CO-LABS Statement on Possible Govt. Shutdown
The value of scientific research and the continuous operations of our federal government research laboratories cannot be overstated. This is a statement sent by our Executive Director to U.S. Representative Joe Neguse based on feedback from our network and the concerns over the deeply negative impacts of another (possible as of Sept. 29) federal government shutdown.
(Note: a similar message was sent to other Colorado elected federal representatives)
September 29, 2021
Dear Representative Neguse,
I’m reaching you on behalf of the CO-LABS network of federally-funded research laboratories and our broad membership spectrum of science- and technology-focused companies, universities and professionals in Colorado. We are deeply concerned about the possible federal government shutdown beginning Friday, October 1, 2021. Your engagement and support of the federal research laboratories in our state is well known among our membership, and we are grateful for all the efforts you are undoubtedly making to ensure an agreement for continued funding is achieved.
As perhaps helpful context to share with your colleagues in Congress, recall that the scientific research projects and data coming from the federal labs in Colorado and across the entire country ensure our most basic societal needs are provided for, such as clean water, food production, extreme weather mitigation and public health programs. Our country’s more aspirational goals such as quantum computing, renewable energy provision and aerospace technologies are ultimately also matters of national security and any kind of government shutdown profoundly impacts our global competitiveness. More acutely, a shutdown causes massive upheaval to federal employees’ lives, their research and all of the hobbled projects with their academic and private-sector partners - it is a self-inflicted setback that our country cannot afford.
The range of research within more than 35 federally-funded research laboratories and joint institutes in Colorado is a crucial part of our nation’s ability to function responsibly and equitably on behalf of all our citizens. We truly appreciate your efforts to ensure the federal government remains funded, and that taxpayer-funded laboratories continue to manifest the positive and inspiring benefits of science!