As budget negotiations on Capitol Hill enter a critical stage, former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) called on Republican lawmakers to dramatically increase spending for medical research. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Cantor said, “The president has consistently said, and the Democrats’ position remains, that if there is going to be an increase in defense spending there must be a commensurate increase in domestic spending. My position would be, let’s go ahead and commit to long-term creation of value, let’s go in and put all the incremental dollars on the domestic side into scientific and medical research.”
In response to Mr. Cantor’s remarks, Julie Fleshman, president and CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network issued the following statement:
“We thank Mr. Cantor for continuing to be a champion of biomedical research. In light of the growing bipartisan support for increasing funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), now is the time for action. Congress has an opportunity to build a bridge to a new era of biomedical innovation and return the US to prominence as the world leader in scientific research.
“Pancreatic cancer remains among the deadliest of cancers in the US with a five-year survival rate of just seven percent. Even more alarming, pancreatic cancer is expected to surpass breast and colon cancer to become the second leading cause of cancer-related death by 2020. Without sufficient funding for the NIH and NCI, scientific progress against pancreatic cancer and other deadly diseases is in jeopardy and the lives of tens of thousands of Americans are at stake.
“We urge Congress to provide a robust increase in funding for the NIH now, and to sustain that investment in the years ahead.”
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