House members put the spotlight on NIH

Special order speeches are an opportunity for members to speak on a subject of their choice without interruption on the House floor. On Wednesday, the second special order speech of the night highlighted the National Institutes of Health and the importance of funding for biomedical research.

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., a champion for biomedical research, led the charge by starting her speech by describing the NIH as “the goose that keeps laying the golden eggs.” She cited that basic scientific research results in disease treatments, lowers health care costs and creates jobs. She then invited several of her colleagues to engage in the topic as well, each giving their own short speeches. Among those that spoke were Reps. Scott Peters, D-Calif., Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., Susan Davis, D-Calif., John Garamendi, D-Calif., Henry Waxman, D.-Calif., and Janice Schakowsy, D-Ill.

Collectively, the group spoke about the continual drop in funding over the past decade when adjusted for inflation, the comparison of the U.S. to China in investments in research, and the loss of leading researchers as they move to other countries. Notably, the survey conducted by the ASBMB, “Unlimited Potential, Vanishing Opportunity”, was mentioned specifically by Reps. Swalwell and Davis. In addition, Rep. Peters cited the exclusive by Sam Stein describing the report. This is another example of success in the ASBMB’s efforts on behalf of scientists to ensure their voices are heard by members of Congress.

The special order speech can be watched on C-SPAN (jump to 3:02). The transcript is also available on the Congressional Record (scroll down to “THE DECLINE IN US RESEARCH”).

Follow the Policy Blotter to find out about more events on the Hill that highlight the importance of basic scientific research.

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  1. Pingback: Science Policy Roundup – December 13, 2013 | ASBMB Policy Blotter

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