FROM THE ARCHIVES: House, Senate Agree to Kill Technology Office (July 31, 1995)

In celebration of COSSA’s 40th anniversary, we are diving into the decades of Washington Update archives to share articles from years past that resonate with today’s news.

A House-Senate conference committee on the Legislative Branch Appropriations bill has agreed to kill the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). The House had voted to move OT A’s functions to the Congressional Research Service and provided $15 million of Library of Congress appropriations for that purpose. OT A’s budget in FY 1995 was $22 million. An attempt by Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-SC) to save the Office during Senate consideration of the appropriations bill on July 20 failed when his amendment was tabled by a vote of 54-45.

Created in 1972 to provide technical advice to the Congress, OT A produced numerous reports on various scientific and technical matters during its 23-year history. Despite some bipartisan support in both Houses, the conference committee agreed with Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-NV) assessment that OTA was “a luxury” we can no longer afford.

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