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Louisville Medical Research Success a Reminder of What is at Stake in Republican Budget Cuts

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the House floor today, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) called on his colleagues to oppose the Republican Budget proposal, which eliminates opportunities struggling families, cuts investments in infrastructure and research, raises costs for seniors, and ends the Medicare guarantee – all to reward the wealthy with more tax breaks and preserve loopholes for companies that ship jobs overseas.

Yarmuth highlighted a medical breakthrough at the University of Louisville – funded in part through federal investments – to show the kind of emerging research that would be stifled by cuts made in the Republican Budget. The proposal’s cuts to domestic investments next year would mean 1,400 fewer grants for scientific and medical research through the National Institutes of Health.

Click the image to watch the video.

The text of Yarmuth’s remarks is below:

 

Madam Speaker, budgets don’t heal the sick or solve centuries-long medical challenges. But the programs budgets prioritize can.

In my District in Louisville, KY, medical researchers at the University of Louisville and the Frazier Rehab Institute have made an incredible breakthrough.

Thanks to an electronic implant that stimulates the spinal cord, four paralyzed men are now moving their legs on command. With continued therapy, they’re confident they will walk again.

The Human Locomotor Research Center in Louisville is funded, in part, through investments made by the National Institutes of Health. More than 80 percent of NIH funding goes to the broader research community, fueling the innovation that makes breakthroughs like those in Louisville possible.

The Republican Budget reduces the number of new NIH grants by 1,400 – on top of the hundreds of projects NIH has already had to turn down because of last year’s reckless, across-the-board spending cuts.

Madam Speaker, when you see a man paralyzed for years lift his legs, you can’t help but share in the enthusiasm for breaking boundaries we once thought impassable.

But if we approve this Republican Budget – if we approve these cuts – we extinguish that enthusiasm and the hopes of millions of families waiting for the next medical breakthrough.