House Democratic appropriators are allocating $50 million to study gun violence, aiming to accelerate research that had been effectively off-limits at the CDC for more than two decades.
The House Labor-HHS-Education fiscal 2020 funding bill unveiled this afternoon provides $25 million to CDC and $25 million to NIH to research how to prevent firearm injury and death. The funding, which has been sought by gun violence-prevention advocates and some prominent doctors’ groups, will likely face resistance from Republicans.
Lawmakers haven’t provided funding to study gun violence at the CDC in over two decades, largely because of a spending provision that had a chilling effect on research. A budget deal in March 2018 clarified that the federal government can study gun violence, as long as it doesn’t use the research to promote gun control.
Republicans last month said they were wary of providing new money for gun research, claiming Democrats are trying to score political points because the CDC already has the authority to study gun violence.
However, the CDC, which collects data on gun violence injuries, said it’s limited in what it can do without more money.
"Dedicated funding from Congress would help CDC to move forward in this work," an agency spokesperson told POLITICO in March.
Addressing gun violence is a priority for House Democrats, who earlier this year passed a bill, H.R. 8 (116), largely along party lines, mandating federal background checks on all gun sales. The issue has received a boost from some doctors , who recently have become more visible advocates for gun control after the NRA scolded them for speaking up about firearm policy.
The House appropriations health subcommittee will mark up the bill Tuesday.
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine