Menendez, Booker Call for Action on Legislation to Fund Gun Violence Research at CDC

Menendez, Booker Call for Action on Legislation to Fund Gun Violence Research at CDC

Urge Senate Health committee leadership to join medical, public health professionals in recognizing gun violence as a public health crisis

   

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker today joined several colleagues in calling on leaders of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee to immediately act on legislation to fund gun violence prevention research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  In April 2017, the Senators introduced S.834, legislation to provide $60 million in funding for the CDC to conduct or support research on firearms safety and gun violence prevention.

“In the wake of the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, it has become increasingly clear that gun violence in America is going to continue unabated until Congress takes meaningful action,” the Senators wrote in a letter to Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.). “On behalf of families across the country, we urge you to join the medical professionals in recognizing gun violence as a public health issue, and respectfully request that the HELP Committee consider S.834 at its next Executive Session.”

During a February hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar indicated that the CDC would conduct gun violence prevention research. In 2015, however, a CDC official pointed to the lack of funding needed to pursue it, stating that: “It is possible for us to conduct firearm-related research within the context of our efforts to address youth violence, domestic violence, sexual violence, and suicide, but our resources are very limited.”

A copy of the letter can be found HERE.

The following Senators also signed the letter:  Senators Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).

A Republican appropriations rider, first authorized by then-Congressman Jay Dickey (R-Ark) in 1996, prohibits the CDC from using federal funds to advocate or promote gun control. Some have misconstrued this rider as a ban on CDC research into the causes of gun violence.