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Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2014

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. COHEN. Thank you, Mr. Van Hollen. I appreciate the time.

The thing that disturbs me the most about this budget is its inability to understand what our priorities should be.

The Republican budget keeps the defense budget at $550 billion. There is no question we need a Defense Department, but I don't think the other side understands what the real enemy is. The enemy to my constituents and each of us is not lurking overseas. It is disease. And to each American who will suffer from or has a family member suffering from Alzheimer's or AIDS or cancer or heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson's, post-polio, or whatever, they want cures and treatments.

The National Institutes of Health are cut in this budget by at least $1.6 billion. It is a $30 billion budget. The Defense Department is $550 billion.

I submit to you, Mr. Chairman, our enemy is disease. The department of defense for the human being and the human body is the National Institutes of Health. It is someplace the two parties should be able to come together and agree that we need to fund research, which creates jobs and finds cures and treatments.

The other side talks about what this is going to do to children and grandchildren. I have heard people talk about their children and grandchildren and what their mothers would want. Their mothers want their children to live long lives and not to suffer from cancer and to get cures and to get treatments.


Mr. COHEN. The cures and the treatments are going to benefit the next generation and the generation after that more than this generation. This is a place where spending dollars creates jobs, saves lives, and benefits future generations. Most research that has been done in this country that has come up with cures and treatments has been funded by the government or at least helped by the government, and that continues to this day.

People say we should be different than Cyprus and Greece and Spain and Portugal; and we are, because we funded those researches and we have come up with the cures and the treatments. That is why this is the greatest country on the face of the Earth. We need to see that the National Institutes of Health are funded at a greater level and not diminished.


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