New Democrat Coalition Members Tour National Institute of Health

Jun 12, 2017
Press Release
New Democrat Coalition Members meet with NIH Director Francis Collins, Researchers and Patients at NIH

Today, New Dem Members Reps. Scott Peters, Kathleen Rice, Susan Davis, and Don Beyer met with National Institute of Health (NIH) Director Dr. Francis Collins, doctors, researchers, and patients and toured several research labs including National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), and National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). New Dems discussed the importance of making robust investments in scientific research through the NIH as they lead to discoveries that save and improve lives, fuel job creation and spur economic growth in communities across the country.

Contrary to the short-sighted cuts President Trump’s budget proposed to NIH and other research agencies, New Democrats support increasing investment in NIH to provide valuable, lifesaving, innovative biomedical research. Members of the New Democrat Coalition remain committed to continuing work to ensure increased funding for medical research and spurring innovation to help prevent, treat, and cure our most vexing diseases.

"Basic scientific research conducted at, and funded by, the National Institutes of Health improves and saves lives. Today we saw first-hand how these investments are leading to more effective treatments for traumatic brain injuries and autoimmune diseases, and development of a universal flu vaccine. Dr. Collins also made it clear that these investments pay off, something we see in San Diego where federally-funded medical research supports high-quality job creation," said New Democrat Coalition Leadership Member Scott Peters. "The opportunity to meet with patients and researchers is an important perspective that every lawmaker should have. I appreciate Dr. Collins for hosting us and giving us this insight that will make us more effective advocates for scientific research in Congress."

Earlier this year, Members of the New Democrat Coalition sent a letter to Speaker Ryan and Budget Committee Chair Diane Black calling for full funding of the National Institutes of Health at $40 billion. Medical breakthroughs like those the NIH facilitates help save lives, foster scientific progress and reduce long-term health costs. Additionally, New Democrat Coalition Members Rep. Susan Davis (CA-53) and Rep. André Carson (IN-07) led a bipartisan letter to the Committee on Appropriations requesting increased funding for the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) research into diseases that affect millions of Americans.

Our nation depends on NIH’s contributions to find cures and keep our economy competitive and the Coalition looks forward to working with Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to advance these priorities.