Swalwell National Security Bill Passes House of Representatives

December 4, 2014
In The News

H.R. 3438, the National Laboratories Mean National Security Act, a bill introduced by U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Monday unanimously passed the House of Representatives. This bipartisan legislation will ensure the full resources of Department of Energy (DOE) labs, like Lawrence Livermore and Sandia in his congressional district, are readily available to help states and localities protect our country against terrorism. Currently, uncertainty in the law prevents such collaborations.

“Lawrence Livermore, Sandia and our other DOE national laboratories are world-class scientific research and development institutions with expertise directly relevant to protecting against biological and chemical weapons and securing our infrastructure against terrorism,” said Swalwell, a member of the Homeland Security and Science, Space, and Technology Committees. “Unfortunately, labs are limited in how they can help. My commonsense bill will provide clarity to strengthen our national security.”

The government-owned, contractor-operated structure of the national labs has caused some state and local recipients of federal homeland security grants to decline to utilize DOE labs because of a mistaken belief that it would be impermissible. Swalwell’s bill makes clear in statute that national labs can work with recipients of key federal homeland security initiatives and grants.

“Lawrence Livermore National Lab greatly values our partnerships with our local and regional governments, and we appreciate Rep. Swalwell’s legislative efforts to remove barriers and facilitate more collaborations in the name of national security,” said Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory director Bill Goldstein.

This is Swalwell’s fourth bill to receive a vote in the full House of Representatives, the most of any freshman Democrat. Swalwell has also had two bills signed into law by President Obama, more than any other freshman member.