Durbin Calls On Senate Colleagues To Support Endless Frontier Act

Durbin: Legislation will strengthen America’s role as a global leader in science and technology; essential piece of our effort to preserve American global leadership

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today encouraged his Senate colleagues to support the bipartisan U.S. Innovation and Competition Act of 2021, the broader competitiveness package and substitute amendment to the bipartisan Endless Frontier Act.  The legislation represents the largest investment in U.S. science and technology leadership since the Apollo era.  It will authorize more than $100 billion over five years to support breakthrough scientific discovery and technological innovation in 10 key areas that are vital to building an innovation economy and winning the good-jobs race for the 21st century.

“These key areas include fields of advanced energy, semiconductors, artificial intelligence, biotechnology and genomics, quantum computing, robotics, materials science, disaster prevention, and of course cybersecurity,” Durbin said.  “Investing strategically in these ten key innovation areas will enable the United States to protect America’s position as a leader in the global economy and our national security.  It will reinvigorate and expand our industrial and manufacturing base, and it will create a stronger middle class in our country.”

During his speech, Durbin noted that the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 will also strengthen the security of essential supply chains, and our ability to solve supply-chain disruptions during crises.  This will benefit cities like Belvidere, Illinois.  In late March, the Stellantis plant in Belvidere, which assembles Jeep Cherokees, was forced to shut down because of the global shortage of microchips.  Late last week, the company announced that the plant will be forced to shut down one if its two production lines in late July—again because of microchip shortages. 

“You can’t build a prosperous economy and stable middle class if you can’t secure your supply line,” Durbin noted.

Durbin concluded, “Strengthening America’s role in science and technology is an essential piece to keeping our leadership in the world.  For that reason, I support the Endless Frontier Act.  I urge my colleagues to do the same.”  

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.