Luján Introduces Legislation To Restore And Modernize National Labs For The 21st Century

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) introduced the Restore and Modernize Our National Labs Act, a bill that would invest $30 billion in deferred maintenance projects and infrastructure improvements at America’s National Labs. The legislation is cosponsored by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.). During the 116th Congress, Senator Luján successfully secured the inclusion of the Restore and Modernize Our National Labs Act in the House-passed Moving Forward Act.

The Department of Energy’s National Laboratories are experiencing a maintenance backlog from decades of underfunding that puts the labs’ mission at risk. Significant new federal investments are needed to repair and update laboratories, administrative buildings, and critical infrastructure like roads and power plants. Making these improvements will keep the labs’ more than 40,000 employees safe and secure, and ensure that these research facilities are equipped to fulfill their mission.

“Our National Labs, including Sandia and Los Alamos in New Mexico, have helped position our country as a global leader in innovation and scientific discovery,” said Senator Luján. “However, the labs’ success depends on critical infrastructure that is often decades beyond its usefulness. The Restore and Modernize Our National Labs Act funds necessary updates and upgrades that enhance our national labs’ capacity to address 21st century challenges like addressing climate change, creating and leading on industries of the future, and strengthening our national security. I’ll keep working to ensure that America’s national labs continue to have access safe, reliable, and efficient facilities, state-of-the-art technology, and a world-class workforce.”

“To stay at the cutting edge of global science and technology, the U.S. research community needs ready access to the latest equipment and up-to-date facilities,” said David M. Hart, Senior Fellow at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.  “Restoring and Modernizing DOE’s national labs to provide these essential resources is a no-brainer.”

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