June 08, 2017

Duckworth & Durbin Pass Resolution Congratulating FermiLab on 50th Anniversary


[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) introduced a resolution this week, co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), which passed the Senate unanimously last night, congratulating Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) on 50 years of groundbreaking discoveries. Fermilab, a United States Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory located in Batavia, Illinois, is America's premier particle physics and accelerator laboratory. This world-renowned facility generates cutting edge research with national and global partners to develop new technologies that support U.S. industrial competitiveness and make groundbreaking scientific discoveries.

"Our National Laboratories like Fermilab are not only Illinois's crown jewels of scientific innovation, they are also a key source of economic growth and job creation for our state," said Senator Duckworth. "It is an honor to congratulate Fermilab on 50 years of impressive achievements and will continue to advocate for its programs and scientists."

"For fifty years, Fermilab has been home to some of America's most innovative scientists and researchers. Their groundbreaking work strengthens our nation's infrastructure and contributes to global scientific knowledge,"
said Senator Durbin. "Continuing to support our national labs like Fermilab is the smartest investment we can make for Illinois, our future, and our economy."

Despite Fermilab's many scientific achievements, the Trump budget proposal would cut its funding, resulting in job losses. Fermilab primarily draws its funding from the Department of Energy's Office of Science, which the President proposed reducing by nearly 20 percent. This week, Senators Duckworth and Durbin led 24 of their colleagues in writing to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development to express their strong support for the Department of Energy's Office of Science. Instead of cutting its funding by nearly 20 percent, the Senators requested at least $5.4 billion be provided in funding in the upcoming fiscal year.

Senator Duckworth is a member of the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction over our nation's laboratories. Senator Durbin is a member of the Senate Appropriations Energy & Water Development Subcommittee, which determines the funding levels for the national laboratories. This is Duckworth's second piece of legislation that has passed the Senate since she was sworn in five months ago. Her first bill, bipartisan legislation to prevent infrastructure projects from becoming ensnared in needless bureaucratic delays, passed the Senate unanimously in record time just 64 days after she was sworn in and became law last month.

The full text of the resolution is below. A PDF of the letter is available here.

Congratulating Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory on 50 years of groundbreaking discoveries.

Whereas, in 2017, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (referred to in this preamble as ''Fermilab'') celebrates the 50th anniversary of the date on which the first employees of Fermilab started work in Illinois, June 15, 1967;

Whereas Femilab drives scientific discovery by building and operating world-leading particle accelerator and detector facilities, performing pioneering research with national and global partners, and developing new technologies for science that support the industrial competitiveness of the United States;

Whereas Fermilab provides research facilities for 4,500 scientists from 50 countries;

Whereas research at Fermilab led to the discovery of the 3 building blocks of the universe, the bottom quark in 1977, the top quark in 1995, and the tau neutrino in 2000;

Whereas superconducting magnets developed at Fermilab led to the advancement of magnetic resonance imaging medical diagnostics;

Whereas Fermilab contributed critical components, computing capabilities, and scientific expertise to the 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson in Geneva, Switzerland;

Whereas Fermilab continues to lead scientific discoveries, including planning construction for the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility to power the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment; and

Whereas Fermilab demonstrates its strong commitment to developing a diverse workforce for the future in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through educational programs that bring more than 15,000 K-12 students to visit Fermilab each year: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate-
(1) Congratulates the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory on the semi centennial of the Laboratory; and
(2) Wishes the Laboratory success in continuing to help the people of the United States understand the mysteries of matter, energy, space, and time.