Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 14, 2016

Retiring Appropriator Seeks to Steady Medical Research Funding

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Harkin. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Tom Harkin, the chairman of the Senate Labor-HHS-Education spending subcommittee and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, is retiring at the end of the year. Ahead of his departure, the Iowa Democrat has introduced a bill that seeks to steady medical research funding for the National Institutes of Health.

The long-serving senator, who has championed many health and education measures, said he “believes passionately that Congress has the responsibility to give researchers around the country the resources they need to fulfill their mission of saving lives, while upholding America’s traditional global leadership role in this area.”

Last week, Harkin also unveiled his Senate subcommittee’s version of the Labor-HHS-Education spending bill. CQ Roll Call’s Emily Ethridge and Kerry Young reported that the measure also seeks steady medical research funding, plus continues support for the implementation of the health care overhaul law and preventive health program spending.

Anything Harkin offers now is likely to end up as just a marker for debates after he’s gone, however. House appropriators have not released any details on that chamber’s rival spending proposal, and Congress is expected to vote in September on a stopgap fiscal 2015 funding resolution, extending current spending through the November elections.


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