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Michael F.
Republican PA 8

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  • Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act

    by Representative Michael G. Fitzpatrick

    Posted on 2013-12-11

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    FITZPATRICK. Mr. Speaker, I rise to commend this chamber for coming together to pass The Gabrielle Miller Kids First Research Act. Ask any parent, our kids always come first, so when it comes to utilizing taxpayer dollars; it only makes sense that Washington places the children of our nation ahead of partisan politics.

    This bill prioritizes allocations for scientific research of pediatric diseases and disorders such as cancer and autism. By eliminating taxpayer funding for the Republican and Democratic national conventions, and applying these funds to critically needed research for cures to childhood disorders, we are truly doing important and lasting work for our constituents--including the most precious and vulnerable.

    As a member of the Autism Caucus, the chance to prioritize federal dollars for critical research on Autism, and those families living with it, is a great opportunity. Ensuring the best for our children, especially those with pediatric disorders, is vital for the continued success of our nation. It is heartening that this Congress was able to come together and work on their behalf.

    I am proud to have the opportunity to work with Autism groups in my community, in Pennsylvania's 8th District, that are ready to work with the us in putting an end to Autism and all other pediatric diseases.

    Mr. Speaker, I urge the Senate to quickly take up this bill and show that Washington is ready to put our kids first.

    Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 2019, The Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act. This bill completely bypassed procedure in the House, skipping any committee action prior to a full House vote and leaving no opportunity for discussion as to what could be the best way to fund pediatric research.

    While my colleagues and I fully support increased funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and pediatric research, the ``Kids First Research Act'' would not provide any additional funds to the NIH for this purpose. The bill merely authorizes that the Presidential Election Campaign Fund be available to a certain extent. These funds would still be subject to the Budget Control Act caps and the normal Appropriations Committee process.

    H.R. 2019 is merely a messaging tactic for House Republicans to appear to be supportive of biomedical research funding. House Republicans attempted to cut $1.6 billion from NIH funding in 2011. This year, sequestration cut the NIH budget by $1.55 billion and took an additional $255 million from the cancer institute and $66 million from the child health institute within the NIH.

    If House Republicans intend to increase funding for NIH research, they should do so by replacing sequestration with a more balanced approach. This bill not only restricts funding for the NIH, it represents Congressional micromanagement of research. Overall, HR. 2019 does nothing to advance the goals of biomedical research. I urge my colleagues to support the work of our scientists and researchers and oppose the Kids First Research Act.

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