Lawmakers are pressing forward to find a deal on NIH funding, and a larger package of FDA reforms in the Senate, in the face of skepticism from many that an agreement can be reached.
Democrats say they will block passage of any bill that does not include new mandatory funding for the NIH, meaning it would be guaranteed and not subject to the annual appropriations process. They want Republicans to commit to a specific dollar amount before the bill reaches the Senate floor.
While medical research attracts bipartisan support, Republicans are leery of locking in new mandatory funding and want the costs to be offset.
An important development came Wednesday, when Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Health Committee, said he is willing to work with the ranking member, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), to reach an agreement on the bill’s funding.
Republicans are divided on the issue. While Alexander says he is open to mandatory funding if it is targeted to specific areas like the cancer moonshot and precision medicine, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), another member of the committee and a leading Republican voice on healthcare, told The Hill that he opposes making the funding mandatory.
This caught my eye for a couple of reasons. The first is to point out yet another case of media bias, as I am wont to do.
When the Republicans were in the minority, virtually every bill they even wanted to negotiate over was referred to as a hostage situation by the MSM. The rule being, obviously, that all legislation favored by the Democrats and The Lightbringer should be rubber-stamped by the opposition because the children or something.
The second reason is that I firmly believe that for the republic to continue we (the electorate) need to stop allowing Congress to lock in mandatory funding for the very bureaucracies that, time and again, prove to be so detrimentally inefficient. If the military can endure cutbacks, then every taxpayer-funded agency should have to dance for every dollar it gets from every new budget.
There is absolutely no reason that NIH can’t be adequately funded for the moment, all the while it and the FDA are given some much needed overhauls.
Democrats and lazy, moderate Republicans have a tax dollar spending addiction and it’s well past time for an intervention.