Today, in a Capitol Hill meeting with dozens of health and research groups (including AADR), Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) called on advocates to keep up the pressure on Congress. In a combination of prepared and off-the-cuff remarks, the Congresswoman explained that now is no time for advocates of health and research to rest, despite passage of a tax deal to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff.” Rep. DeLauro voted against the New Year’s Day tax compromise primarily because it does nothing to avert deep cuts to discretionary funding to agencies such as the National Institutes of Health. She stated that the tax compromise actually puts increased pressure on spending for health and research by permanently removing certain options to increase revenue. The Congresswoman stated that domestic discretionary spending is already on pace to its lowest percentage of GDP since President Eisenhower was in office. Simultaneously, upper-income tax rates are at historically low levels. Nonetheless, Congress pushes forward in an effort to further reduce federal investments and revenue. Rep. DeLauro stated that true deficit reduction comes from a budget that is crafted as a vehicle for growth; one that gets people working and reduces long-term government expenses by making smart investments in areas such as prevention and research.
Congresswoman DeLauro encouraged the health and research communities to move forward with “resolve, strenth, and confidence” in communicating with elected officials on Capitol Hill and in the Obama administration. She cited the Civil Rights Act, GI Bill, Social Security Act, and Affordable Care Act as examples of the big things that Congress can do when forced by the American people to act. She explained that “Congress only moves with the external pressure applied to it.”
Rep. DeLauro was one of the featured speakers in the FY13 AADR Advocacy Day on the Hill and is one of the most passionate supporters of health and research in the United States Congress.