Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA-02), a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee and leading advocate for federally sponsored research in energy, neuroscience, health and the sciences, has introduced legislation to highlight the critical U.S. investment in research by declaring 2013 the "Year of the Federal Lab."
House Resolution 815, introduced Nov. 16 with bipartisan support, puts the House of Representatives on record that federal laboratories have been and continue to be at the cutting edge of scientific and technological advancement. Congressman Randy Hultgren (R-IL) is an original cosponsor of the resolution.
"I have visited our national energy laboratories and advocated for their funding because of the critical role they perform in jump-starting tomorrow's economy," Fattah said. "All of our federally-funded labs, and there are more than 100 of them, deserve more credit and attention for their important role in keeping the United States as the world's economic and innovation leader.
"To remain Number One, we must make tough choices about the type of country we want to be. Are we content to fall behind in the areas of energy, space, science, and technology, or will we make the necessary investments to win the future? Our national labs are at the forefront of this effort," Fattah said. "We must showcase and honor federal laboratories, and we must invest in them. We cannot maintain world leadership on the cheap."
The Resolution highlights all the national energy laboratories as well as more than 100 other labs that serve as federally funded research and development centers, or are owned, leased, or otherwise used by a Federal agency and funded by the Federal Government.
Names 2013 the "Year of the Federal Lab" in celebration of all of the work and accomplishments of the national network of federal labs.
Recognizes that one key to maintaining U.S. innovation and competitiveness in a global economy is to continue to support federally sponsored research & development;
Acknowledges that the knowledge base, technologies, and techniques generated in the Federal laboratory system serves as a foundation for additional commercially relevant efforts in the private sector;
Commits to find ways to increase Federal investment in the network of Federal Laboratories in order to increase support of federally sponsored research and development; and
Encourages the laboratories, the executive branch agencies, and Congress to hold educational/outreach events during the year of the lab to make the public more aware of the work of the nation's network of national laboratories.