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Beyer Highlights CARES Act Science And Research Support During House Floor Debate

“American research agencies are one of the best reasons we will overcome this plague”

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) today delivered remarks on behalf of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology during debate on the CARES Act. Beyer highlighted important science funding for medical research in the legislation, which is the third emergency relief bill passed by Congress to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beyer’s remarks (as prepared):

“Mister Speaker, as a Member of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, I want to draw attention to the research funding in this bill -- research which will help us understand COVID-19, find effective treatments, and help us address future pandemics.

“Nearly $100 million will go to the Department of Energy to enable access to its high-end computing capabilities, biological research facilities, and dedicated time on its advanced x-ray light source facilities.

“The National Science Foundation will receive $75 million for ‘molecular, cellular, physiological, ecological, and social levels’ research directly related to COVID-19. NSF can do fast-track research grants to understand the virus and to help model its spread.

“The National Institute of Standards and Technology will ensure the validity and reliability of tests for the virus. Through its support for the National Institute of Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals, NIST will accelerate efforts of drug makers and universities to manufacture new therapeutics and vaccines at scale.

“The EPA’s Science and Technology Account will research methods to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus via contaminated surfaces or materials.

“And this bill keeps the National Weather Service properly functioning, will help NASA respond to the coronavirus, and most importantly, provides $100 million for the purchase of personal protective equipment through the fire grants program.

“Our American research agencies are one of the best reasons we will overcome this plague.

“Mister Speaker, my grandfather lost his wife and first son in the flu epidemic of 1919. Yes this is not the last novel virus, but with a bold, sustained commitment to science we can make COVID-19 the last pandemic.

“I urge the swift passage of this legislation. Thank you and I yield back the balance of my time.”

Congressman Don Beyer has served on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology since taking office in 2015 and is the Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, and a Member of the House Committee on Ways and Means.