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Lucas Statement on DOE Science for the Future Act at Full Committee Markup

Jun 15, 2021
Opening Statement

Thank you, Chairwoman Johnson. 

This amendment strikes and replaces the text of H.R. 3593, the DOE Science for the Future Act, to incorporate stakeholder feedback to the underlying bill and make technical changes to the text. I’d like to thank the Chairwoman and her staff for working with us in a bipartisan and cooperative manner to get these necessary changes finalized.

Among these changes, this amendment includes several important provisions from my bill, H.R.5685, the Securing American Leadership in Science and Technology Act (SALSTA), including a DOE infectious disease R&D initiative and full funding for the Quantum User Expansion for Science and Technology or (QUEST) Program.

This past year, the Department of Energy and its National Laboratories have demonstrated the value of using high-performance supercomputing and advanced research facilities to model COVID-19, understand its effects on human cells, and predict its spread. DOE and the U.S. research community have done incredible work in using the Department’s world-leading resources to fight this pandemic and address the many challenges it has presented.

DOE and its Office of Science should continue to play a key role in emerging infectious disease research for many years to come. That’s why SALSTA includes a comprehensive authorization of this work. By establishing a cross-cutting Emerging Infectious Disease Research Initiative and a high-performance computing research consortium, we can ensure the continuation of these life-saving R&D activities. I’m pleased to see this amendment includes these high-priority provisions.

I’m also glad to see that this amendment updates the original bill to include full support for the QUEST program, another SALSTA priority which expands public-private partnerships for quantum resource use.

Quantum information science will revolutionize our relationship with technology and our capacity for scientific advancement. In order to remain competitive in this critical industry of the future, we need to take the long-term and big picture approach and get serious about our investments in quantum computing and in the U.S. quantum industry.

By giving U.S. researchers access to quantum computing hardware and quantum computing clouds, the QUEST program encourages greater participation in the development of quantum information sciences, thereby facilitating a larger and more diverse range of research into these evolving technologies.

I’d once again like to thank Chairwoman Johnson for working with me to get these critical provisions added to this amendment.

As always, I’m grateful for the opportunity to work alongside my Science Committee colleagues to prioritize fundamental research that will support U.S. innovation and keep our country safe, independent, and globally competitive.

This bipartisan Office of Science authorization has been a long-time coming for the Science Committee. This is a product we should all be proud of, and today’s amendment brings us one step closer to its enactment.

I encourage my colleagues to support this amendment.

117th Congress