Today, the House of Representatives passed two bipartisan Science Committee bills: H.R. 4704, the Advancing Research to Prevent Suicide Act and S.153, the Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act.

H.R. 4704, the Advancing Research to Prevent Suicide Act, sponsored by Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT) and Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) supports basic research to address major gaps in our fundamental understanding of the underpinnings of suicide and how to prevent it.

S.153, the Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act originated in the House as H.R. 425, authored by Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL). The legislation directs the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop education and outreach programs to expand STEM opportunities for veterans and encourages veterans to study and pursue careers in STEM fields. 

House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas thanked Rep. Gonzalez for his leadership on research to prevent suicide. “Suicide was the tenth-leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2016 and the second-leading cause of death among people aged 10 to 34. I appreciate that Rep. Gonzalez and Rep. McAdams are taking steps to address this tragic epidemic,” Lucas said.

“We all know we have a mental health crisis in this country, but for me, and for my constituents, the suicide problem is a personal one, impacting far too many close to home,” said Congressman Gonzalez. “I sincerely believe that if we want to make a dent on the issue at hand, we need to be more proactive in finding the causes of suicide clusters and suicide contagions. Our children, our veterans, and our neighbors deserve action.”

Lucas also praised the legislation to support veterans in STEM. “This is a smart bill that not only helps our veterans transition to civilian life and valuable employment but also enhances our skilled STEM workforce. I’m pleased that it will soon be signed into law.”