Senator Collins Cosponsors Bipartisan Legislation to Support U.S. Research Community Amid COVID-19

The RISE Act would authorize $26 billion in relief for research workforce and institutions

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins cosponsored the Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Edward Markey (D-MA), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Cory Gardner (R-CO) that would authorize $26 billion in support to researchers across the country who have been impacted by the pandemic. 


“There is simply no investment that promises greater returns for America than our investment in scientific research.  Diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s, with their devastating human and financial costs, are powerful examples of the urgent need to keep our momentum in research funding going” said Senator Collins.  “This bipartisan bill would provide critical funding to the research communities in Maine and throughout the country, whose transformative work brings tangible hope to so many Americans as we continue to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.”


"Federally funded research at the University of Maine has grown our local natural resource economy, strengthened the state’s quality of life and environment, safeguarded American troops, and sustained thousands of good-paying Maine jobs,” said Joan Ferrini-Mundy, president of the University of Maine, a land, sea, and space grant institution. “COVID-19 caused unprecedented disruption to our research laboratories and centers, which pivoted quickly to meeting the pandemic-related needs of the state, from producing hand sanitizer to innovating PPE to protect frontline health workers. As president of the state’s only public research university, I thank Senator Collins for her leadership in cosponsoring the bipartisan RISE Act, which will help us restart the research and development projects stalled by the coronavirus that are essential to Maine's economic recovery, national security and global competitiveness."  


The RISE Act would provide research funding to the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, Education, Energy, Interior, Health and Human Services, as well as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, and the Environmental Protection Agency. This funding will allow projects that have been disrupted due to the pandemic continue, help cover increased costs of equipment, and will support research at higher education institutions on the behavioral, social, and economic impacts of COVID-19.


As Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, and as the founder and co-chair of the Senate Alzheimer’s Task Force and the Diabetes Caucus, Senator Collins has strongly advocated for increased funding for biomedical research.  Senator Collins successfully advocated for a $2.6 billion increase for the National Institute of Health, a $350 million increase for Alzheimer’s research, and an $81.8 million increase for diabetes research in the fiscal year 2020 appropriations package.


Click HERE for the text of the bill.