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Science Committee Republicans Call for Bipartisan Solutions to America’s Innovation Challenges

May 7, 2021
Press Release

Today, Republicans on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology sent a letter to Chairman John Yarmuth of the House Committee on the Budget calling for protecting the Science Committee’s history of bipartisanship and support for strategic investments in America’s research and development enterprise. 

Submitting their Budget Views and Estimates, Republican Members called for doubling funding for basic federal research over the next decade, and noted broad bipartisan support for investing in science and technology:

“There is momentum on both sides of the aisle in the House and Senate for legislation to secure our global science and technology leadership,” they wrote. “But our investments should be comprehensive, strategic, and sustainable. Unfortunately, the Biden-Harris Administration has proposed a $50 billion fund for a top-down approach to developing technologies at the National Science Foundation, and the Senate is considering a proposal to create a $100 billion slush fund for technology development. These proposals are not responsible or sustainable. 

“America’s continued scientific leadership requires a comprehensive and strategic approach to research and development that provides long-term increased investment and stability across the research ecosystem. It also requires national collaboration and public-private partnerships with a focus on evolving technologies that are crucial to our national and economic security, like quantum information science, artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, and high-performance computing.

“The Republican Members of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology will continue to build on the Committee’s past work to ensure that the United States remains the world’s leader in Research and Development. Committee Republicans believe that the only way to reach consensus and produce meaningful legislation on these matters is to engage in robust debate and dialogue, to proceed through regular legislative order, and to leave the partisan provisions for partisan measures.”

The full text of the letter follows, and a signed copy is available here.

Signers of the letter include:

  • Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK)
  • Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX)
  • Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX)
  • Rep. Stephanie Bice (R-OK)
  • Rep. Jay Obernolte (R-CA)
  • Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL)
  • Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH)
  • Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL)
  • Rep. Jim Baird (R-IN)
  • Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)
  • Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL)
  • Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA)
  • Rep. Young Kim (R-CA)
  • Rep. Randy Feenstra (R-IA)
  • Rep. Jake LaTurner (R-KS)
  • Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-FL)
  • Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI)

Dear Mr. Chairman:
The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Republicans appreciate the opportunity to share our views and estimates for the fiscal year 2022 budget cycle with respect to the programs within the Committee’s jurisdiction, as well as our view of the budget process so far in the 117th Congress and how it should proceed as we move forward.

The Science Committee has a long history of working on a bipartisan basis to develop and pass meaningful science and technology legislation into law, when given the opportunity by House leadership to conduct its work in regular order. Unfortunately, the broken budget and legislative process under the leadership of House Democrats has unnecessarily impeded our Committee’s bipartisan work.

The Science Committee has already been ostracized from the legislative process once in the 117th Congress when House Democratic leadership forced through the first budget
reconciliation package without formal input from the Committee and its Members. The Science Committee had no opportunity to debate or discuss the $750 million allocated in the budget reconciliation package for research and development. Nor were we given the opportunity to address other missed opportunities for funding COVID relief for the research industry, which have broad bipartisan support. Budget reconciliation is a closed legislative process, and partisan wish lists are no way to approach the many opportunities that lie before us.

Republicans support doubling funding for basic federal research over the next 10 years and bipartisan consensus exists to increase federal investment in research and development.
There is also broad bipartisan support for more rapidly growing federal investment in basic research at the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science and the National Science Foundation (NSF) over the next 5 years, to contend with our global competitors like China. There is also bipartisan support for reauthorizing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to get America back to the Moon and on to Mars, to build our domestic STEM workforce and broaden participation in STEM studies and careers, and to foster American dominance in cutting-edge technologies.

Science Committee Republicans are committed to working on legislation to accomplish these critically important objectives. However, this can only be accomplished if the House
proceeds through regular order, in an open and transparent process, where Members are provided an opportunity to legislate and engage in robust debate and discourse. It cannot be achieved by circumventing committees of jurisdiction under the guise of budget reconciliation, or by poisoning bipartisan consensus with partisan priorities.

Science and technology are essential to our national defense, economic security, and American prosperity. The basic research our government supports is foundational to our
economic success and has allowed us to remain at the forefront of global science and technology innovation. We face very real threats to our scientific leadership from the Chinese Communist Party, and we can’t afford to fall behind.

There is momentum on both sides of the aisle in the House and Senate for legislation to secure our global science and technology leadership. But our investments should be
comprehensive, strategic, and sustainable. Unfortunately, the Biden-Harris Administration has proposed a $50 billion fund for a top-down approach to developing technologies at the National Science Foundation, and the Senate is considering a proposal to create a $100 billion slush fund for technology development. These proposals are not responsible or sustainable. America’s continued scientific leadership requires a comprehensive and strategic approach to research and development that provides long-term increased investment and stability across the research ecosystem. It also requires national collaboration and public-private partnerships with a focus on evolving technologies that are crucial to our national and economic security, like quantum information science, artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, and high-performance computing.

The Republican Members of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology will continue to build on the Committee’s past work to ensure that the United States remains the
world’s leader in Research and Development. Committee Republicans believe that the only way to reach consensus and produce meaningful legislation on these matters is to engage in robust debate and dialogue, to proceed through regular legislative order, and to leave the partisan provisions for partisan measures. Anything less is an abdication of the Biden-Harris Administration’s stated commitment to unity and would result in patchwork legislation that fails to serve the best interests of the American people.

We have an opportunity to ensure that America remains at the forefront of science and technology research, development, and innovation. We call on the House leadership and the Budget Committee to seize this opportunity for bipartisan legislation in support of science and technology by avoiding reconciliation and proceeding through regular order with an open amendment process, and to check partisanship at the door. The American people deserve nothing less.

117th Congress