Durbin Decries Sequestration's Effects on Medical Community | NBC Chicago
Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Durbin Decries Sequestration's Effects on Medical Community

Cuts to NIH will cost Illinois jobs, hurt medical research, Illinois' senior senator says



    (Published Friday, March 1, 2013)

     U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says he's as frustrated as most Americans with the repeated "doomsday scenarios" involving the federal budget.

    Durbin spoke in Chicago on Friday. He says the troubles in Washington are "no way to run a government and no way to run a great nation." 

    Durbin says cuts to National Institute of Health funding will cost Illinois jobs, including 3,200 jobs at Northwestern University that are tied to NIH funding. 

    “Sequestration will pull the rug out from under the doctors and scientists whose hard work and innovation have made America a leader in bio-medical research,” Durbin said.  “The research funded by NIH fuels the new ideas and technologies that grow our economy, strengthen our national security and secure America’s place as a leader in biomedical innovation in the 21st century.  Those cuts don’t make sense – for Illinois or for our nation.”

    He prefers an approach that closes tax loopholes. Durbin is a Democrat and is assistant majority leader in the Senate.

    “As a member of the Senate’s Gang of Eight and the Simpson-Bowles Commission, I’ve spent much of the last two years working across party lines to find thoughtful solutions to our country’s fiscal problems.  I voted for the Simpson-Bowles plan, despite the objections of many in my party, because I thought it was the right thing to do.  I believe everything should be on the table – revenue, spending cuts and even entitlement reforms.  The point we’ve reached today is a budgetary perfect storm of our own creation -- and the collateral damage is painfully obvious.”

    Durbin spoke with researchers from several Chicago medical centers. He says Illinois could lose $38 million in NIH funding because of sequestration.