Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) spoke on the House of Representatives Floor in support of the bipartisan Congressional budget agreement’s expansion of the Nation’s investment in medical research. The proposed budget, under consideration by Congress this week, includes $34.1 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is $2 billion more than the 2016 enacted level, providing funding authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act, approved by the House of Representatives last July.
The increased funding will support:
- $400 million more to research Alzheimer’s disease
- $476 million more for the National Cancer Institute
- $120 million more for the Precision Medicine Initiative
- $110 million more for the BRAIN Initiative, to support work mapping the human brain
- $50 million more to push the search for new antibiotics for resistant infections
- In addition, a funding increase is provided to every Institute and Center at NIH to continue research investments
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Congressman Higgins spoke about what this investment means for research, patients and Western New York in the following remarks on the House Floor:
“Mr. Speaker: President Trump wanted to cut $1.2 billion to the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute. Instead Congress will exert its independence by rejecting the President’s cut and will instead increase National Institutes of Health funding by $2 billion.
“My community of Buffalo, New York is home to America’s first cancer center, Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Roswell Park is a national leader in NIH funded national research for immunotherapy. Immunotherapy uses drugs and vaccines to unleash the cancer-killing potential of the body’s own immune system. Immunotherapy has the potential for longer remissions and is an alternative to debilitating chemical or chemotherapy.
“Because of this Congressional action, Roswell Park Cancer Institute’s clinical trials in immunotherapy will continue and the potential for tens of millions more in NIH research funding over the next 5 years is a reality.
“This is good for the good it will do in advancing this promising research and it is good for Buffalo, and the continued growth of the Buffalo Medical Campus.”
Higgins serves as founder and Co-chair of the bipartisan National Institutes of Health Caucus and is author of the Accelerating Biomedical Research Act, which would increase the NIH budget by more than $50 billion over 6 years.