Durbin Calls For Increased Funding For Scientific Research
URBANA—U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined researchers at the University of Illinois to discuss his efforts to restore the United States’ commitment to breakthrough scientific, biomedical, and agriculture research. Research and development (R&D) funding in the United States has been lagging in recent decades. During the 1960s, the United States invested 17 percent of its discretionary budget on research and development—that number has now decreased to just nine percent. This steady decline has led to a cumulative $1.5 trillion research investment deficit. Meanwhile, China’s research intensity (GDP expenditures on R&D) has increased sharply since the early 2000s – if this trend continues, China will soon surpass the U.S.
“Increasing federal research funding at our government agencies is a top priority for me. The American Cures and Innovation Acts and the America Grows Act would allow America’s smartest scientists and researchers to spend less time figuring out how to cut their budgets and more time finding new ways to protect our food supply, find cures for deadly diseases, and tackle the challenges of the future,” Durbin said. “Continuing to support scientific research is the smartest investment we can make for our health, our future, and our economy.”
This year Durbin has introduced three pieces of legislation which would create mandatory funds to provide steady, predicable funding for breakthrough research at America’s top research agencies, allowing the United States to remain a leader in development and discovery for decades to come.
America Grows Act
The America Grows Act would authorize a five percent annual funding increase over the next five years at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). With most domestic agriculture research on the decline, the America Grows Act would restore the United States’ commitment to publically-funded agriculture research at USDA. The specific agencies involved would include the Agriculture Research Service, National Institute for Food and Agriculture, National Agriculture Statistics Service and Economic Research Service.
American Innovation Act and American Cures Act
Earlier this year, Durbin, along with U.S. Representatives Bill Foster (D-IL-11) and Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14), introduced bicameral legislation to restore the United States’ commitment to breakthrough scientific and biomedical research. The American Cures Act and the American Innovation Act would create mandatory funds to provide steady, predictable funding for breakthrough research at America’s top research agencies, allowing the United States to remain a leader in development and discovery for decades to come.
The American Cures Act—of which Representative Underwood is the lead House sponsor—would provide annual budget increases of five percent plus inflation at America’s top four biomedical research agencies: the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Defense Health Program, and the Veterans Medical and Prosthetics Research Program.
The American Innovation Act—of which Representative Foster is the lead House sponsor—would provide annual budget increases of five percent for cutting edge research at five important federal research agencies: The National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy Office of Science, the Department of Defense Science and Technology Programs, the National Institute of Standards and Technology Scientific and Technical Research, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Science Directorate. This steady, long-term investment would allow the agencies to plan and manage strategic growth while maximizing efficiencies.
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