WASHINGTON, D.C (March 4, 2015) - During a Senate Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee hearing today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) discussed the importance of funding for the U.S. Department of Energy's Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program. A list of today's witnesses can be found here.
Senator Heinrich is advocating to increase LDRD funding up to a level of 10 percent. LDRD investments help national laboratories, including Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory, advance their national security missions in the field of science and engineering. The program also helps attract and retain top researchers from around the world, fosters collaborations with large and small businesses, and promotes innovation.
Last September, Senator Heinrich participated in a discussion at the University of New Mexico where representatives from Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory presented their latest LDRD projects. The projects ranged from software that helps prevent cybersecurity attacks to reducing water usage for the energy industry.
Senator Heinrich, who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources, is a staunch supporter of the LDRD program. In 2009, then-Representative Martin Heinrich offered an amendment to the fiscal year 2010 House Energy and Water Appropriations Bill to raise LDRD investments from 6 to 7 percent. The amendment was adopted unanimously. After a conference with the Senate, the final appropriations bill allowed the labs up to 8 percent investments for the LDRD program; the bill became law on October 28, 2009.