Engel Fights Cuts to National Institutes of Health

Apr 24, 2017
Eliot L. Engel
Yonkers Tribune

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY — April 24, 2017 — The Trump Administration wants to cut funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by $5.8 billion, or nearly one-fifth. I believe this cut would devastate research into lifesaving cures and treatments for diseases that touch so many of our lives and the lives of our loved ones.

NIH Research Saves Lives and Empowers Communities

Every year, the NIH supports thousands of research grants that allow scientists to pursue needed cures and more effective treatments for diseases like cancer, HIV/AIDS and Alzheimer’s disease. Such research also gives us the tools needed to prevent debilitating diseases: according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, nearly all of the groundbreaking vaccines produced in recent decades were made by public-sector research institutions like the NIH.

NIH grants also allow pioneering research to take place here in our own communities, including New York’s 16th District. For example, a grant from the NIH is enabling Acorda Therapeutics in Ardsley to test a potential therapy for patients who have suffered a stroke. In addition, the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale is working on treatments for infertility.

These cuts could result in thousands fewer research grants like these. I believe this would slow medical innovation and drive top scientists out of American communities to pursue their work in other countries.

How I’m Working to Protect Medical Research

As an author of the ALS Registry Act (Public Law 110-373) and the two most recent Muscular Dystrophy CARE Act reauthorizations (Public Law 110-361 and Public Law 113-166), I know that medical research holds great promise for patients and families, especially those afflicted with rare diseases. If we hope to find sought-after cures and improved treatments for Americans who need them, medical research must remain a top priority.

That is why I wrote to President Trump to highlight the indispensable work conducted by New York’s research institutions and expressing my strong opposition to NIH funding cuts. I also called on the House Appropriations Committee to increase funding for the NIH in Fiscal Year 2018.

Our federal budget serves as a statement of American values, and I feel the cuts proposed by the Administration do not reflect those values.

Please know that I will continue to fight for our values and to advocate for the funding needed to preserve cutting-edge research.

Eliot L. Engel