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Accomplishments Fulfilling Campaign Commitments

Signed the Internet Tax Moratorium. On November 28, the President signed into law H.R. 1552, the Internet Non-Discrimination Act. The Administration pressed for extension of the Internet Tax Moratorium because the President believes that Government must do its part to make access to the Internet affordable. The Internet enables such innovative applications as distance learning, telemedicine and precision farming. The growth of the Internet should not be slowed by additional taxation.

Improved Math and Science Education. The President budget provides $160 million for a new Math and Science partnership program. This program will link our elementary and secondary schools with our technology-savvy colleges and universities to strengthen math and science education at all levels.

Strengthened Research and Development. To encourage increased innovation, President Bush proposed increasing federal R&D funding, including basic research funding, to all-time record levels.

The President's commitment to research and development helped push R&D over the $100 billion (pending DOD & NIH) mark for the first time in history.

The President also signed into law funding increases for Science and Technology at NSF, DOE, USDA, DOI, DOC, DOT and EPA. In addition, the President fulfilled his campaign commitment to dramatically increase our nation's commitment to medical research and defense-related R&D.

Modernized High Tech Export Controls. The President has led the effort to reform our export control system so that America's high tech companies can innovate and successfully compete overseas. The current high tech export control system is awkwardly structured, hindering U.S. businesses while failing to strengthen our national security. While working to undertake fundamental reform, as an interim step the Administration has dramatically raised the control levels for computers and microprocessors to ensure that industry is not burdened with outdated licensing requirements.

Expanded E-Government. The Administration is investing over $45 billion (a 10% increase over FY2001) in technology. This investment demonstrates the President's commitment to technology and the importance of technology to core government operations. This investment, coupled with the Administration's "Expanding Electronic Government" strategy, will improve government performance significantly.

Currently, the Administration is developing and deploying 23 major reforms to maximize federal government productivity gains from technology, eliminate redundant systems, and significantly improve government's quality of service for citizens and businesses over the next 18 to 24 months. Overall, the federal investment in technology represents an opportunity to free-up billions of dollars of wasteful federal spending, to accelerate government response times from weeks down to minutes, and to support directly IT companies, IT jobs, and IT research and development.

Promoted Assistive Technology. As part of his "New Freedom Initiative" launched February 8, the President offered a comprehensive package of proposals to increase research in and access to assistive technologies. The Administration has worked with Congress to ensure that these proposals are included in the 2002 budget.

  • These proposals include:
  • Increased funding for Rehabilitative Engineering Research Centers ($20 million).
  • The creation a new "Technology Transfer Fund" to help bring assistive technology to market ($5 million).
  • The creation of an "Access to Telework Fund" ($20 million).
  • Increased funding for low-interest loan programs to help people with disabilities purchase assistive technology ($40 million).
  • A new low interest loan program to help people with disabilities telework ($20 million).

Made Federal Information Technology Accessible to People with Disabilities. In addition, the Administration has led by example to promote the interests of Americans with disabilities by working closely with the high tech industry and disability community to ensure full and successful implementation of Section 508. Section 508 will ensure that every American has access and use of Federal information and data by requiring that all electronic and information technology purchased by the government is usable by people with disabilities.

Kept the Internet a Duty-Free Zone. At the Fourth WTO Ministerial Conference (Doha, November 9-14), the Administration sought and secured an extension of the moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions. This actions preserves the Internet as duty-free zone, facilitating the continued growth of e-commerce around the world.

Strengthened Privacy Protections. President Bush believes that Government has an important role to play in helping ensure that every American has control over his or her personal information, and that the Internet is a safe, secure and rewarding environment. During his first year in office, the President and his Administration have taken a number of specific steps to strengthen privacy protections:

  • Swift and full implementation of new medical privacy protections that will give patients greater access to their own medical records and more control over how their personal information is used.
  • Strong enforcement of the children's privacy rights, including bringing the first cases under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.
  • Proposal by the FTC to create a national "do not call" list that will allow consumers to remove their names from telemarketing lists.
  • The creation of a universal ID theft affidavit to help ID theft victims restore their good name.
  • Strengthened Financial Privacy protections by working to clarify financial privacy notices and by cracking down information brokers who illegally obtain consumer's financial information.

General Accomplishments

Pursued a pro-growth telecommunications policy. The Administration is working closely with industry and state and local governments to facilitate the development and deployment of new information technologies and services. On October 24 the Administration supported successful efforts to lift the wireless spectrum ownership limits, which threatens the wireless industry's ability to innovate and provide quality service. In addition, the Administration has undertaken a comprehensive assessment to be complete by June 2002 to determine the best way to make spectrum available for advanced wireless services (3G). According to the Council of Economic Advisers [2000 Report] 3G wireless services could provide $50 billion to $100 billion per year in consumer benefits.

Successfully Negotiated the "Cybercrime Convention." On November 23, the United States, along with 28 other nations, signed the Council of Europe Cybercrime Convention. The United States Government helped negotiate this important treaty, which is the first international treaty to address cybercrime. The Convention will help us and other countries fight criminals and terrorists who use computers to commit crimes or attack global information infrastructures.

Launched the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). On December 12th, the President held the first meeting of PCAST. PCAST, whose membership includes Floyd Kvamme (PCAST co-Chairman, Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers), Gordon Moore (founder, Intel), Michael Dell (founder, CEO, Dell Computer) and Charles Vest (President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology), is charged with four important tasks: 1) Science and technology to fight terrorism; 2) Research and development needs for the country; 3) Communications infrastructure for the future; 4) Energy efficiency to strengthen the nation's economy.