National Institutes of Health

Shootings add to pressure on gun violence research funding push
House-passed fiscal 2020 Labor-HHS-Education spending bill would provide $25 million on gun violence research

Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Roy Blunt, R-Mo., is looking to avoid contentious issues in bipartisan spending bills. (File photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers under pressure to address mass shootings could provide millions for research on gun violence, which would help fill a knowledge gap about policies that are most effective at reducing injuries and death, as Congress attempts to fund the government by Oct. 1.

House Democrats have proposed $50 million to study gun violence, and academics say the government funding could ensure that the data collection infrastructure is adequate to support a broad research enterprise.

NIH needs $1.3 billion for building repairs, report says
While more funding goes to research, aging facilities found in ‘deteriorating condition’

The James Shannon Building in Bethesda, Md., was completed in 1938. A congressionally mandated report noted that more than 72 percent of NIH facilities are more than 20 years old. (Lydia Polimeni/NIH file photo)

The National Institutes of Health needs a “substantial infusion of funding” to address the “deteriorating condition” of many of its facilities, according to a congressionally mandated report.

The report, released Monday by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, recommends that Congress provide $1.3 billion in new funding over several years in order to address buildings and facilities at the NIH’s campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

Gun research funding push faces challenge in Senate even after shootings
House-passed bill would be first time in decades Congress allocated funding specifically for gun violence research

Sen. Roy Blunt, chairman of the subcommittee that oversees health research funding, signaled he wouldn't support new funds for research on gun violence. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats in Congress are amplifying their calls to fund more research on gun violence after the recent mass shootings in Ohio and Texas, but Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Chairman Roy Blunt suggested Thursday he wouldn’t support new funding in that area.

The dispute over $50 million for gun violence prevention research could pose an additional challenge in the effort to avoid a government shutdown this fall.

Tobacco policy shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all
Premium cigars aren’t contributing to the rise in teen tobacco use so why should this niche industry be penalized?

Premium cigars do not pose the same health risks as other tobacco products, Pearce and Habursky write. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Tobacco policy is back again on the main stage of political discourse, thanks to the rise in youth usage of vaping and e-cigarettes. We recognize the need to address adolescent nicotine addiction prompted by this new popularity and the public health effects.

However, not all tobacco products are the same. Unequivocally, premium cigars are not part of this youth access issue. Data recorded by the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration in their Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health, or PATH, study asserts that the average age of people enjoying their first premium cigar is 30.

Former Rep. Chaka Fattah to seek reduction in 10-year sentence
An appeals court scrapped four of Fattah's 29 corruption charges in May

Ex-Rep. Chaka Fattah is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence in Pennsylvania. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Former Pennsylvania Rep. Chaka Fattah will ask a judge Friday for a reduction in his 10-year prison stay for corruption.

Fattah, who has served 2½ years in a medium security prison in western Pennsylvania, will argue his sentence should be cut because an appeals court recently tossed out convictions on four public corruption charges, The Associated Press reported.

‘I learned to inject oranges with insulin syringes’: Victor Garber on Type 1 diabetes
Familiar face from ‘Titanic’ urges Congress to renew research funding

Actor Victor Garber, who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 11, testifies during a Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing in the Dirksen Building on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

If you ever went to the movies in the ’90s or the early aughts, you may recognize Victor Garber as the “bad guy” from “Legally Blonde” or “the ship designer” from “Titanic,” but on Wednesday the award-winning actor came to Capitol Hill with a script that was a little more personal.

Garber says he’s lived with Type 1 diabetes for nearly 60 years. Joined by kid-advocates with the disease, he urged Chairwoman Susan Collins and ranking member Bob Casey of the Senate Special Committee on Aging to renew the Special Diabetes Program at the National Institutes of Health.

Trump unveils sweeping goals on kidney disease
Executive order aims to improve quality and cut costs by refocusing care on prevention

President Donald Trump arrives for a rally in Montoursville, Pa., on May 20, 2019. Trump on Wednesday outlined an agenda to improve preventive treatment of kidney disease. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump outlined an agenda to improve preventive treatment of kidney disease Wednesday, zeroing in on a condition that afflicts more than 30 million Americans and costs more than $100 billion in annual Medicare spending.

The executive order Trump signed aims to improve quality and cut costs by refocusing care on prevention. The initiative’s overarching goals are to reduce the number of new patients with end-stage renal disease by 25 percent by 2030, and to have 80 percent of ESRD patients either receiving in-home dialysis or transplants by 2025.

Americans have been shortchanged. House Democrats want to change that
House’s fiscal 2020 spending bills are an important step to make up for lost ground

House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey writes that Democrats in the chamber are charting a new course with their For the People agenda. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Former Speaker Sam Rayburn once said that “a jackass can kick a barn down, but it takes a carpenter to build one.” For too long, Congress hasn’t been the carpenter in this analogy.

But things are changing — at least in the House, with our Democratic majority’s ambitious agenda For the People. The Appropriations Committee, which I am proud to chair, is leading this charge to give every American a better chance at a better life.

Ocasio-Cortez grills CEO of pharma company making billions on government-patented HIV drug
Daniel O’Day faced scathing questions over taxpayers funding research and development for blockbuster drug

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., was among the Democrats on the House Oversight Committee grilling Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day on Thursday over the high price of the HIV prevention drug, Truvada. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day faced scathing questions at a House hearing Thursday, with Democrats demanding answers on how the drug manufacturer could charge $1,700 a month for an HIV prevention drug discovered through taxpayer-funded research.

“How can Gilead do this? How can our system allow a company to take a drug treatment that was developed with taxpayer funds and abuse its monopoly to charge such astronomical prices?” Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings asked at the top of the hearing. “This lifesaving treatment would not exist but for the research funded by the CDC and the NIH.”

Lawmakers aim to double down with more opioids legislation
New efforts would double down on existing policies to curb illegal fentanyl use and authorize more funding

Reps. David Trone, D-Md., and Susie Lee, D-Nev., conduct a news conference at the House Triangle on Thursday, January 17, 2019. Trone heads the newly formed Freshmen Working Group on Addiction. He told CQ Roll Call the group will attempt to pass opioid-related bills it supports as individual measures to stem the opioid crisis, but that it’s possible the Senate could take up the bills as a package. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers are showing renewed interest in continuing bipartisan work to combat the opioid epidemic, less than a year after the president signed a legislative package into law.

While the law focuses on various aspects of the crisis such as curbing prescription drug abuse, new efforts would double down on policies to curb illegal fentanyl use and authorize additional funding.