Illinois Congressmen: Scientific Research Needs More Federal Funding

(jarmoluk / Pixabay)(jarmoluk / Pixabay)

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and U.S. Reps. Bill Foster and Lauren Underwood announced Monday a pair of bills – the American Cures Act and the American Innovation Act – that would increase federal funding for biomedical and scientific research at top agencies by 5% annually for the next five years.

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“The American Cures and Innovation Acts will allow America’s smartest scientists and researchers to spend less time figuring out how to cut their budgets and more time finding new ways to produce clean energy and clean water, as well as develop news cures and treatments for Alzheimer’s, cancer, and heart disease,” Durbin said in a statement.

President Donald Trump is proposing cuts to research agencies in his fiscal year 2020 budget, including a 12% cut to the National Institutes of Health and a cut of more than 10% to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2019 funding levels, according to a press release.

Foster, the lead House sponsor of the American Innovation Act, said the funding is vital. “It’s more important than ever that we defend America’s place as a world leader in scientific progress,” he said in a statement. 

The Innovation Act would provide annual budget increases of 5% at five research agencies: the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy Office of Science, the Department of Defense Science and Technology Programs, the National Institute of Standards and Technology Scientific and Technical Research, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Science Directorate, according to a press release.

“Since World War II, investments in science and technology have helped the U.S. lead the world in new innovations, grow the economy, create millions of jobs, and provide critical advancements to our national security,” Foster said in a statement. “As we confront new challenges, we need to make sure our scientists have the resources they need to perform their work at the highest levels and help us maintain our role as global leaders in research and innovation.”

The American Cures Act would provide annual budget increases of 5% (plus inflation) at four biomedical research agencies: the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Defense Health Program, and the Veterans Medical and Prosthetics Research Program.

“Biomedical and life science research create breakthrough treatments and lifesaving cures, while supporting high-quality jobs and billions in economic output,” said Underwood, who was the lead House sponsor of the American Cures Act, in a statement. “Federal investment has slipped in recent years, and robust, sustained funding is needed.”

Contact Kristen Thometz: @kristenthometz | [email protected] | (773) 509-5452

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