Lofgren Provisions Advance in Science Committee to Expand Research Funding, Include Wildfire Resilience Efforts, & Cultivate STEM Pipeline

June 15, 2021
Press Release
SST Passes Bipartisan NSF for the Future Act and the Dept. of Energy Science for the Future Act

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, The House Science, Space, and Technology (SST) Committee passed H.R. 2225, the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the Future Act, and H.R. 3593, the Department of Energy Science for the Future Act, on a bipartisan basis, which included provisions from U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren (CA-19) to expand authorized research funding (by $5 billion over five years), include wildfire resilience efforts, and cultivate the STEM pipeline (by ensuring that postdoctoral researchers are eligible to receive professional development funding).

The NSF for the Future Act is widely seen as SST’s counterpart to the research sections in the Endless Frontier Act (which was a core component of the Senate-passed U.S. Innovation and Competition Act).

“Over the past few decades, federal investment in NSF and R&D has flatlined as a share of the economy. Meanwhile, our global competitors have jumpstarted innovation and economic growth through such investments. America needs to improve the speed and scale of scientific research while promoting innovative solutions to the challenges we face as a nation,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren. “In an era where partisan divisions make headlines, it’s heartening that the Science Committee agreed on a bipartisan basis to include important provisions to expand research funding and cultivate our country’s STEM pipeline.”

Lofgren added, “Millions of Californians and West Coasters have either been directly impacted by devastating fires over the past few years or experienced disruptive power outages. By including wildfire science as a focus in NSF’s risk and resilience research, the Science Committee is rightfully helping protect local economies.” 

The Lofgren funding amendment:

The Lofgren STEM pipeline amendment:

The Perlmutter-Lofgren wildfire resilience amendment:

Supercomputing for Safer Chemicals

In addition to the three Committee-passed amendments, Lofgren offered and withdrew an amendment to the Department of Energy Science for the Future Act to establish a Supercomputing for Safer chemicals (SUPERSAFE) Consortium to leverage supercomputing capabilities at the National Laboratories for large-scale identification of toxic substances and the development of safer alternatives.

Lofgren said, “The use of supercomputing and artificial intelligence has the potential to transform our understanding of the adverse human and environmental effects associated with industrial chemical use.”

Lofgren thanked the Committee for its commitment to take a serious look at this proposal moving forward.