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Monday, March 18, 2019

Dems Introduce Bill to Protect Science Research From Political Interference

Senator Brian Schatz. (photo: Greg Nash)
Senator Brian Schatz. (photo: Greg Nash)
By Rachel Frazin, The Hill
 
en. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) introduced legislation on Thursday to prevent political interference with public science research amid what they called "President Trump'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.

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.”

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