Gingrich: No Balanced Budget Without More Research Spending

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said Congress would never balance the federal budget without increasing federal research and development funding.

Gingrich, who called for doubling the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget, said more research funding might be the “most fiscally responsible step” Congress could take at this time.

“I want to emphasize this for a second. It’s probably one of the places where I do bring a little bit of a unique background, we balanced the federal budget for four straight years, the only time in your lifetime the federal budget has been balanced for four straight years, we did it while doubling the NIH budget because we set priorities but I want to make a deeper point about the future,” Gingrich, a former presidential candidate, said on Capitol Hill.

“With the baby boomers aging, if we do not find a research-based solution we will never balance the federal budget because we will never impose the level of regulatory pain that it would take to balance the budget which really means people not getting treated, people being in miserable circumstances and remember that with Alzheimer’s, caretakers are twice as likely to be sick as non-caretakers.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who sponsored the “"Middle Class Prosperity Project” forum, invited Gingrich to the event.

“The good news is curing Alzheimer’s and other major diseases appears more doable today than in any time in history thanks in no small part to basic research and development funded by the federal government. We’re in a period of extraordinary breakthroughs in biology, genetics, computation and materials,” he said.

“To allow research funding to languish at a time of historic opportunity when we could be saving lives sand saving money takes a special kind of stupidity that is reserved for this city,” he added.