Pelosi Calls for Appropriations Committee Hearings on Funding for NIH, CDC & Related Agencies

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY), Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and the other Democratic Members of the Labor-Health and Human Services (HHS)-Education Appropriations Subcommittee in calling for hearings on the funding levels for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and related agencies in light of the ongoing public health threat posed by the Ebola virus.  Below is a statement from the Leader:

“As Francis Collins, head of the NIH, said last week: ‘NIH has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001.  It’s not like we suddenly woke up and thought, “Oh my gosh, we should have something ready here.”  Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready.’

“If we are going to protect the American people and our health care workers who are our first line of defense, we must recognize the importance of our investments in biomedical research and prevention, and act to reverse this ‘slide.’  To address the long-term threat posed by Ebola, we must come together on a bipartisan basis, as we did to combat HIV/AIDS, to provide the necessary funding to our public health agencies.

“The Appropriations Committee should return to Washington immediately and convene hearings to discuss and debate the issue of funding levels for NIH, CDC and related agencies in light of the public health challenges posed by the Ebola virus.  While it is important that the House Homeland Security and Energy & Commerce committees have held hearings, it is not right that the Appropriations committee has not met in accordance with its responsibilities to fund these critical public health agencies.”