WASHINGTON -- President Bush signed a $22 billion energy spending bill Friday in a Rose Garden ceremony arranged specially to celebrate the additional year of funding the bill grants the Superconducting Super Collider.
Calling the collider "the cornerstone of our agenda to keep America at the forefront of science," the President added, "The super collider is to basic research what the All-Star game is to baseball. Already it has brought together the finest scientific minds in the world."
He spoke before an invited gathering of workers from the giant atom-smashing project in Waxahachie, Tex. Under the bill, the project receives another $517 million of funding for the fiscal year that began on Thursday. The funding is indirectly linked to $250 million of lease revenue bonds that Texas issued for the project last December.
The President noted that collider proponents had to "work hard to ward off the shortsighted attempts [of House members] to kill off" the project this year. But, he said, the congressional funding war was largely won last month when House and Senate conferees agreed to reinstitute collider funding that was struck by the full House in June but approved by the Senate.
Despite pledges by the collider's opponents to go after the project again next year, President Bush said, "I believe the bill I'm about to sign shows us that we've reached a consensus about the super collider, and more, really, about the future."