Senate Dem calls for funding CDC gun research

Senate Dem calls for funding CDC gun research
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A Democratic senator is calling on appropriators to include funding in the upcoming budget bill for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to study gun violence.

Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyOvernight Defense: Mattis dismisses talk he may be leaving | Polish president floats 'Fort Trump' | Dem bill would ban low-yield nukes Dems introduce bill to ban low-yield nukes Some employees' personal data revealed in State Department email breach: report MORE (D-Mass.) said he wants to provide $10 million a year for six years to conduct or support CDC research on firearms safety and gun violence prevention.

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“We seem to have found the political will on research into gun violence prevention, so the only thing stopping it is funding,” Markey said in a statement. “For too long, our researchers, scientists, and policymakers have suffered from the lack of information about what is causing gun violence and what can be done to prevent it. No one should be afraid of science.”

Long-standing restrictions have effectively prevented the CDC from conducting any kind of gun violence protection research. The so-called Dickey amendment was inserted into a 1996 government funding bill by the late Rep. Jay Dickey (R-Ark.) and has been renewed annually.

The provision states: "None of the funds made available in this title may be used, in whole or in part, to advocate or promote gun control.”

Although the provision doesn’t explicitly ban research into gun violence, public health advocates and Democrats say there’s been a chilling effect in place for more than 20 years.

The provision has been brought to the forefront after a shooting last month at a Florida high school that left 17 dead and a number of others injured.

Democrats have frequently railed against the research restrictions, but Republicans have been able to beat back Democratic attempts to restore the flow of federal research dollars to gun violence research.

Still, recent comments by the Trump administration’s top federal health official, as well as some House Republicans, suggest that at least some Republicans could be changing their minds.

In the past weeks, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar voiced his support for commencing gun violence prevention research at the CDC.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteHouse Judiciary chair threatens subpoena if DOJ doesn’t supply McCabe memos by Tuesday Rosenstein report gives GOP new ammo against DOJ House Judiciary chair: Nellie Ohr is cooperating, will testify MORE (R-Va.), and Republican Reps. Leonard LanceLeonard LanceDems see Kavanaugh saga as playing to their advantage Monmouth poll: Incumbent GOP candidate trails Dem challenger in New Jersey House race Blue-state Republicans say they will vote against 'tax cuts 2.0' if it extends SALT cap MORE (N.J.), Phil RoeDavid (Phil) Phillip RoeLawmakers demand action, hearing in response to VA improperly denying sexual trauma claims Veterans Affairs’ inability to manage its workforce suggests benefits of managed care Accounting for bad management: The VA Accountability Act turns one MORE (Tenn.) and Mark WalkerBradley (Mark) Mark WalkerOn The Money: Midterms to shake up House finance panel | Chamber chief says US not in trade war | Mulvaney moving CFPB unit out of DC | Conservatives frustrated over big spending bills Conservatives left frustrated as Congress passes big spending bills Trump's Puerto Rico tweets spark backlash MORE (N.C.) have also expressed support for the CDC being able to research gun violence prevention.

Goodlatte said last month that the research policy should be re-examined, particularly since Dickey later came to regret that his amendment was used to restrict funding for research on gun violence.

But House Appropriations Health Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Tom ColeThomas (Tom) Jeffrey ColeConservatives left frustrated as Congress passes big spending bills Overnight Health Care: House GOP blocks Trump-backed drug pricing provision | Maryland sues to protect ObamaCare | Insurers offer help to hurricane-impacted areas House GOP blocks Trump-supported drug pricing provision from spending bill MORE (R-Okla.) said earlier this week he thinks it’s “unlikely” that a provision restricting research on gun violence gets removed from a spending bill.

“It's unlikely that we would remove it in this particular legislation simply because this is a $1.2 trillion bill,” Cole said Tuesday. “It shouldn't be derailed for a single thing.”