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Public Statements

Funding the National Institutes of Health

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. COHEN. People sometimes ask why we can't find common ground. There's an area we should be able to find common ground on--and we don't--and that's funding for the National Institutes of Health, which is going to be cut in the sequester by close to a billion dollars. There was an amendment in the Senate that tried to put funding back in the continuing resolution for NIH, and it failed on a party-line vote, with 54 Democrats and Independents voting ``yes'' and 46 Republicans voting ``no.''

Republicans say the reason they want to cut spending and voted the sequestration in is we're putting a debt on the next generation. Let me submit, Mr. Speaker, that the research that's done at the National Institutes of Health to find cures for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's, AIDS, and post-polio cures and treatments will affect the next generation more than this generation.

We talk about the Department of Defense. The Department of Defense should be the National Institutes of Health, because the enemy is disease, and we need to conquer it and keep our loved ones alive and keep ourselves alive and have better cures.

We talk about infrastructure--and I support that--but the most important infrastructure is the infrastructure of the human body. And that's what the National Institutes of Health works on. We should work together and fund the National Institutes of Health for all of our constituents.


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