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Public Statements

Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in opposition to the Republican budget plan, which is not, as they characterize, a pathway to prosperity but a true pathway to poverty for our Nation.

The Republicans' explicit choice to protect millionaires and special interests at the expense of job creation is dangerous and forsakes our future.

I'm particularly concerned about the reckless and shameful cuts to the National Institutes of Health for the research of cures to cancer, stroke, diabetes, heart disease, and all the other illnesses that fall under its jurisdiction. That is why last week I introduced an amendment in committee that would stop these cuts. Yet each and every one of our Republican colleagues voted against it.

For just half a percent--half a percent--of the cost of extending tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, we could completely reject the Republicans' devastating cuts to medical research for next year. Cuts of this magnitude will slow research progress while squandering critical scientific opportunities that may one day save lives.

Yet beyond the dangers posed to our Nation's health, these cuts prevent us from winning the future.

The Republicans' cut to NIH kills jobs. NIH grants support more than 350,000 highly skilled jobs in all 50 States, plus an additional 800,000 supporting jobs created in the private sector. This means that the Republican budget puts over 1 million American jobs at risk--from pharmaceutical jobs to medical device manufacturers to technicians working in medical labs. At the same time, the Republican path to poverty ignores the NIH's role in reducing the rising cost of chronic disease and the ballooning costs that compound our debt.

We must make smart investments in our Nation's medical and fiscal health. And we must make these kinds of investments now so that we may stem the tide of future disease rates.

Cancer incidence is projected to nearly double by 2020, particularly among the aging baby boomer population. As one of the 11 million cancer survivors in the United States, I am living proof of the vital gains made by research at NIH.

We can't stop now. Don't turn your back on the millions of Americans who are desperately holding out hope that treatments and cures are coming to them soon.

Prevent these deadly cuts. Oppose this Republican path to poverty.


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