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Congresswoman Clarke’s Statement on the Twenty-First Century Cures Act

Brooklyn , N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on H.R. 6, the Twenty-First Century Cures Act, which includes several provisions she supported to invest in critical medical research. These provisions include an additional $10 billion for the National Institutes of Health in the next ten years, expanded loan repayment assistance for young scientists who pursue medical research, and a requirement that the National Institutes of Health develop a plan to increase diversity in recruiting and retaining scientists.

H.R. 6 was approved by the Energy and Commerce Committee, and has been sent to the full House of Representatives for consideration.

“Recent epidemics – such as the 14,991 confirmed cases of Ebola in West Africa in 2014 – and the persistence of chronic diseases such as diabetes as well as life-threatening diseases such as cancer demonstrate that we must continue to expand our investments in the National Institutes of Health and its dedicated scientists. I have spoken with people suffering from these diseases and their families who understand that we must invest in the research that will allow them to control, or even eliminate, conditions that threaten not only their quality of life, but also life itself. I have heard from many doctors and hospitals in Brooklyn who expressed their concerns about the reduction in resources for the  National Institutes of Health in recent years. I have also spoken with  medical students from SUNY Downstate Medical Center who want to pursue medical research as a career, but because of their student loan debt cannot consider that option. Now, an expanded loan repayment program will support these medical students in their pursuit. In addition, the National Institutes of Health will now include in its strategic plan a focus on increasing diversity among its scientists, expanding efforts to recruit and retain people of color and women, who have historically been underrepresented in medical research.  I commend my colleagues, both Democrats and Republicans, for collaborating in support of the Twenty-First Century Cures Act, which will improve the quality of health for all Americans.”

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce in the House of Representatives, a member of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, as well as the Committee on Ethics and the Committee of Small Business. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.