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Bay Area congressional reps comment on State of the Union address

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representatives Zoe Lofgren (CA-18) and Eric Swalwell (CA-14) tonight applauded President Biden's State of the Union address, that they said "focused on continuing to build a strong middle class, ending pervasive injustices, harnessing Americans' innovative spirit, and acting to curb climate change."

Lofgren and Swalwell hosted Dr. Tammy Ma, a plasma physicist at LLNL's National Ignition Facility (NIF) who is the lead for the LLNL Inertial Fusion Energy Initiative, and Dr. Kim Budil, Director of LLNL, as their guests (respectively) for the address. Both women were involved in December's scientific breakthrough, when NIF achieved fusion ignition for the first time in human history. 

The four leaders reacted to what the President presented in the House Chamber this evening:

"During World War II, our country marshalled all available scientific resources and expertise with the Manhattan Project. Today, we face even greater challenges-not in war, but to save our planet from climate disaster," said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Ranking Member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. "President Biden was right to call for urgent efforts to transition to a clean energy future in his State of the Union address. The tremendous work of LLNL and my guest, Dr. Tammy Ma, who leads LLNL's fusion energy initiative, in achieving fusion ignition two months ago is a vital piece to the clean energy puzzle. Congress must accelerate investments in scientific research to build on recent successes and move our country forward."

"Tonight, President Biden outlined the historic progress our country has made over the past two years - from record breaking job growth to delivering on the most consequential climate action in history - and presented an agenda to build upon that progress," said Rep. Eric Swalwell. "I commend the President for continuing to champion affordable, quality health care, initiatives to curb gun violence, and strategies to secure a clean energy future. With two national laboratories in my district - one led by my State of the Union guest, Dr. Kim Budil - Director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, I know federal investments in clean energy are critical for our economy and our environment, enabling us to create jobs and address the growing threat of climate change."

"The Biden administration's Bold Decadal Vision for Commercial Fusion Energy sets a coordinated effort by the U.S. government to fund, implement, and empower commercial fusion to unleash a new industry centered in America that addresses clean energy and energy security challenges," said Dr. Tammy Ma, Lead for the LLNL Inertial Fusion Energy Initiative. "We sit at a very exciting time in history, and I was honored to represent the fusion energy community tonight."

"The DOE national laboratory system exists to drive U.S. innovation and competitiveness and tackle the most difficult scientific challenges facing our nation and the world," said LLNL Director, Dr. Kim Budil. "Sustained, long-term public investment in science and technology enables U.S. leadership in national security, clean energy, and other key areas mentioned tonight. LLNL is a leader in many of these critical areas, and I was incredibly proud to represent our community and their contributions tonight."

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