technology in State of the Union address
"We have made great strides over the last two years in using technology and getting rid of waste," Obama said, "Veterans can now download their electronic medical records with a click of the mouse."
Federal funding of scientific innovation will receive priority in the proposed fiscal 2012 budget, Obama also said. The president usually delivers his budget request to Congress each year on the first Monday of every February, which this year is Feb. 7. (We're currently in the second quarter of fiscal 2011, which began Oct. 1.)
"We'll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology," he said. The United States faces a challenge similar to when the Soviet Union in 1957 beat the United States into space by launching the Sputnik satellite, Obama added.
However, the public unveiling of the federal budget could contain bad news for some federal agency programs, since Obama said he is proposing a five-year freeze in annual domestic spending.
"This would reduce the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade, and will bring discretionary spending to the lowest share of our economy since Dwight Eisenhower was president," he said. Innovation and education spending will be exempt from the frugality drive, Obama said, since "cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine."
The president also he will develop a proposal to underpin a major reorganization of the federal government, a feat last attempted and achieved during the Truman administration. The proposal will be to "merge, consolidate and reorganize" federal agencies, he added.
Obama also said he would add to the number of websites the White House has developed or touted under his administration, promising that within a year "you will be able to go to a website and get that information for the very first time in history."
He also challenged Congress to do as the White House has done and post online visitor logs to their offices--although, as we've noted in the past, the White House logs don't record a visitor's company or agency affiliation, meaning that anyone wanting to know which federal agency or company representatives might be influencing policy must manually match affiliation to the logged name.
- go to the WhiteHouse.gov webpage for the 2011 State of the Union speech