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    Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act

    by Former Representative Rush Holt

    Posted on 2013-12-11

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    HOLT of new jersey in the house of representatives Wednesday, December 11, 2013 Mr. HOLT. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this bill, the so called Kids First Research Act.

    The bill that we are considering here today has been brought up under the pretense of providing funding for pediatric research at the National Institutes of Health by redirecting the funds from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund to the amount of $12.6 million per year.

    As I am sure my colleagues know, I have always been a strong supporter of research at the NIH.

    But the legislation before us is nothing more than a duplicitous attempt by Republicans to act as if they are providing support to the NIH. Yet in reality, NIH has seen its budget attacked and slashed in recent years. In 2011, the Republican budget proposed a $1.6 billion cut to the NIH in a single year. I wonder where the compassion for children was then.

    This very day the Republicans are bringing forward a budget agreement they want us to support that cuts $172 billion in discretionary spending from levels President Obama and Democrats proposed in 2011. This so called compromise will maintain a majority of cuts imposed by sequestration.

    When sequestration went into effect, the NIH saw a $1.55 billion cut to its budget. Of that, sequestration cut $255 million from the NIH's cancer institute and $66 million from the child health institute. Where was the outrage when those cuts went into effect? If we truly cared about research at the NIH, we would not be proposing a $12.6 million dollar increase in funding, we would be talking about restoring the $1.55 billion cut by sequestration and then some.

    The Kids First Research Act has a nice name and a noble intent, but no substance, and thus I cannot support this sad pretense.


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