Lujan Grisham Advocates For Federal Labs

U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham


U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, N.M.-01, spoke on the floor of the House today to advocate for policy changes needed to support the work of federal laboratories like Sandia National Labs.

Her speech was delivered during debate on the House’s Energy and Water Appropriations bill:

“I thank my colleague for yielding time, and I commend her and the Chairman for their efforts to put together a bipartisan bill and bring it to the floor. But I do have a couple of concerns with the bill that I would like to address today.

“First, it provides additional funding for the Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP) in Southeastern New Mexico. I am pleased that the Committee has seen the need to provide additional funding so that the causes of an incident that occurred earlier this year can be better understood and remedied. 

“But I urge the Committee to find a different source of funding for those efforts. Altering the payment schedules for pension fund payments is bad fiscal policy. These pension plans face significant liabilities and they simply cannot afford it.

“I am also concerned about the way the bill deals with Laboratory Directed Research and Development, or LDRD. LDRD is the primary source of funding for fundamental research at our national security laboratories, like Sandia National Labs, which is based in my district. LDRD allows these critical facilities to sustain their mission-essential science and technology capabilities, anticipate and address emerging mission needs, and advance technologies in a wide range of areas critical to national security. The provision in this bill, coupled with last year’s cuts to LDRD, combine to decrease the funds available for this important program by over 20 percent and increase the labs’ administrative burden.

“In my view, these policy changes will have a negative impact on the labs’ ability to conduct critical national security work, and I look forward to continuing to work with the Chairman and the Ranking Member to address both of these issues as the bill moves through the legislative process.”






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