Maloney Asks Sec. Azar How He Plans to Use CDC Funds to Study Gun Violence

May 15, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) asked Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar how he plans to use the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) increased FY2018 budget to conduct gun violence research. Maloney is the House sponsor of a bill that would not only repeal the Dickey Amendment but also authorize funding for gun violence research at the CDC.

Rep. Maloney notes in her letter to Sec. Azar that “on February 15, prior to omnibus passage, you were quoted as saying the Dickey Amendment ‘does not in any way impede our ability to conduct our research mission. We’re in the science business and the evidence-generating business, and so I will have our agency certainly working in this field.’”

In her letter, Rep. Maloney asks:

  1. How does the CDC plan to exercise its authority to use this increase in funds relating to gun violence research and prevention?
  2. Specifically, what research in the field of gun violence prevention are you directing the CDC to engage in throughout Fiscal Year 2018?
  3. How and when do you plan to make the results of this gun violence research available to the public?
  4. Will the CDC be asking for increased funding specifically authorized for gun violence research in future fiscal years? If so, how much?

Full text of the letter can be found below and PDF here.

Dear Secretary Azar,

I write regarding the $1.046 billion increase over Fiscal Year 2017 funding levels for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention included in the FY18 omnibus and agency plans for those funds as they relate to gun violence research and prevention in Fiscal Year 2018.

As you know, on March 23, 2018, President Trump signed into law an omnibus spending bill containing report language contradicting the so-called “Dickey Amendment” originally adopted in 1996, which had been interpreted as a ban on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funds being spent on gun violence research. The report language in the omnibus declared that the CDC is not barred from conducting research on gun violence causes or prevention. Furthermore, on February 15, prior to omnibus passage, you were quoted as saying the Dickey Amendment “does not in any way impede our ability to conduct our research mission. We’re in the science business and the evidence-generating business, and so I will have our agency certainly working in this field.”

Given both the clarifying language and the increase in funds for CDC, I respectfully ask for responses to the following questions:

  1. How does the CDC plan to exercise its authority to use this increase in funds relating to gun violence research and prevention?
  2. Specifically, what research in the field of gun violence prevention are you directing the CDC to engage in throughout Fiscal Year 2018?
  3. How and when do you plan to make the results of this gun violence research available to the public?
  4. Will the CDC be asking for increased funding specifically authorized for gun violence research in future fiscal years? If so, how much?

Thank you for your attention to this matter and I look forward to a prompt response.  

Sincerely,

Carolyn B. Maloney

 

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