During Autism Awareness Month, Upton Welcomes Energy and Commerce Committee Member Gregg Harper’s Efforts to Support Pediatric Health Care

April 25, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) today applauded committee member Gregg Harper’s (R-MS) work to support pediatric health care. Rep. Harper today formally introduced the Kids First Research Act, along with Tom Cole (R-OK), in recognition of Autism Awareness Month. The legislation would eliminate taxpayer financing of presidential campaigns and conventions and use remaining funds to expand pediatric research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“I applaud Congressman Harper for his work to support the children suffering from autism and other diseases,” said Chairman Upton. “By redirecting millions of dollars currently being used on presidential campaigns toward scientific research of pediatric diseases and disorders, this legislation gives families greater hope for not just more treatments, but a cure.”

The Energy and Commerce Committee has been actively working to improve pediatric care in the 113th Congress. In February, the House approved two pieces of committee legislation in support of children’s health care: the National Pediatric Research Network Act and the Children’s Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act. The National Pediatric Research Network Act (H.R. 225), which was approved by a bipartisan a vote of 375 to 27, would allow NIH to fund pediatric research networks comprised of a consortia of institutions that will cooperate in conducting research on conditions and diseases affecting children. The Children’s Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act (H.R. 297), which passed the House by a vote of 352 to 50, provides support to children’s hospitals for pediatric medical residency programs.