WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) released a report prepared by the House Appropriations Committee Democrats at the direction of Ranking member Rep. Dave Obey (D-WI), entitled, “President Bush and Congressional Republicans Undermine Lifesaving NIH Research.” This report details how ever since the doubling was completed, the National Institutes of Health NIH budget has been going backward in terms of the research it can support. Compared to 2003, the Republican budget would result in an 11 percent loss of NIH funding when adjusted for inflation.

Markey said, “Ever since Boston doctors were the first to use ether as an anesthetic the 1846, Massachusetts has been on the cutting edge of biotechnology research and development. NIH-funded research in Massachusetts will result in tremendous health care savings and huge strides in treatment for debilitating diseases. But the Administration’s cuts to NIH slow progress; discourage young researchers from entering the field; and limit the ability of researchers to fully realize the prior investments in research.”

In 2005, Massachusetts received 5,193 grants from NIH pumping over $2.27 billion into the Massachusetts economy. That was more than any other state except for California.

“Medical research not only provides hope for millions of Americans who suffer from debilitating diseases, it is also drives the Massachusetts economy.  Since Massachusetts receives a disproportionate amount of NIH funding, we have much more to lose from these wrong-headed Republican cuts,” Markey added.

Markey said, “This report put together by Rep. Obey details the damage that has already been done by cutting NIH, the opportunities missed, and demonstrates why we need to get medical research back on track.  The Administrations’ cuts to NIH show how out of touch they are with the hopes and dreams of the American people.

According to a recent Research America survey, 94% of Americans say that medical and health research is important to the U.S. economy, and 79% agree that basic science research should be supported by the federal government, ‘even if it brings no immediate benefits.’

“Whether it is tying the hands of scientists conducting stem cell research or cutting funding for NIH, the GOP has shown that medical progress is not a priority for them.  Bay Staters and most Americans would agree that we need a new direction to help find the cures for millions of sick Americans.  I will continue to work with my friend, Dave Obey and all Democrats to make sure that Massachusetts continues to receive the highest level of federal assistance possible for ground-breaking medical research,” Markey concluded.

A copy of the report can be found here: 2006 7-26 NIH paper.pdf 

August 3, 2006

CONTACT: Israel Klein