Fitzpatrick, House Vote to Ensure Kids First Research
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8) joined with a bipartisan majority in the House Wednesday to pass (295-103) the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act [H.R. 2019]. The bill – of which Fitzpatrick is a co-sponsor - prioritizes taxpayer funding for scientific research of pediatric diseases and disorders such as cancer and autism by eliminating taxpayer funding for the Republican and Democratic national conventions.
“Ask any parent – our kids always come first. So it only makes sense that Washington put the children of our nation ahead of partisan politics when it comes to utilizing taxpayer dollars,” said Fitzpatrick following the bill’s passage. “This bill simply puts the critical need of increasing research funding for pediatric diseases ahead of election politics.”
The Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act is named after Gabriella Miller – a 10-year old diagnosed with brain cancer last fall and who passed away in October before she could see the bill passed.
“As a member of the Autism Caucus, the chance to prioritize federal dollars for critical research for Autism and those families living with it was a great opportunity,” continued Fitzpatrick. “Ensuring the best for our children – especially those with pediatric disorders – is vital for the continued success of our nation. I’m heartened that this Congress could come together and working on their behalf.”
“School aged children are being diagnosed as having autism at a rate of 1 in 50 according to recent statistics released by the CDC. This unparalleled epidemic requires national and global attention as an Autism Tsunami is already upon us,” said Linda Kuepper, Co-Founder and CEO of the Autism Cares Foundation in Richboro, Bucks County. “Autism Cares Foundation supports Congressman Fitzpatrick’s efforts to direct additional funding toward Autism Research through the Kids First Research Act. This act will direct additional funding to research which we hope will find its way to the very best research professionals as we need to determine the root causes of autism and hopefully a cure. Additionally, we need to develop a sustainable means of continuing support as today’s children grow into adults, many of whom will require continuous lifelong support.”
The bill has the support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Autism Speaks, the Children’s Hospital Association, the Coalition of Pediatric Medical Research, the National Down Syndrome Society and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, among others.
Fitzpatrick is also a member of the Rare Diseases Caucus as well as the Childhood Cancer Caucus and has been a leading advocate of medical research and innovation during his time in Congress. He supports robust funding for the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to continue their innovative research and creation of new treatments. Furthermore, Fitzpatrick is also a proud and active participant in many community events supporting disease research and awareness, including: Relay for Life, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundations 5K, the AOH Autism Walk and others.
Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick is serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He represents Pennsylvania’s 8th district which includes all of Bucks County as well as a portion of Montgomery County. He serves as the Vice Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.