WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee passed the appropriations bill to fund the Department of Defense. Congressman Andy Harris, M.D., the only physician who serves on the committee, successfully advocated for 15 million dollars in funding for reconstructive transplant research. This is the same amount as the program received last year; however during this time when extra scrutiny is being applied to the budget, the threat of a cut to, or elimination of this program existed.
Previous funds from this program were used to assist Sgt. Brendan Marrocco, the 26-year-old infantryman who lost all four limbs while serving our country in Iraq. He successfully received a transplant of two arms at Johns Hopkins Hospital in December. This funding will facilitate more transplants and state of the art immunotherapy for heroes like Brendan. Congressman Harris has both served in the military and conducted medical research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) while at Johns Hopkins, so he knows firsthand how supporting this kind of research improves lives.
“Those who have sacrificed for our nation deserve not only our honor and respect but also our resources,” said Harris. “This research program has had an immediate and transformative impact on wounded warriors and promising benefits for civilians as well. Service members with debilitating, disfiguring, and disabling injuries have regained their independence and returned to daily living and employment.
“While we cut the many areas of waste in government, it is important to make sure we continue to invest in programs that work. As this bill now heads to the House floor, I will work to ensure this funding remains.”