DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, AND EDUCATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2008
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Mr. MARKEY. Madam Chairman, I rise today in support of the Labor, Health, Human Services and Education Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2008. Overall, this is a very good bill, and I will vote for it. In this difficult fiscal environment, it provides funding for critical programs that have been starved by the Administration and the Republican Congress.
This bill provides significant increases for Education programs including resources for teacher quality, early education and after school programs, and it provides more for Low Income Home Energy Assistance. It also provides important resources for preventive health care, for the title IIV and title IIIV Health professions training programs, and for the Ryan White program.
While I will support the bill, I am very disappointed that we were not able to provide more funding for the critical work conducted at the National Institutes of Health. The NIH embodies our country's hope for treating or curing debilitating diseases like heart disease, Alzheimer's, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, cancer and so many other illnesses that American families battle every day. But scientific advances don't just occur by accident. They are the result of sustained investments in research. Unfortunately, since 2003, Republicans flat-lined the NIH budget, and NIH has lost 13 percent of its research funding when adjusted for inflation.
I was hopeful that this year we would be able to end that devastating trend and get the NIH budget back on track by providing the NIH with significant increases over the rate of inflation.
Although I am disappointed that we were not able to provide more for NIH this year, I look forward to working with the distinguished chair and the members of the Appropriations committee in the future to ensure that we provide our country's premier medical research institution with the funding it needs to find treatments and cures to our country's most devastating diseases.