March 16, 2017

Van Hollen, Durbin Introduce Legislation to Preserve American Leadership in Biomedical and Scientific Research

U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) today reintroduced The American Cures Act to preserve America's standing as a leader in scientific discovery and innovation. The bill would steadily increase funding for biomedical and scientific research conducted at the nation's premier federal research agencies.

"Investing in biomedical and scientific research keeps jobs and innovation in America - but our nation's leadership is at risk by the dangerous budget cuts proposed by the Trump Administration," said Senator Van Hollen. "We cannot create jobs or cure diseases if we're falling behind on criticalresearch. Institutions like the National Institutes of Health in Maryland and research facilities across the country need adequate resources to continue their lifesaving work, and the American Cures Act would ensure a steady funding stream for this important work."

Federal funding for research has been on a downward trend, since it has failed to keep pace with inflation for the past several years, forcing a growing number of America's top researchers to take their talents to other industries - and other countries.

The American Cures Act, which is co-sponsored by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ed Markey (D-MA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Bob Casey (D-PA), would set a steady growth rate in federal appropriations for biomedical research conducted at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Defense Health Program (DHP), and the Veterans Medical & Prosthetics Research Program. Each year, the bill would increase funding for each agency and program at a rate of GDP-indexed inflation plus 5 percent. This reliable, long-term investment would allow the agencies to plan and manage strategic growth while maximizing efficiencies.