Van Hollen, Durbin Urge OMB to Follow Through on CHIPS Act Authorizations for Department OF Energy

November 21, 2022

U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) joined Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) alongside their Senate Democratic colleagues in urging the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to ensure that the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science is given the full amount of authorized funding allocated by the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget request. In their letter, the Senators emphasize that properly funding DOE will demonstrate the U.S.’ commitment to remaining a leader in global research. 

“As you work to finalize the Administration’s budget request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024, we urge you to follow through on the United States’ commitment to science and innovation by supporting the authorization levels set by the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 for the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science…A strong signal of support for its provisions in the FY2024 budget request is vital to solidify the United States’ renewed commitment to global leadership in science and innovation,” wrote the Senators. 

The Senators wrote that to remain competitive on a global scale, DOE must have the resources to invest in cutting-edge research and technology.  

“Previous budget requests have proven insufficient for maintaining scientific progress at the DOE Office of Science at the rate necessary to compete on the global stage.  Undercutting the DOE Office of Science budget can slow or even halt critical ongoing research, construction projects, and talent retention efforts,” the Senators continued.  

The Senators ended their letter by reiterating their call to OMB to ensure that DOE has robust funding in Fiscal Year 2024 that matches the levels authorized in the CHIPS and Science Act and provide DOE with the tools necessary to be a global leader in research.   

“As outlined in the CHIPS and Science Act, Congress has demonstrated that the DOE Office of Science is poised to continue leading the nation in next-generation discovery.  A robust funding request for the DOE Office of Science in FY2024, consistent with the authorization levels in the CHIPS and Science Act, would help guarantee the United States’ position as a global leader in innovation.  We urge you to include this robust level of funding in your request,” the Senators concluded.  

In addition to Senators Van Hollen and Durbin, the letter was also signed by Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). 

The full text of the letter is available here and below:

Dear Director Young, 

As you work to finalize the Administration’s budget request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024, we urge you to follow through on the United States’ commitment to science and innovation by supporting the authorization levels set by the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 for the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science.  This law included a comprehensive reauthorization crafted on a bipartisan, bicameral basis with input from the DOE and our national laboratory system.  The CHIPS and Science Act represents the first step in a new national science policy.  A strong signal of support for its provisions in the FY2024 budget request is vital to solidify the United States’ renewed commitment to global leadership in science and innovation. 

As the nation’s primary sponsor of fundamental research in the physical sciences, the DOE Office of Science serves as a crucial arm of the United States’ research enterprise.  The DOE Office of Science operates a collection of 28 large-scale, cutting-edge user facilities and supports a workforce of more than 22,000 research scientists, engineers, and support personnel.  These facilities and personnel operate at the intersection of basic and applied sciences, including the development of critical fields like high-performance computing, particle physics, material sciences, advanced energy systems, climate change, biological sciences, and artificial intelligence—among many others.  This research will define next-generation economies and ensure the U.S. remains at the forefront of global security.  However, this progress and leadership requires meaningful, sustained growth in funding.  

Previous budget requests have proven insufficient for maintaining scientific progress at the DOE Office of Science at the rate necessary to compete on the global stage.  Undercutting the DOE Office of Science budget can slow or even halt critical ongoing research, construction projects, and talent retention efforts.  President Biden has indicated that scientific research is a top priority, but an insufficient budget request for the DOE Office of Science would undercut this message and harm Congress’ ability to support the national demand for discovery.  In some instances, a mismatch of priorities and funding already has caused our international allies to reconsider the United States’ ability to work as a partner in major scientific endeavors. 

As outlined in the CHIPS and Science Act, Congress has demonstrated that the DOE Office of Science is poised to continue leading the nation in next-generation discovery.  A robust funding request for the DOE Office of Science in FY2024, consistent with the authorization levels in the CHIPS and Science Act, would help guarantee the United States’ position as a global leader in innovation.  We urge you to include this robust level of funding in your request.  

We look forward to working with you to advance U.S. leadership in science and innovation. 

Sincerely,

Leave a Comment