Senator Ben Ray Luhan
Senator Ben Ray Luhan

As the last day of summer loses its last few minutes of sunshine, children revive their calculators with fresh batteries in preparation for the next school year, and teachers return to their classrooms to find all the computers up and ready to go. Check that everything is in order.

It’s amazing when you consider all the advanced technology that moves people’s lives forward. Most of them would have been unimaginable twenty years ago.

Without decades of government investment in technological development, the cell phone you have today costs $10,000 and is the size of a room. There are thousands of such examples. It’s an example of how federal money has played a role in the science and technology industry, resulting in innovative breakthroughs and public goods that benefit all Americans.

The recent signing of the CHIPS and Science Act, among other victories I have secured for New Mexico, has caused some people to ask what this new funding will actually do to the American people. All we have to do is look at our country’s past technological and scientific progress and ask ourselves: Where would we be today if the U.S. government hadn’t invested in us?

Senator Dennis Chavez of New Mexico and other members of Congress dated back to the mid-20th century, saying that consistent funding and support for research and development were necessary to advance the economic viability and growth of the country. I knew

With federal support for science and technology mass-producing microchips for computers and cell phones, people were suddenly more connected to each other than ever before. It then gave way to a steady decline in public and private funding for America’s next big idea. Companies were finding alternatives abroad. And it has become very clear and urgent that our government must act.

This is why Congress has taken action to strengthen federal investment in scientific innovation and technological advances here at home. The CHIPS and Science Act is a landmark piece of legislation that represents the largest investment ever made in US science and technology.

Investing in New Mexico

I am very proud to have secured a long list of investments that directly benefit New Mexico, home to two of the Department of Energy’s most prominent national laboratories: Los Alamos and Sandia.

The Act Directs $16.5 Billion to Strengthen the Future of DOE’s Research and Development Efforts in 10 Key Technology Areas, Including Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency, Advanced Manufacturing, Biotechnology, Artificial Intelligence, and Quantum Information Science .

We know the state needs modern facilities and surrounding infrastructure to continue to lead the country in scientific research and innovation. So I helped secure his $14.7 billion for the revitalization of the National Labs. $2 billion of that will be readily available thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act. From upgrading facilities and roads to investing in the latest scientific equipment, this funding will not only support the technical capabilities of laboratories, but will also create high-paying local jobs.

Additionally, this law enacts a proposal I have supported for years. The nonprofit foundation supports DOE’s efforts to guide the private sector and philanthropic foundations to bring new technologies to market, promote clean energy, and make our nation safer.

And while the list of what this bill will bring to America’s R&D in the 21st century goes on, I’m proud of the clean energy investments that Congress has brought back to our communities. Between this and the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act (the largest climate bill ever passed by Congress), the United States is now emerging as a climate leader on the world stage.

What next?

The United States has a long tradition of betting on itself.

In the eyes of the scientists and researchers at Sandia Laboratories and Los Alamos Laboratories, we see a desire to do things that have never been done before.

Since returning home to New Mexico after completing this historic investment, we can’t wait to see the innovation circle reinvigorated with this funding.To secure these investments in New Mexico. The reasons we’ve been working on will soon begin to bear fruit. New ideas, more jobs, and new hope that America will remain competitive in the future global economy.



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