On July 10, by a vote of 210 to 212, the House rejected an amendment to the Health and Human Services appropriations bill (HR 2660) by Rep. Pat Toomey (R.-Pa.) The amendment would have removed funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for five studies that many members found ridiculous, including one on the sexual habits of “transgendered” American Indians and one on how pornography affects sexual arousal of people in different moods.
In addition, it would have stopped using taxpayer dollars to fund studies on drug use by Asian prostitutes and masseuses in California, panda bears in China, and the sexual habits of elderly men.
Two conservatives claim to have accidentally voted the wrong way in the critically close vote, meaning that their mistakes caused the amendment to fail.
Spokesmen for Representatives Joe Wilson (R.-S.C.) and Chip Pickering (R.-Miss.) told HUMAN EVENTS last week that the congressmen had voted against the amendment by accident (see HUMAN EVENTS, July 21, page 5). Three other conservatives gave weak excuses for their “no” votes, and yet another did not respond to HUMAN EVENTS phone calls.
Toomey and supporters of his amendment wanted to pass it not only to cut down on frivolous government spending, but also because it is detestable to force taxpayers to fund what they consider morally evil activity.
“Who thinks this stuff up?” asked Toomey. “And, worse, who decides to actually fund these sorts of things? Well, unfortunately, the NIH has done so. These are not applications that are worthy of taxpayer funds.
“If they want to do this sort of research, we need to fund this privately and not with taxpayer dollars,” said Toomey. “I simply want to make the point that there are so many far more important, very real diseases that are affecting real people; and that is what this kind of money could be used for.”
But liberals like Rep. David Obey (D.-Wis.) opposed the amendment, claiming that every so often one of these bizarre studies will produce a positive outcome. Obey brought up a government-funded study on Polish pigs that “led to the development of a new blood pressure medicine which millions of people use today.”
“The know-nothings in the Congress at that time would have eliminated that study. I do not think that would have been a good outcome,” said Obey. “I have served on the subcommittee that deals with NIH for a long time, and the one thing I came to understand very quickly is that the day that we politicize NIH research, that is the day we will ruin science research in this country.”
Rep. Jeff Flake (R.-Ariz.), however, put the issue in clear perspective.
“I do not know how in the world we do not have enough money to fund things like the reaction of children to vaccines for childhood autism; but then, in turn, we have enough money to fund a study to pay women to watch pornography,” said Flake. “I think that is wrong.”
A “yes” vote was in favor of the Toomey amendment to cease funding for wasteful and often bizarre studies by the NIH. A “no” vote was a vote, accidental or not, in opposition to the amendment that removes money from the wasteful programs.
|FOR THE AMENDMENT: 210||AGAINST THE AMENDMENT: 212|
|REPUBLICANS FOR (177):
Davis, Jo Ann
DEMOCRATS FOR (33):
|REPUBLICANS AGAINST (46):
DEMOCRATS AGAINST (165):
INDEPENDENT AGAINST (1):Sanders
|REPUBLICANS (1):||DEMOCRATS (0)||INDEPENDENTS (0)|
NOT VOTING: 11
|REPUBLICANS (4):||DEMOCRATS (7):||INDEPENDENTS (0)|