Durbin: Research funding cuts would cripple economy

February 28, 2011 6:09:58 AM PST
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., says one of the budget cuts being pushed by Republicans in Congress would have a devastating affect on medical research.

Durbin toured a Northwestern University research center Sunday.

He says the plan is to cut $1.6 billion from funding for the National Institutes of Health for the next seven months.

Durbin believes that would result in a 10 to 20 percent cut in NIH research grants.

He says last year the Chicago area got $775 million in NIH research funds.

"I think at the end of the day, they are not only going to fail to reduce our deficit, they are going to at least limit, if not cripple, our economy in some areas and it will be harder for us to get out of this recession," Durbin said.

The measure now goes to the Senate where Durbin says he will try to restore the funds.