Lucas Introduces Bill to Double Investment in Basic Research and Secure American Leadership in Science and Technology

Mar 23, 2021

Cheyenne, OK- Today, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, introduced legislation to double funding for basic research over ten years. The Securing American Leadership in Science and Technology Act (SALSTA) creates a long-term strategy for investment in basic research and infrastructure to protect the economic and national security of the United States.

“America’s global leadership has always been driven by our scientific and technological superiority,” Lucas said. “But that leadership is being challenged now by the Chinese Communist Party. Doubling our investment in basic and early-stage research is unquestionably what’s needed for a clean economy that stays ahead of foreign competition. SALSTA creates a national strategy for American research and development that focuses on advanced technologies and clean energy solutions.”

Lucas introduced similar legislation in 2020, and the current bill reflects a greater need for intellectual property protection and critical materials supply chain security, among other policies. “Communist leadership in China is investing more in research than the U.S. and aggressively pursuing technological supremacy through foreign acquisitions, forced technology transfers, and, frequently, cyber espionage,” Lucas said. “We need to protect U.S. research from theft while also maintaining the transparent and cooperative environment that generates scientific discoveries.” 

SALSTA also invests in research into clean energy technologies that will reduce emissions while keeping energy prices low so America can stay economically competitive. “America leads the world in emissions reductions, and we can continue that trend by developing next-generation energy technologies including renewables like geothermal power, advanced nuclear power, carbon capture, and battery storage,” Lucas said. “The only way to reduce emissions while growing our economy is by encouraging innovation.”

SALSTA will: 

  • – Double basic research over 10 years. 

  • – Invest in science and technology to drive the development of cleaner, more efficient, low-cost, advanced energy like advanced nuclear, battery storage, and carbon capture technologies.

  • – Prioritize critical research areas to establish global leadership in industries of the future like quantum science, artificial intelligence, supercomputing, advanced materials and manufacturing, and cybersecurity. 

  • – Expand our STEM workforce and enhance the American talent pipeline.

  • – Invest in the infrastructure needed to maintain world-class research facilities.

  • – Protect American research from foreign theft.

The original cosponsors of SALSTA include:

Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX)

Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX)

Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL)

Rep. Stephanie Bice (R-OK) 

Rep. Jay Obernolte (R-CA)

Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL)

Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH)

Rep. Jim Baird (R-IN)

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)

Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA)

Rep. Young Kim (R-CA)

Rep. Randy Feenstra (R-IA)

Rep. Jake LaTurner (R-KS)

Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-FL)

Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI)

View a fact sheet on SALSTA here.

View a legislative summary of SALSTA.

View the full legislative text of SALSTA.


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