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Fund American Science: Congress Must Act Now to Fund the CHIPS and Science Act

America became the world’s scientific, economic, and military leader in the 20th century by making bold and sustained investments in scientific research – and we must renew that commitment to continue leading by funding the CHIPS and Science Act.

In Brief 

What's the problem?

While Congress provided $50 billion in semiconductor industry funding with the CHIPS and Science Act in 2022, it has not provided funding for the “Science” portion of the bill. Budget constraints and wrangling in Congress pose further threats to catching up to CHIPS and Science’s funding goals.

What's the solution?

Fully fund the amounts that CHIPS and Science authorized for DOE’s Office of Science, NIST, and the NSF through Fiscal Year 2027. 

What's at stake?

China has gained significant ground in recent years – and their rate of increase in investments in research & development has been twice that of the United States over the last decade. This means they could surpass us in scientific advancement and the economic growth and national security that flow directly from it.

Diving Deeper

Congress passed the CHIPS and Science Act in 2022, which funded $50 billion for domestic semiconductor manufacturing. 

It also authorized – but left up to further legislation to appropriate – almost $200 billion in funding for key federal science agencies for us to remain competitive in semiconductors and other areas.

These ambitious funding targets included authorizations for DOE’s Office of Science, NIST, and the NSF for fiscal years 2023-2027.

The main goals of the legislation were to invigorate the domestic semiconductor industry and make sure we do not cede leadership in innovation to China.

Since the CHIPS and Science Act passed, Congress has been unsuccessful in funding the science agencies with the significant increases called for by the legislation.  

Failure to fund the CHIPS and Science authorizations would result in a continued trend of falling research investment as a percentage of GDP, a pattern extending back to the 1960's.

China and other nations are serious about making investments in critical technologies, STEM infrastructure, and the future workforce.

Even worse, the Fiscal Responsibility Act, which passed Congress in June of 2023, makes reaching the goals of CHIPS and Science even more difficult by capping federal discretionary spending in Fiscal Years 2024 and 2025.

Meanwhile, China and other nations are serious about making investments in critical technologies, STEM infrastructure, and the future workforce. China knows that investments in critical technologies will help them advance their offensive and defensive capabilities. 

The average rate of increase in Chinese R&D over the decade from 2010 to 2019 (the most recent years available) was twice the U.S. rate. This means that, at current rates of investment, China will surpass the United States in scientific investment soon. In evaluating the share of research publications which rank among the world's most cited documents, China has already surpassed the United States.

Funding for fundamental scientific research must be a top priority – even in times of fiscal constraint and addressing our federal deficit – if we are to stay ahead in this race pivotal to our national security.

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Additional Resources Highlighting Why Funding American Science is Critical:

President Barbara R. Snyder and Former Representative Steve Stivers: To compete with China, we must fund the ‘science’ portion of the CHIPS and Science Act

Representative Zoe Lofgren: Congress Hands China Another Win

AAAS Analysis: How NSF's budget got Hammered: Final 2024 spending bill included an unprecedented cut for an agency promised rapid growth

Jason Owen-Smith: Congress is failing to deliver on its promise of billions more in research spending, threatening America's long-term economic competitiveness

Duke University President Vincent Price: The CHIPS Act was bold, but time is wasting

Federation of American Scientists: CHIPS and Science Funding Update: FY 2024 Research Appropriations Short by Over $7 Billion

Aspen Economic Strategy Group: Science and Innovation: The Under-Fueled Engine of Prosperity

IIE Spectrum: U.S. universities are building a new semiconductor workforce