[Note from Erik]: A few weeks ago I wrote a letter to my Congressman, Mike Coffman, who represents Colorado’s 6th congressional district, asking him to vote against any federal budget proposal that threatens to cut funding for cancer research. Here is his reply:
Dear Mr. Pearson:
Thank you for contacting me regarding funding for cancer research. I appreciate your thoughts on this issue and the opportunity to respond.
On February 19th, the House of Representatives passed a bill to fund the federal government for seven months through the end of the current fiscal year. Contained in this legislation were significant cuts to federal spending. Included in these reductions is a $755 million decrease in funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a $1 billion decrease for the National Institutes of Health, which includes the National Cancer Institute.
We are in the middle of a fiscal crisis. Our $14.1 trillion national debt, and $1.5 trillion current year deficit, is unsustainable and economically ruinous. I adamantly believe in amending the Constitution to require balanced budgets. In fact, last year I established the very first Congressional Caucus to advocate for passage of House Joint Resolution 1, the Balanced Budget Amendment. This is the amendment that nearly passed Congress in 1995. I believe passage back then would have prevented many of the problems we find ourselves in now, and passage as soon as possible will help prevent the upcoming budget disaster that surely awaits us.
The Democrat controlled 111th Congress failed to pass a budget, which has led to multiple stop-gap continuing resolutions being passed. I am hopeful that the 112th Congress will pass a budget this year. In this current economic climate, the budget will have to be reduced and various agencies will receive less funding than they previously experienced. No doubt these decisions will prove detrimental to some and be controversial. I will keep your thoughts regarding funding for cancer research in mind when the House of Representatives votes on passage of our budget.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Member of Congress