Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, today released new information from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that the impending automatic budget cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act would endanger the health and well-being of hundreds of thousands of Americans, along with the countless jobs and businesses that support finding cures for some of our most devastating diseases. In its response to Rep. Markey's June query, HHS reports that the automatic budget cuts would have "profound consequences" and "would limit the Departments' ability to accelerate scientific knowledge and innovation." Such impacts include deep cuts to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute, the agencies charged with developing the cures and treatments for cancer, Alzheimer's, autism and other diseases. HHS also reports that the Head Start Program, as well as programs that support AIDS patients, the homeless, and substance abuse treatment, would be jeopardized and services made unavailable to Americans who already rely on them.
"These automatic budget cuts will negatively impact every person in America," said Rep. Markey. "What is at stake is nothing less than a cure for cancer or Alzheimer's or other diseases that will save our nation trillions in the coming decades. We shouldn't mortgage our future by cutting crucial research and development programs that are creating and supporting jobs and businesses today. We need to protect the vital programs on which young children and families rely. We could avoid these draconian cuts if Republicans stopped blocking a realistic economic solution that balances spending cuts with new revenue and ensures that billionaires and big oil companies pay their fair share."