What: All Issues : Health Care : Medical Research Funding : S Con Res 18. Fiscal 2006 Budget Resolution/Vote to Increase Funding for the National Institutes of Health by $1.5 Billion.
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S Con Res 18. Fiscal 2006 Budget Resolution/Vote to Increase Funding for the National Institutes of Health by $1.5 Billion.
senate Roll Call 56     Mar 16, 2005
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) conduct federally-funded medical research on a wide range of major diseases including Autism, stroke, obesity, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, spinal muscular atrophy, scleroderma, ALS, muscular dystrophy, diabetes, osteoporosis, and many types of cancer. Moreover, since 9/11 the NIH has played an active role in biomedical research to combat a potential bioterrorist attack, but NIH's additional responsibilities in this area have not been met by additional funding from Congress. Instead, NIH has paid for its bioterrorism research out of its general fund at the expense of research on other major diseases. To reduce the NIH's financial strain caused by an augmented research load, Senator Spector (R-PA) introduced an amendment to the 2006 Budget Resolution to increase NIH funding by $1.5 billion. Spector explained that "we have $1.7 billion which is being applied by NIH to bioterrorism. With all due respect, that ought to come out of homeland security." Spector continued: "President Nixon declared war on cancer in 1972. Here we are 33 years later, the wealthiest country in the world, the greatest talent in the world on research, and we spend $2.6 trillion. We spend it in many directions which are challenged by many people in our society, but we allocate $28 billion to NIH. And it is totally, totally, totally insufficient." Progressives voted unanimously in favor of Spector's amendment but did not offer remarks on the Senate floor; they instead allowed Spector to occupy all the time reserved for debate in support of his amendment. Conservatives opposed the additional funding and argued that deficit reduction should be the top priority. In the words of Senator Enzi (R-WY), "Unfortunately, we are in a situation where we do not have real money to give away-although, if we pass certain things, it turns into real money, and the deficit increases." On a 63-37 vote, the Spector amendment was adopted and the additional NIH funding was added to the underlying 2006 Budget Reconciliation bill.

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