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    Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act

    by Former Representative John D. Dingell

    Posted on 2013-12-11

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    DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 2019, the Kids First Research Act. This among the most hypocritical bills I have seen during my time in Congress, and it should be rejected. My friends on the other side of the aisle say this bill will increase pediatric research funding at the National Institutes of Health, when in fact it does nothing of the sort. Furthermore, their record demonstrates that they have little interest in actually funding life-saving medical research for children.

    This legislation does not give NIH a single dollar to spend on pediatric research. Instead, it only provides an authorization for future funding to be provided by the Appropriations Committee. The unfortunate fact is this funding is still subject to sequestration which has resulted in $1.55 billion being cut from NIH during fiscal year 2013. Therefore, this bill does not increase spending at NIH at all. It seems this is nothing more than a distraction to confuse people about the terrible record the GOP has on this issue.

    Since my friends on the other side of the aisle have been in the majority, NIH funding has decreased by $4.2 billion, or 13 percent. Furthermore, the funding allocation provided to the Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee for fiscal year 2014 is 22 percent below the enacted level, meaning more cuts are coming. The small, $16 million authorization that this bill provides will do nothing to reverse the damage that these policies have had on medical research across our country.

    If my Republican colleagues are serious about helping children and, promoting medical research, they should work with Democrats in a bipartisan manner to repeal sequestration and replace it with sensible spending cuts, rather than allowing these damaging cuts to NIH to continue. NIH does not need another meaningless authorization that goes unfunded, they need actual dollars that go to research. I find it hard to believe that my friends on the other side of the aisle truly care about funding pediatric research when their record demonstrates just the opposite. I urge my colleagues to join me in opposing this cynical legislation.

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