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Statement of Research!America President & CEO Mary Woolley on Introduction of the RISE Act

Research!America is deeply grateful to Senator Edward Markey (D-MA), Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC),  Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Representative Fred Upton (R-MI) for introducing the Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act (H.R.869) in their respective chambers of Congress. We also thank the many members of Congress from both sides of the aisle who joined as original cosponsors of this critically important and time-sensitive legislation.

COVID-19 has weakened our nation’s science & technology ecosystem. It has derailed research that bears relevance to ending this pandemic and out-innovating the next; slowed progress in diseases affecting millions of Americans such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, mental illness and so many more; derailed career ladders for young scientists; and disrupted clinical trials patients depend upon and medical advancement relies on. The RISE Act fights back against pandemic-induced damage across the research ecosystem.

The RISE Act would authorize $26 billion in funding to restart research, jumpstart crucial clinical trials, repair breaks in the career pipeline that jeopardize our nation’s scientific and technological capacity, and prevent a loss of our strategic research capacity. This RISE Act would restore continuity in science and technology priorities, enabling forward momentum at a time in our history when the value of past, present, and future scientific and technological discovery has never been more apparent.

Within this $26 billion authorization, $10 billion would be specifically deployed to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to address massive setbacks in life-saving research. An overwhelming majority of Americans view medical progress as crucial. In fact, in a recent survey commissioned by Research!America, 85% of American adults affirmed the importance of President Biden and the new Congress assigning a higher priority to faster medical progress. Our nation must refuse to allow this pandemic to compromise progress that saves lives.

We urge Congress and the Biden Administration to act swiftly on two fronts to secure our nation’s strategically vital science and technology ecosystem: pass and sign into law the RISE Act, and designate at least $26 billion in supplemental funding – including at least $10 billion for the NIH – for research recovery. Every day that lifesaving research is delayed costs lives.