Congress finally shouted, NO!, to Trump and voted to increase funding for the National Institutes of Health, even as he proposed a $7 billion cut that would have crippled medical research. What a guy. The Senate voted to increase spending on NIH to the tune of $36.1 billion. The House approved a more modest increase, though according to the New York Times, the final number is likely to end up close to the Senate appropriation.
The move was bipartisan, and the action sent a signal that nobody on The Hill these days is afraid of Trump. There is another signal that went out. People care about their health and will remember who voted how when they go to the polls in 2018. For those in precarious health or worrying about their family’s future, we can sit back and smile, at least for the moment. We have not won the war, but we still are in the fight. Republicans view protecting health as a tool of economic development. That is just fine. A vote is a vote.
We have plenty of reasons to question the plans and priorities of this president. They are not likely to change, though I doubt he will be foolish enough to veto this funding. Let’s ask all Trump supporters if they would rather work toward a disease-free America or an immigrant-free country. Let’s conquer diseases and yield the monopoly on walls to the Chinese.