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Congressman Tom Cole

Representing the 4th District of Oklahoma

Wall Street Journal: Republicans, Democrats Both Win on NIH Bill

May 10, 2017
News Stories
The Wall Street Journal - Congressman Tom Cole
 
In your editorial “Not Draining the Swamp” (May 3) you suggest that the $2 billion increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) was a political victory for the Democrats. While I’m pleased that we had strong bipartisan support for our bill, to label it a Democratic victory is simply not accurate. Since Sen. Roy Blunt and I have assumed the chairmanship of the House and Senate committees that allocate funding to the NIH, we have consistently allocated more money to the NIH than either President Obama or President Trump have requested.
 
I appreciate the support of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle who also recognize the important work being done by the NIH. This is a nonpartisan issue. The funding we secured for the NIH was supported by every member of the subcommittee and was clearly not a partisan vote.
 
Supporting the pre-eminent institution researching the causes and cures of our country’s most devastating diseases has long been a Republican priority. The devastating human consequences of diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer are evident to every compassionate person. However, many people fail to recognize the enormous costs these diseases impose on the federal government as well as individual families. Investing money to seek cures is the right thing to do. It is also the smart thing to do. I hope Congress will continue to prioritize the NIH in the coming 2018 fiscal year. Curing diseases can save and improve millions of lives while reducing federal expenditures in Medicaid and Medicare by billions of dollars.
 
In an era when Congress is divided and polarized, this is a cause in which Republicans and Democrats can work together for the good of the American people and to the benefit of the American taxpayer.