Sent Request to Subcommittee Chairman Over One Week Ago

WASHINGTON, DC—The Democratic members of the House of Representatives Labor-Health and Human Services (HHS)-Education Appropriations Subcommittee today renewed their call for a subcommittee hearing on budget cuts to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in light of the ongoing public health threat posed by the Ebola virus. Last week they sent a letter to subcommittee Chairman Jack Kingston regarding such a hearing. That letter has gone without an acknowledgement from the Chairman.

“As we mourn the death of Thomas Eric Duncan and pray for the two health care workers infected in Dallas, we reiterate our call for Chairman Kingston to convene our subcommittee immediately,” said Subcommittee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro, Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey and subcommittee members Lucille Roybal-Allard, Barbara Lee and Mike Honda. “The Homeland Security Committee met nearly two weeks ago, and an Energy and Commerce subcommittee will meet tomorrow. For our subcommittee, the one in charge of funding the NIH and CDC, to continue to shirk its responsibility and go without so much as a hearing is unacceptable.”

NIH funding has been cut by $1.2 billion over the last four years, before adjusting for inflation. Once accounting for inflation, NIH has lost more than ten percent of its purchasing power since 2010. The CDC program that supports state and local public health professionals working on the front lines has been cut by 16 percent over the last four years. The federal Hospital Preparedness program has been cut by an astounding 44 percent over the last four years.