Cohen Introduces Research First Act to Protect Efforts to Find Cures for Debilitating Diseases

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today introduced the Research First Act to prevent and reverse the disastrous effects of sequestration cuts on critically important National Institutes of Health (NIH) research projects that could one day lead to cures for diseases that plague people around the globe. The legislation would replace more than $1.5 billion in crippling cuts to the NIH with Department of Defense funding that Pentagon leaders admit they don’t need.

“The National Institutes of Health are our nation’s true Department of Defense,” said Congressman Cohen. “NIH-funded doctors, scientists and researchers across the country are out on the front lines every day fighting humanity’s most debilitating diseases and working to keep America healthy. By reprioritizing funding that Pentagon leaders concede they can go without, the Research First Act will help ensure that our fights against illnesses like Alzheimer’s, cancer, and heart disease do not go undermanned or underfunded.”

The NIH is our country’s foremost medical research center and it has helped millions of people across the country suffering from heart disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other diseases. Despite the good work and accomplishments of NIH scientists, researchers, and doctors throughout the nation, the NIH is already seeing its funding slashed through sequestration and without Congressional action stands to lose as much as $1.55 billion. Cuts of this magnitude could cripple or completely stop countless research projects that could one day lead to cures.