Democrats Introduce Bill to Block ‘Trump’s Multi-Agency Assault’ on Science
Last week, Democrats in both the House and Senate introduced legislation to address a “longstanding concern that has taken on newfound urgency,” political interference with publicly-funded scientific research.
The bill introduced by Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., called “Science Integrity Act” strives to make it so that political considerations do not factor into scientific conclusions.
It does so by prohibiting the suppression of scientific findings and by allowing scientists to answer media inquiries about their work without prior agency approval.
“Independent, rigorous scientific research is one of the most powerful tools we have for advancing the public interest and keeping the American people safe,” Tonko said in a joint statement he and Schatz released on Thursday.
“President Trump’s multi-agency assault on environmental standards has hinged on efforts to distort, bury and even rewrite credible public scientific findings, including his absurd denial of the growing climate crisis and efforts to cover up evidence that the American people are being exposed to dangerous toxins,” he said.
“These are challenging and unprecedented times for science,” Schatz said. “And while it’s not the first time it has been under attack, this time feels worse.
“That’s why we need to answer the call of our times and stand up for science,” the senator continued. “Our bill would protect government science from political interference. It would make data and findings off-limits for political appointees and managers, and make sure scientists follow careful processes for review.”
Among those who immediately endorsed the bill was the Union of Concerned Scientists.
In an email appeal to members, Danielle Fox, the organization’s campaign and science network manager, said that “with a new momentum for scientific integrity in Congress, we have a real chance for a legislative solution to stop the onslaught of the Trump administration’s attacks on federal scientists.”
She goes on to urge the union’s members to call on their legislators to sign on as cosponsors of the Act, reminding them that “when science is censored or manipulated, government decisions about our health, safety, and environment suffer.”
“Scientists need to be able to follow their research wherever it leads—without political interference—and share their findings honestly with the public,” Fox’s appeal says. “This legislation makes science-based policy solutions more likely on the full scale of issues that affect our lives, from chemicals in household products to sustainable, affordable food creation.”
In The News
WASHINGTON -- A congressional panel wants to cut off funding for the kind of White supremacists who raided the U.S. Capitol building Jan. 6. They described the attack as the first of many against government targets unless they act promptly to stop them. “This threat is... Read More
Congress needs to create mandates to curb the abusive power exerted by a handful of online platforms, according to all six witnesses at a Capitol Hill hearing on Thursday. During the hearing, members of a House Judiciary subcommittee grappled with solutions to address the ability of... Read More
WASHINGTON — The Senate cloture rule might be the biggest Legislative obstacle in front of President Joe Biden’s policy agenda. Simply put, the cloture rule is a debate-limiting procedure that requires 60 Senators to agree before moving on to a vote. This rule is the only... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are ready to shove a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package through the House on Friday, despite a setback that means a minimum wage boost is unlikely to be in the final version that reaches President Joe Biden.A near party-line vote seemed certain... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic-led House passed a bill Thursday that would enshrine LGBTQ protections in the nation's labor and civil rights laws, a top priority of President Joe Biden, though the legislation faces an uphill battle in the Senate.The bill passed by a vote of... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans rallied solidly against Democrats' proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill as lawmakers awaited a decision by the Senate's parliamentarian that could bolster or potentially kill a pivotal provision hiking the federal minimum wage. Despite their paper-thin congressional majorities, Democratic leaders were poised to push... Read More