Blackburn, Colleagues Secure Amendment to Invest $17 Billion in National Laboratories and DOE Facilities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In executive session of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Technology, U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) led the passage of an amendment to the Endless Frontier Act to invest $17 billion in Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratories and User Facilities. This amendment will help support the entire U.S. innovation system, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and strengthen America’s global competitiveness.

“The Department of Energy’s seventeen national labs have played a crucial role in shaping American innovative leadership. Tennessee is honored to be home to Oak Ridge National Laboratory since 1943.  This measure will help ensure we continue to invest and support the critical scientific innovation done at ORNL,” Senator Blackburn said.

“Our National Laboratories are on the forefront of science, technology, and innovation, and I was proud to work across the aisle to advance this amendment to invest $17 billion in the Department of Energy and our National Labs. This amendment will also increase coordination and strengthen the role of the Department of Energy in the interagency working group created by the Endless Frontier Act,” said Luján, a former Co-Chair of the National Labs Caucus. “I will continue to look for opportunities to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to bolster American innovation and support new jobs and opportunities.”

“One of the best ways for our nation to strengthen our competitiveness with the rest of the world would be to enhance a crown jewel of American innovation: the incredible network of Department of Energy National Labs, particularly Illinois’ own Fermilab and Argonne National Laboratory,” Senator Duckworth said. “I’m proud to have worked with Senator Luján to pass our important bipartisan amendment that helps ensure the Endless Frontier Act invests in the National Science Foundation and enhances our National Labs, which are critical drivers of American innovation and capable of advancing even more groundbreaking scientific research and discovery.”

“It was critically important to me that legislation highlighting scientific research also recognize the contribution of our national labs,” Senator Capito said. “The men and women at our labs, including the National Energy Technology Lab in Morgantown, are and have been at the forefront of the most significant achievements of our time, from the Manhattan project to developing the coronavirus vaccine. Further empowering and enhancing their capabilities, in partnership with the National Science Foundation, benefits all of us in the area of global competition.”

The Endless Frontier Act seeks to advance and solidify the United States’ leadership in scientific and technological innovation through increased investments in the discovery, creation, and manufacturing of technology critical to U.S. national security and economic competitiveness. The amendment is also co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), John Thune (R-S.D.), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.).

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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