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Rep. Foster Introduces Legislation To Reverse Cuts To Office Of Science Funding

Jul 10, 2013
Press Release
Fights To Protect Funding For Essential Research and Development at Argonne National Lab and Fermi Lab

Washington, D.C.—Last night, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) introduced an amendment to reverse funding cuts to the Office of Science within the Department of Energy (DOE).  The budget proposed by House Republicans would cut funding for the Office of Science by $500 million below President Obama’s request for the next fiscal year.  The Office of Science funds research and development at facilities throughout the country, including at Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

The amendment did not pass, but received bipartisan support, including from Congressman Randy Hultgren (IL-14).

Video of Congressman Foster’s speech on the House floor is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmLK5QcD5Ck&feature=youtu.be

“America has a proud tradition of leading the world in innovation in science and technology, but we can only continue to lead if we support our innovators and the work they do at places like Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and our national labs throughout the country,” said Foster. 

“While we are all facing tightening budgets, this is no time to start cutting back on the research and development which is at the core of American innovation.  Not only does this research support our role as the world’s top innovators, it provides one of the highest returns on investments for taxpayers.  It has been estimated that 50 percent of U.S. economic growth since World War II has been driven by science and technology.

“It is important that we lower our spending at the federal level and reduce our debt, but we shouldn’t be doing it by cutting important research and development that drives our economy.   I will do all that I can to fight for funding that protects this critical work.”

The amendment would add $500 million to the DOE Office of Science, reversing the Republican cut and bringing it in line with the President’s FY2014 request. It would offset this funding by reducing the $7.7 billion budget for the National Nuclear Security Administration nuclear weapons account by $500 million and therefore would not increase the national debt.