President Obama’s initiative to find a cure for cancer is finding support on both sides of the aisle among Illinois’ congressional delegation.
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) says it was one of the few times he applauded during the State of the Union address, adding that finding a cure is a personal issue for him.
“I don’t want any family to go through what our family went through, especially my wife, who is now 17 years cancer-free,” Davis said.
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U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) met with Davis and his guests at the address, the family of 9-year-old Jonny Wade of Jerseyville (pictured), who lost a battle with brain cancer on Christmas Eve. Durbin believes there are many other Republicans in Congress who will back this new effort.
“He clearly is committed to this,” Durbin said of Davis, “and this, I think, is going to transcend party lines. I believe we’re going to be able to put together a strong bipartisan coalition.”
Durbin says the increased funding for medical research included in the latest federal budget, including more than $32 billion for the National Institutes of Health, will help Obama’s initiative.
He would favor taking the increased appropriations even further, however, by making the funding permanent so “Congress can’t fool with it,” though he didn’t mention a specific dedicated source of revenue for biomedical and cancer research.