June 08, 2021

Duckworth Bipartisan Amendment to Invest $17 Billion in National Laboratories and DOE Facilities Passes the Senate


[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) helped U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) secure a bipartisan amendment to the United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021, which passed the Senate today by a vote of 68-32, that will invest $17 billion in U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratories and User Facilities. The provision will help support the entire U.S. innovation system to strengthen America’s global competitiveness, which includes Fermilab and Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois.

“One of the best ways for our nation to strengthen our competitiveness with the rest of the world is to enhance a crown jewel of American innovation: the incredible network of Department of Energy National Labs, particularly Illinois’ own Fermilab and Argonne National Laboratory,” Senator Duckworth said. “I’m proud to have worked with Senator Luján to get our important bipartisan amendment included in the United States Innovation and Competition Act so we can invest in the National Science Foundation and enhance our National Labs, which are critical drivers of American innovation and capable of advancing even more groundbreaking scientific research and discovery.”

The United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 seeks to advance and solidify the United States’ leadership in scientific and technological innovation through increased investments in the discovery, creation and manufacturing of technology critical to U.S. national security and economic competitiveness.

In addition to Luján and Duckworth, the amendment was co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), John Thune (R-SD), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

Last month, Senator Duckworth joined Senator Luján (D-NM), Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) and 16 of their Senate colleagues in sending a bipartisan letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) requesting the legislation be modified to recognize the leading role the Department of Energy and National Laboratories play in shaping American innovation.