Friday, July 17, 2009
Rep. Heinrich Secures Vital R & D Funding for National Labs
Rep. Heinrich intros his amendment on House floor
Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01) today voted for what he called a "fiscally responsible spending bill" that makes key investments in clean energy, energy independence, environmental cleanup, nuclear non-proliferation, and water infrastructure. Click to read a summary of the bill's provisions.
The fiscal year 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations bill, H.R. 3183, cleared the House of Representatives with an amendment sponsored by Rep. Heinrich that was adopted by a unanimous vote of 424-0, according to a press release from Heinrich's office. The Heinrich Amendment supports cutting-edge advancements in science and technology at national laboratories by providing for a one percent increase for Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD).
Every year, Congress authorizes the national laboratories to use a specific percentage of their budgets for LDRD projects. In recent years, Congress has allowed eight percent of lab funding to go towards this cutting-edge research. The subcommittee has recommended cutting this allowance to six percent; Rep. Heinrich’s amendment would set it at seven percent.
The Heinrich Amendment would enable our national laboratories to retain expertise and pursue innovative projects by providing additional discretion for Department of Energy laboratories to select research activities. These high-risk, high-reward projects yield cutting-edge advancements in science and technology, and produce some of their most successful research and development initiatives.
In response to the Heinrich Amendment, Sandia Chief Technology Officer Steve Rottler released the following statement:
“We thank Rep. Heinrich for advocating on behalf of scientific discovery and innovation that will ensure our country’s strength in the 21st Century. LDRD projects play an integral role in Sandia National Laboratories’ strategic goal of nurturing core science and technology expertise to enable our national security missions, including enhancement of the security and reliability of our nation’s energy and other critical infrastructures.”