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National Institutes of Health Continuing Appropriations Resolutions, 2014

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BARTON. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this resolution. I am the chairman emeritus of the Energy and Commerce Committee and back in 2006 passed the reauthorization of the NIH, which authorized increased funding, set up some new programs, reformed the agency, and was viewed at that time as a landmark for the NIH.

The bill before us today would fund the functions of the NIH for the next fiscal year. We all agree with the programs that NIH is engaged in, trying to find cures for cancer, Alzheimer's, heart disease, lung disease, autism, you name it.

Unfortunately, yesterday, apparently the majority leader in the Senate doesn't agree with that. He was asked by a CNN reporter named Dana Bash about supporting this particular bill. The Senator gave a somewhat negative answer, so the reporter came back: ``But if you can help one child who has cancer, why wouldn't you do it?'' The answer from the majority leader was: ``Why would we want to do that? I have 1,100 people at Nellis Air Force Base that are sitting at home. They have a few problems of their own. This is--to have someone of your intelligence to suggest such a thing maybe means you're irresponsible and reckless.'' The reporter responded: ``I'm just asking a question.''

Mr. Speaker, we should pass this resolution, notwithstanding what the majority leader in the other body says. It is very straightforward. I think in any normal situation there would be bipartisan support for this. Ms. DeLauro and Mr. Kingston have worked very hard on a bipartisan basis. I am not aware that there are any real concerns about the funding that haven't been worked out in the committee. This is an example of bipartisanship that is working. There is absolutely no reason why we can't put our differences aside and pass this resolution. I ask that we support it at the appropriate time.


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