Washington, D.C. – U.S. SenatorBen Ray Luján (D-N.M.) issued the following statement on the passage of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act that will 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.
“The U.S. Innovation and Competition Act will drive American innovation and competitiveness for generations, and I was proud to help strengthen this legislation to include robust investments in the Department of Energy and our National Laboratories, including at Sandia and Los Alamos in New Mexico. This landmark bill supports American manufacturing, technology, and innovation, while creating good-paying jobs in New Mexico and across the nation,” said Luján. “This legislation is the effort of leaders working across the aisle to advance shared priorities and provide a much-needed boost to our economy and national security.”
Senator Luján championed several key initiatives in the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act that will help place New Mexico at the forefront of science and innovation. The following amendments were secured by Senator Luján and his colleagues:
- Following his request to Senate leadership to modify the Endless Frontier Act– now known as the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act – to recognize the leading role that the Department of Energy (DOE) and National Laboratories play in American innovation, Senator Luján secured a bipartisan amendment to invest $17 billion in DOE and National Laboratories;
- Senator Luján co-led the effort to advance the Partnerships for Energy Security and Innovation Act (previously the IMPACT for Energy Act) to establish a nonprofit foundation for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that would channel private-sector investments to support DOE’s mission and to accelerate the commercialization of innovative technologies in energy, like next-generation batteries, low-carbon fuels, and advanced materials. Senator Luján led the passage of the IMPACT for Energy Act in the House of Representatives during the 116th Congress;
- An amendment to allow the newly established Directorate for Technology and Innovation to enter into institutional partnerships to study safety and security of key technology areas such as Artificial Intelligence to minimize risks to health, well-being, and safety;
- An amendment to urge the NSF to utilize the microgravity environment for research and development. This will help continue the investment in suborbital space and allows scientists to conduct experiments that are impossible to perform on Earth.