publication date: Dec. 19, 2014

Is Republican Control Better Than Two-Party Stalemate?

 

Jennifer Zeitzer, director of legislative relations at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

As Congress goes into recess and Democrats relinquish their eight-year control of the Senate, advocates for biomedical research are rethinking their approaches to a political reality not observed in nearly a decade: a Republican-controlled Congress.

Jennifer Zeitzer, director of legislative relations at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, a coalition that represents 27 scientific societies and over 120,000 researchers worldwide, says she is optimistic about prospects for science funding in the 114th Congress.

The reason: both sides have learned that stalemates benefit no one.

“The last two years have not been great for anybody, for either party, for advocates, for America at large. Congress has been largely dysfunctional,” Zeitzer said to The Cancer Letter. “We shut down the government; very little got done.”

True, the funding landscape continues to look bleak: sequestration caps are unlikely to be lifted, and fiscal conservatives—bolstered by incoming freshman Republicans in the Senate—will keep spending at a minimum.

Advocates need to continue to do their best to make the case for a sustained increase in federal investment, Zeitzer said.

“Funding for biomedical research has always been a bipartisan endeavor,” Zeitzer said. “We can’t forget that the beginning of the doubling of the NIH budget started under the Republican chairman of the Labor, Health and Human Services Committee in the House, and that was [Rep.] John Porter [R-Ill.].

“I’m not overly concerned, because we have both Republican and Democrat champions for … Continue reading 40-47 Is Republican Control Better Than Two-Party Stalemate?

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