dcblogs writes: President Barack Obama urged Congress to increase federal research funding or risk the U.S. technology lead to China and Europe. "This is an edge America cannot surrender," said Obama, in his State of the Union speech. The National Science Foundation budget bill approved this month by Congress set aside $7.1 billion, well below the president's request. The approved budget is only about 2.4% over FY 2012 spending, according to an analysis by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). When inflation if factored, it represents a real-dollar decline of 3% from 2012. Overall, defense R&D spending will decline by $8.4 billion, or 11.2%, from fiscal year 2012 levels, according to the AAAS. On the same day the Obama delivered his speech, the Pentagon was warning lawmakers, at a hearing, about China. "From the perspective of technological superiority, the Department of Defense is being challenged in ways I have not seen for many years," said Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense.