Durbin: Omnibus Appropriations Bill Funds Innovation & Research At Argonne National Lab & Fermilab

Funding included in Omnibus Appropriations bill agreement that now goes to the House and Senate for a vote

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced the Omnibus Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2016, which was introduced late last night, preserves essential federal funding for scientific research and development programs that support work at both Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab. Together, Argonne and Fermilab employ roughly 5,150 Illinoisans. The bill must now be voted on by both chambers of Congress and signed into law by President Obama.  


“Today’s legislation protects funding for the ongoing research at both Argonne National Lab and Fermilab, but we can’t lose sight of the important role these labs play in keeping the United States competitive in this fast-paced global economy,” said Durbin.  “Investing in their potential for scientific and technological innovation now will put our nation at the forefront of discovery in the future.”


The Omnibus Appropriations bill includes funding for the following energy research and development accounts that fund projects at Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab:


Argonne National Laboratory


  • Basic Energy Science: $1.8 billion in funding for the Office of Science’s Basic Energy Science account which is Argonne National Laboratory’s largest single-source funding source, and accounts for approximately 40 percent of the lab’s funding;


  • Energy Innovation Hub for Batteries and Energy Storage: $24.1 million for the Energy Innovation Hub for Batteries and Energy Storage. In November 2012, Argonne National Laboratory was selected to receive an award of up to $120 million over five years to create the Hub, also known as the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), which is a partnership including University of Chicago, the University of Illinois, the City of Chicago, and private firms and townships in Illinois. The project will establish Illinois as a leader in a multi-billion dollar, developing industry that has potential to stimulate substantial employment and economic growth.


  • Advanced Photon Source Upgrade: $20 million for Advanced Photon Source, a sophisticated x-ray beam that companies, universities, and other research institutions use to conduct break-through research to discover new energy materials, pharmaceuticals, and security infrastructure and transportation. 


  • Advanced Scientific Computing Research: $621 million in funding for the Office of Science’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research account, which supports Argonne’s National Laboratory’s supercomputer initiatives including $77 million for the operations of Argonne’s Leadership Computing Facility. 


Argonne National Laboratory is one of the U.S. Department of Energy's largest research centers. It is also the nation's first national laboratory which houses basic and applied scientific research across a wide spectrum of disciplines, ranging from high-energy physics to climatology and biotechnology. Argonne employs roughly 3,400 people, including scientists and engineers.




  • High Energy Physics: $795 million in funding for the Office of Science’s High Energy Physics account which is the primary source of funding for Fermilab, and accounts for approximately 90 percent of the lab’s funding;


  • Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment: $26 million in funding is included for the Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment, a primary focus at Fermilab. Research in neutrinos represents the next frontier of particle physics.


  • The Muon to Electron Experiment: $40 million in funding is included for the Muon to Electron Experiment which could result in the development of a revolutionary technology in the field. 


Fermilab is the nation’s premier high-energy physics laboratory that employs over 1,750 people including physicists, engineers and computer professionals. The laboratory leads U.S. research into the fundamental nature of matter and energy. Fermilab is a world-leading laboratory in the study of neutrinos and very rare processes using existing and upgraded facilities.