Tenney, Stefanik seek funding boost for Rome Lab

$30 million sought by lawmakers for trio of high-tech projects

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-22, New Hartford, and Elise Stefanik R-21, Schuylerville, have penned a letter to the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee supporting federal funding for the Air Force Research Laboratory (Rome Lab) Information Directorate’s Fiscal Year 2022 defense appropriations request.

The request, according to an announcement by the two upstate Republican lawmakers seeks:

$10 million for a quantum network computing testbed;

$10 million for the first and only government-owned Unmanned Aircraft Systems traffic management system; and

$10 million for an artificial intelligence and machine learning experimentation and transition testbed. 

“It is more important than ever for Congress to prioritize our national defense, especially advanced research and development for the dangerous challenges that face our warfighters. We must consistently maintain a strong and technologically advanced military in order to properly deter the malign activities of our adversaries,” the release continues.

In statements, the congresswomen weighed in on the importance of Rome Lab in the region, noting that along with the high-tech ecosystem supporting it, employs well over 1,000 people across the Mohawk Valley and carries an economic impact of over $500 million.

“Rome Lab is an engine of growth and prosperity for our community. It’s also on the cutting-edge of technological advancements in a range of fields vitally important to our national security,” Tenney said.

“At a time when adversaries like Russia and China pose unprecedented threats in cyberspace, the United States must invest fully in Rome Lab’s critical research and development,” Tenney added.

“Every dollar of federal funding Rome Lab receives advances our country’s security and our region’s future,” she said. “I am honored to lead the charge in Congress to support Rome’s funding request and thank Congresswoman Elise Stefanik for her partnership on this important effort.”

“Our adversaries in China and Russia continue to invest heavily in military advancements that threaten our national security. To maintain our military dominance in the 21st century, it is critical for the United States to continue our own investments in emerging technologies like AI, quantum computing, and cyber that are being developed at places like the Rome Lab—one of our most advanced military research facilities and an employer across multiple upstate New York counties,” Stefanik said.

In addition to supporting the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate’s funding request, Tenney also supports several other funding initiatives in Congress, including: Civil Air Patrol, F-35 Aircraft Procurement, V-22 Osprey, F-15EX, FA-18E/F, Super Hornet, CH-47F Block II Program and IonQ’s Ion Trap Quantum Computer, the announcement adds.

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