Sen. Dems Look To Lift Funding Ban on Federal Gun Violence Studies
On Friday, a group of 18 Senate Democrats sent a letter to leaders on the Senate Appropriations Committee urging them to examine the possibility of allowing federal agencies to spend money on research related to gun violence, The Hill's "Floor Action" reports (Carney, "Floor Action," The Hill, 1/8).
An amendment added to a federal appropriations bill in 1966 effectively prohibited CDC from conducting research on gun violence. The ban was eventually extended to also include NIH.
Physician groups have recently lobbied congressional lawmakers to lift the restriction (California Healthline, 12/4/15). A rider that would have eliminated the restriction was not included in an omnibus spending bill that President Obama signed into law last month (California Healthline, 12/21/15).
Senate Dems Urge Committee Leaders To Consider Lifting Restriction
In the letter, the group of Senate Democrats wrote, "We must take steps to fund gun-violence research, because only the [U.S.] government is in a position to establish an integrated public-health research agenda to understand the causes of gun violence and identify the most effective strategies for prevention."
The group urged the committee's Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Education to hold a hearing on whether to lift the restriction.
The letter was sent to Sens.:
- Thad Cochran (R-Miss.);
- Roy Blunt (R-Mo.);
- Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.); and
- Patty Murray (D-Wash.).
The letter was sent by Democratic Sens:
- Tammy Baldwin (Wis.);
- Richard Blumenthal (Conn.);
- Cory Booker (N.J.);
- Barbara Boxer (Calif.);
- Sherrod Brown (Ohio);
- Tom Carper (Del.);
- Chris Coons (Del.);
- Dick Durbin (Ill.);
- Dianne Feinstein (Calif.);
- Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.);
- Mazie Hirono (Hawaii);
- Ed Markey (Mass.);
- Claire McCaskill (Mo.);
- Chris Murphy (Conn.);
- Jack Reed (R.I.);
- Charles Schumer (N.Y.);
- Elizabeth Warren (Mass.); and
- Ron Wyden (Ore.) ("Floor Action," The Hill, 1/8).