Ranking Member Foushee Opening Remarks for SST Hearing with Science Agency Inspectors General

Apr 19, 2023
Press

WASHINGTON, DC (April 19, 2023) — Today, Congresswoman Valerie Foushee (NC-04), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee, delivered the following opening remarks at the Full Committee Hearing titled, Protecting American Taxpayers: Highlighting Efforts to Protect Against Federal Waste, Fraud, and Mismanagement. You can watch the hearing here.

Ranking Member Foushee’s opening statement as prepared for the record is below. 

Ranking Member Valerie Foushee  

Opening Statement   

Hearing: Protecting American Taxpayers: Highlighting Efforts to Protect Against Federal Waste, Fraud, and Mismanagement 

Wednesday, April 19th, 2023 at 10:00 AM 

Thank you, Chairman Obernolte, and thank you for leading today’s hearing. I’m very pleased to serve beside you this Congress as the Ranking Member of the Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee. 

Science Committee oversight of the federal scientific enterprise is crucial. I look forward to working with you in a bipartisan fashion to support the incredible work that scientists inside and outside of government are doing every day to confront the challenges of the 21st Century and to maintain American leadership in science and innovation. 

I am a strong supporter of federal scientific research. And I believe the federal government is irreplaceable in its ability to deploy resources on a vast scale to fund breakthroughs in basic and applied science. 

But with that singular role comes a responsibility to use taxpayer dollars effectively. Through the work of their offices, the Inspectors General testifying here today are helping to uphold core principles of good government that we all share. That is why I am proud to support their work and eager to hear their perspectives on strengthening the integrity of federal scientific programs. 

I am proud to represent North Carolina’s Fourth Congressional District, which is one of the nation’s leading hubs for scientific research. Led by research universities such as Duke University, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and North Carolina Central University, as well as innovation centers like Research Triangle Park, my district understands the power of science to generate innovation, transform industry, and create jobs 

Federal science agencies such as NSF, DOE and EPA are important participants in this research ecosystem. North Carolina’s Fourth is home to the world-class EPA lab, where federal researchers at EPA’s Office of Research and Development provide the scientific underpinning for crucial, health-protective regulations. 

Agencies also fund programs and initiatives at local institutions in support of a wide range of cutting-edge scientific activities, such as DOE’s Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory Center of Excellence and NSF’s Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network.    

So, I have a keen interest in ensuring that federal research programs are managed well and adhere to best practices in using the funds that are entrusted to them. The researchers in my district are some of the most brilliant people you will ever meet, and they deserve to know that the federal agencies working to support them are upholding the same rigorous standards that they apply to their own work.  

I also want to emphasize that support for rigorous oversight does not, in any way, signal a lack of support for investing in federal research at the levels we need to maintain American preeminence in science and technology. Indeed, the two priorities go hand in hand.  

The last Congress made critical investments in federal science through landmark legislation like the CHIPS and Science Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act. These investments are a pillar of America’s future, and I am committed to making sure they endure.  

Careful oversight by Congress, OIGs, and others will help maximize their impact, because when it comes to federal research funding, good government is good policy. I am grateful to the witnesses for testifying here today and for the work that you do.    

Once again, Chairman Obernolte, it is my great hope that through our oversight efforts this Congress, we can find common ground in support of American science. I believe we can, and I will work with you to do so.  

I yield back. 

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