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Public Papers - 1992

Remarks on Signing the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, 1993

1992-10-02

Let me just say this is a good morning here. And thank you all for coming, some from a long way. I first want to welcome those who are here from the Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory, those here, and also say welcome to those that are watching this back in Texas. My greetings to the Members of Congress who fought hard for this legislation.

We're here today to take another step into the future, an American future that really offers unprecedented opportunities in our country's history. The task before us is to grasp those opportunities and to make them available for every American.

The great question today is not whether America will compete in the new century. You and I know that we will. The question is how we compete, how we remain the world's leader, not only militarily and politically but economically as well. In large measure, the answer lies in pushing back the frontiers of human knowledge so that daring and ideas and dreams of this decade become the everyday life of the next. We have part of that answer before us this morning, a cornerstone of our agenda to keep America at the forefront of science.

The appropriations bill that I'm about to sign provides support for all fields of science and technology. It ensures that one of the greatest adventures in human knowledge will continue. The superconducting 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, academic scientists, industrial technologists, laboratory researchers, a collection of talent and brainpower not seen since the great research projects of World War II; and all of this scientific talent, backed by the greatest workers in the world at all levels.

In the short term, the superconducting super collider will mean jobs, at least 7,000 first-tier jobs across the country, and already 23,000 contracts have been awarded to businesses and to universities. I'm especially pleased by the participation of those small businesses from 40 States who will help build the SSC.

In the longer term, the tangible benefits of the SSC will be felt by every single American. Time and again, history has shown that advances in abstract knowledge have the most practical of consequences. The work done with the SSC will bear fruit in new industries, new jobs, new breakthroughs in medicine and chemicals, transportation, and electronics. The list stretches into fields of knowledge we can only imagine today.

Ten days from now, we will mark the 500th anniversary of a dramatic landfall, the moment when Christopher Columbus set foot in a new world. And his spirit of fearless exploration survives. Today, Americans set sail not for new continents but for new ideas, not for new passageways but for new ways of knowing. Our frontier is the human imagination; our vessel, the super collider.

I believe that 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.

I thank all of you here today who share our commitment, who worked so hard to ward off the shortsighted attempts to kill off the super collider. With your help and faith, we will ensure that America remains for all its people the country of tomorrow.

Thank you all very much for coming. And now I have the honor to sign this bill. I congratulate once again every single Member of Congress who worked with these leaders of Congress here with us today to bring this about.

Note: The President spoke at 8:04 a.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. H.R. 5373, approved October 2, was assigned Public Law No. 102 - 377.

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