Swalwell Rejects Republican Proposal to Cut DOE Science Funding and Deprioritize Climate Change Research

October 30, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Senior Democrat on the Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Energy, today criticized the partisan Republican draft bill reauthorizing the America COMPETES Act.

Although the legislation had previously always had bipartisan support, the Republicans have decided to take a piecemeal approach by releasing the EINSTEIN Act, which inadequately funds the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science and risks our leadership in technology and innovation.

“Passing the partisan Republican EINSTEIN Act would not be a smart move,” said Swalwell. “We can thank the COMPETES Act of 2007 for supporting the Combustion Research Facility at Sandia National Laboratories, enhancing STEM education in our schools, and enabling other scientific discoveries through its grant program. However, by under-funding the Office of Science and deprioritizing climate change research the Republicans are ceding our national scientific achievements to other countries that are willing to invest in science.”

The COMPETES Act was first passed in 2007 and authorized the budgets of three agencies that are at the forefront of America’s scientific and technological achievements – the DOE’s Office of Science, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National Science Foundation. The legislation also strengthened support for STEM education. However, the Republican majority’s draft EINSTEIN Act only funds the DOE Office of Science and at a lower level than adequate to support its grant research and facilities. A draft alternative COMPETES Act has been released by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, the top Democrat of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

“The Republican majority must prioritize innovation over partisanship and I hope we can find common ground. The alternative COMPETES bill maintains our strong investment in science. I am also proud that issues I’ve championed such as increasing research of critical earth elements, creating a ‘Race to the Top’ program for energy, and promoting fusion research for energy were included in our legislation,” Swalwell added.

“I want to thank Ranking Member Johnson for her leadership with this America COMPETES legislation. Winning the future requires an investment in innovation, and we can’t afford to fall behind,” concluded Swalwell.