Durbin: Budget Deal Pulls Economy Back from the Brink, Will Allow for Increase in Medical Research Funding

WASHINGTON—Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced his support today for the two-year bipartisan budget agreement in a Senate floor speech.


We have before us a deal that removes the threat of catastrophic sequestration budget cuts for two years and allows our country to meet our financial obligations,” said Durbin. “I will support it when it comes to the Senate floor.”


Durbin announced his support for the deal in a speech on the Senate Floor highlighting the importance of robust funding for federally funded biomedical and science research. Earlier today, Durbin attended a meeting with Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, and Senate Democrats to discuss the need for investments in cutting-edge research being performed by the agency. Yesterday, Durbin also met with Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


“In the area of medical research, there’s plenty of room for us to work together, and there’s already leadership shown on the other side of the aisle. When it comes to funding medical research, I’ve found that people of all political stripes agree this is a good investment for the future of America,” Durbin added.


Watch video of Durbin’s floor remarks HERE


Durbin is the co-chair of the bipartisan Senate NIH Caucus, which aims to preserve our nation’s global competitiveness by highlighting the need for investments in groundbreaking research being performed by the foremost biomedical research institute in the world. NIH directly supports more than 400,000 jobs across the country, and every one dollar of NIH funding generates more than two dollar in local economic growth.


In 2012, fifty-three percent of all funding for basic research came from the federal government. Yet as a percentage of the total federal budget, the federal government spends two-thirds less on research and development today than it did in 1965. More recently, due to sequestration and flat budgets, NIH has lost nearly 25 percent of its purchasing power since 2003, when adjusted for inflation. At NIH, the percentage of research grants that receive funding has declined almost every year for the past 10 years.