Durbin Reintroduces Legislation To Preserve American Leadership In Biomedical And Scientific Research

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today reintroduced a pair of bills to preserve America’s standing as a leader in scientific discovery and innovation. The American Innovation Act and The American Cures Act would steadily increase funding for biomedical and scientific research conducted at the nation’s premier federal research agencies.
“These bills will allow America’s best scientists and researchers to spend less time worrying about their budgets and more time creating new technologies and finding ways to treat and cure disease,” said Durbin. “In the last two centuries, U.S. government support for scientific research has helped split the atom, put a man on the moon, create the Internet, and map the human genome. Today we face new hurdles, but continuing to support scientific research is the smartest investment we can make for our health, our future, and our economy.”
Federal funding for research has been on a downward trend for the past several decades, forcing a growing number of America’s top researchers to take their talents to other industries – and other countries. For years, Senator Durbin has championed increased investment to reverse this trend.
The American Innovation Act, which is co-sponsored by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), will put funding for basic scientific research on a steady growth path over the next decade by providing annual budget increases of five percent for cutting edge research at five important federal research agencies: The National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy Office of Science, the Department of Defense Science and Technology Programs, the National Institute of Standards and Technology Scientific and Technical Research, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Science Directorate.
The American Cures Act, which is co-sponsored by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ed Markey (D-MA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Bob Casey (D-PA), would set a steady growth rate in federal appropriations for biomedical research conducted at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Defense Health Program (DHP), and the Veterans Medical & Prosthetics Research Program. Each year, the bill would increase funding for each agency and program at a rate of GDP-indexed inflation plus 5 percent. This reliable, long-term investment would allow the agencies to plan and manage strategic growth while maximizing efficiencies.