House of Representatives Passes Bill Restricting Scientific Research
The American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2015 was originally meant to reauthorize the law of the same name that was passed in 2007. That law provided funding to support scientific research in the United States. What the American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2015 (H.R. 880) became before it passed the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday was quite different.
The American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2015 actually cuts spending on science, and dictates what kind of scientific research will be performed using public money. The legislation prohibits certain kinds of research on climate change, and restricts the use of science to inform public policy.
The reason for this change is that Republicans and conservative Democrats don’t like much of what scientific research has to say. Information provided through scientific research is often inconvenient for the big corporations that pay for their campaigns – especially for corporations in the fossil fuels industry. They find it troubling when scientists keep reporting about the way that consumption of fossil fuels harms human health and degrades the ecological integrity of life on Earth as a whole.
So, only one Republican, Walter Jones of North Carolina, voted against the American Research and Competitiveness Act.
37 Democrats caved in to corporate pressure and joined the Republicans to vote for the anti-science bill. They were:
Peter Aguilar, Brad Ashford, Sanford Bishop, Julia Brownley, Cheri Bustos, Michael Capuano, Andre Carson, Katherine Clark, Gerald Connolly, Joe Courtney, Henry Cuellar, John Delaney, Suzan DelBene, Elizabeth Esty, Gwen Graham, Joe Heck, Bill Keating, Joseph Kennedy, Derek Kilmer, Ann Kuster, John Larson, Dave Loebsack, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Steve Lynch, Sean Maloney, Jim McDermott, Patrick Murphy, Richard Neal, Rick Nolan, Scott Peters, Collin Peterson, Raul Ruiz, Dutch Ruppersberger, Kyrsten Sinema, Dina Titus, Paul Tonko, and Timothy Walz.