This week, the U.S. Senate is considering a bill that will bolster funding for government agencies with the intent of helping the U.S. compete with China in research and development. Recognizing the threat posed by Communist China and the need to do more to out-compete our adversaries, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) is working to improve the bill by bringing transparency to government agency spending, help prevent duplication, and stop waste.
“The outlined intent of the Endless Frontier Act is to help the U.S. compete with Communist China. I fully support this mission. But beating Red China requires more than just sending billions of dollars to federal agencies with little insight into how those dollars are used. In order to counter Communist China, the U.S. needs to ensure taxpayers are protected and that our agencies are meeting clearly defined objectives, backed with financial support,” said Senator Ernst. “Government agencies need commonsense guardrails on how they spend taxpayer resources, and that’s why I’m working to make sure they stay focused on truly transformative science that will improve not only our global competitiveness, but the lives of Americans.”
This week, Senator Ernst has been and will continue to push a number of transparency focused amendments to the bill. This includes provisions to:
- Prevent additional taxpayer money from going to China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology and unregulated wet markets
- Ensure taxpayers know when research dollars are going to foreign countries (included in the substitute)
- Provide taxpayers access to the research they funded (included in the substitute)
- Require a price tag on every project funded by the National Science Foundation
- Implement a system to stop the funding of duplicative programs