Representative Steve Daines

Steve Daines Dumps Ice Water on His Head, Voted to Slash Funding for ALS Research

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Steve Daines took to Twitter today to celebrate the fact that he and his son took the “Ice Bucket Challenge” to promote awareness and a cure for ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. While it’s great to see so many people getting involved in fundraising for this dreadful disease, it’s important to understand that Steve Daines actually voted to slash federal spending into its research.



As most of you know, Representative Daines voted for the Paul Ryan budget, which would have absolutely slashed funding for the National Institutes of Health:

The plan imposes extreme cuts to non-defense discretionary programs, which include line-items such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Head Start, education, and air traffic control. These cuts will take place by imposing a 414-billion-dollar cap on non-defense discretionary spending for FY 2014, which starts on October 1st. To put this into perspective, this cap means that about $167 billion will be cut from these programs in FY 2014, accounting for the sequester cuts that took effect on March 1st. While the sequester cuts have dealt a devastating 5.1% cut to NIH funding for the remainder of this year, the House plan could mean more than a 10% cut to the NIH budget in FY 2014.

And, of course, the National Institutes of Health is responsible for a great deal of research into ALS, as well as cancer, diabetes, and other diseases. The cuts that Steve Daines supported would reduce the number of research grants by 16,000 over the next decade.

In fact, according to the organization Daines claims to support, The NIH is the “largest source of ALS research funding in the world.”

It’s a lot like showing up to take credit for Meals on Wheels food delivery when you voted to gut its funding.

It’s commendable that Steve Daines poured some cold water over his head to gain attention for ALS (and himself), but it would be much better if Representative Daines actually supported the programs that are critical for the health and well-being of the people of Montana.

 

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

5 Comments

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  • The federal government can no longer sustain its level of spending. Liberals like Pogie would advocate unsustainable levels of spending then say that the 1% can pay all the bills. That simply is not the case. To be credible, people like Pogie need to present a plan that shows how the federal government can spend money on important programs, sustainably, not just say yes without thinking about the budget impact, to every seemingly good idea or social welfare program that comes along.

    • Is that a gag post, jeremy? But for the record, dude, why CAN’T the one percent pay their fair share of the bills? When they do %99 of the work, that can HAVE %99 of the wealth! It’s time. You have such a pathetic concept of how things work, but that makes you a good ReePube! For there are ONLY two types of ReePubes, rich guys and suckers! And I seriously doubt that you’re rich!

    • Solution 1. Tax the very wealthy and corporations at a higher rate, given that we are taxing them at unbelievably low levels.

      Solution 2. Stop wasting billions on defense programs that are protected by Congress when even the military itself doesn’t want it.

      Solution 3. Adequately fund disease research.

      Next?

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