Dems introduce bill to protect science research from political interference

Dems introduce bill to protect science research from political interference
© Greg Nash

Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzGyms, hotels, bus companies make last-ditch plea for aid On The Money: Stocks fall as COVID-19 fears rattle market | Schumer sets infrastructure showdown | Dems struggle to sell agenda The Hill's Morning Report - Surging COVID-19 infections loom over US, Olympics MORE (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Paul TonkoPaul David TonkoEnergy chief touts electric vehicle funding in Senate plan Nearly 140 Democrats urge EPA to 'promptly' allow California to set its own vehicle pollution standards OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden suspends Arctic oil leases issued under Trump |  Experts warn US needs to better prepare for hurricane season | Progressives set sights on Civilian Climate Corps MORE (D-N.Y.) introduced legislation on Thursday to prevent political interference with public science research amid what they called "President TrumpDonald TrumpSenators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session Gosar's siblings pen op-ed urging for his resignation: 'You are immune to shame' Sunday shows - Delta variant, infrastructure dominate MORE's multi-agency assault."

The lawmakers said in a press release that political interference has been a "longstanding concern that has taken on newfound urgency" in the current administration. 

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Provisions in the "Science Integrity Act" intend to make it so that political considerations do not factor into scientific conclusions, to prohibit the suppression of scientific findings and to allow 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 the statement. 

“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 added. 

Schatz in the statement said that we are facing "unprecedented times" for science.  

"While it’s not the first time it has been under attack, this time feels worse," he said. "That’s why we need to answer the call of our times and stand up for science.”