Selective conservatism

U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, gave a well-reasoned statement Wednesday on the importance of fully funding the National Institute of Health.
He was critical of President Barack Obama’s proposed 2013 budget, which slightly reduces the agency’s funding.
We agree with Shelby. As he put it, “For the millions of Americans suffering from a serious illness, biomedical research is the beginning of hope. NIH-funded research investigates ways to prevent disease, understand its causes, and develop more effective treatments.”
The issue is a reminder that clear-cut solutions are rare in the formulation of budgets.
House Republicans – whose budget-cutting efforts routinely receive support from Shelby – cut $1.6 billion, more than 5 percent, in NIH funding in a budget bill last year. U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposed
2013 budget, released last week, would eliminate 500 NIH grants in the first year and 1,600 grants in each year after 2013.
Also noteworthy: a strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, which Shelby usually advocates, would not allow for any NIH funding.
Shelby and many of his colleagues in Washington are all about fiscal conservatism and constitutional purity when discussing programs they oppose. They do not let those details get in the way of programs they support.


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Filed under Alabama politics, Conservatism, Health care

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