Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), and Susan Collins (R-Maine) today introduced the Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act to authorize nearly $25 billion in support to U.S. researchers who have been impacted by the pandemic. Although coronavirus-related research is a current federal government priority, most other research has been delayed due to closures of campuses and laboratories. The people who comprise the research workforce – graduate students, postdocs, principal investigators and technical support staff – face financial and other hardships from the disruption of their research activities. The RISE Act will provide necessary relief to preserve the current scientific workforce and ensure that the United States is prepared to continue our global scientific leadership once this crisis ends.
“Massachusetts is home to some of the greatest research minds in the world, but the research enterprise and the researchers who contribute to it are vital to every state’s economy,” said Senator Markey. “We must act now to preserve our current scientific workforce and ensure that the U.S. is prepared to continue our global scientific leadership once this crisis ends.”
“Over the course of this unprecedented pandemic, our medical researchers, scientists, research institutions and labs in North Carolina and across the country have worked tirelessly to battle COVID-19 and improve the health of the country,” said Senator Tillis. “I am proud to co-introduce the RISE Act again in the 117th Congress to continue fighting for our economic growth, global competitiveness and ability to continue delivering innovative medical and scientific solutions. We must support our nation’s research investments and workforce pipeline so that the medical and scientific research community can resume operations and restore progress to pre-pandemic levels.”
“I’m proud to support the cutting-edge research being conducted at Michigan institutions. We must ensure that our nation can remain a global leader in research and innovation – both during and after this pandemic,” said Senator Peters. “This legislation will ensure the scientific and medical personnel leading groundbreaking innovations have the resources they need to continue their work and support Michigan’s economy.”
“There is simply no investment that promises greater returns for America than our investment in scientific research. Diseases such as diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s, with their devastating human and financial costs, are powerful examples of the urgent need to keep our momentum in research funding going,” said Senator Collins. “This bipartisan bill would provide critical funding to the research communities in Maine and throughout the country, whose transformative work brings tangible hope to so many Americans as we continue to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.”
A copy of the legislation can be found HERE.
Representatives Diana DeGette (CO-01), Fred Upton (MI-06), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), Anna A. Eshoo (CA-18) and Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16) also introduced the legislation in the House of Representatives today. That legislation has 77 original co-sponsors, and more than 300 organizations endorsing, including the Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), American Council on Education (ACE) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU).
In September 2020, the RISE Act was marked up and approved by the Senate Commerce Committee. Senators Markey, Tillis, Peters and Collins will build on the committee approval from last Congress and will fight for the inclusion of federal research relief in COVID-19 relief packages.