Following fiscal year 1998 congressional appropriations hearings, a budget of about $185 million has been proposed for the Department of Commerce's Advanced Technology Program (ATP), slightly less than the Clinton administration's proposed figure of $275 million. While no one can be sure what the final budget appropriation will be, some observers see the amount as evidence of new bipartisan support for the program, which for the past two years has been dubbed "corporate welfare" and marked for elimination by congressional Republicans. At the same time, many officials and participants say that ATP remains a political hot potato whose future status is difficult to predict.
BULLISH: ATP's Lura J. Powell is confident of the program's success in both the short- and long-terms.
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