Ranking Member Johnson’s Opening Statement for Low Dose Radiation Markup
(Washington, DC) – Today, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology is marking up H.R. 4675, the “Low Dose Radiation Research Act of 2017.”
Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson’s (D-TX), opening statement for the record is below.
Thank you, Chairman Smith, for holding today’s markup of H.R. 4675, the “Low-Dose Radiation Research Program Act of 2017.”
This research is important to better understanding the health impacts of exposure to low doses of radiation that could result from medical tests, terrorism events, or materials associated with nuclear weapons and power production.
Since its inception in 1998, the Low Dose Radiation Research Program at the Department of Energy had provided high-value scientific data to help determine these risks.
However, its funding levels have been cut since 2012, as the Obama administration informally expressed its intention to end the program, and it was finally terminated last year. And thus far the Trump Administration also has not indicated any interest in restoring DOE’s stewardship of these activities.
In November, GAO provided testimony before this Committee on a recent report which recommended that DOE lead the development of a plan for interagency collaboration on research into low dose radiation’s health effects, citing a lack of coordination efforts among federal agencies after the Department began phasing out its program.
I believe that this bipartisan bill reflects GAO’s findings and recommendations, and I have sponsored and supported similar legislative language in the past few Congresses.
Therefore I am pleased to support H.R. 4675 as well, as look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle as well as the Administration to restore U.S. scientific leadership in this critical area.
Thank you Chairman Smith, and I yield back.