21st Century Cures to Bolster Medical Innovation

‘This legislation promotes critical investments in research and treatment development. It helps cut through unnecessary regulations that could hinder the development of cures, while also protecting safety.’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today regarding the Senate’s upcoming final vote of  the 21st Century Cures bill:

“Yesterday, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to take the next step to pass the 21st Century Cures bill, bipartisan legislation to bolster medical innovation.

“This legislation promotes critical investments in research and treatment development.

“It helps cut through unnecessary regulations that could hinder the development of cures, while also protecting safety.

“And it builds upon the progress of innovative therapies and regenerative medicine.

“This legislation puts patients first. It helps strengthen the kind of research and treatments needed to cure the most devastating diseases. And it includes provisions to help enhance mental health programs and to provide funding to help fight opioid abuse. 

“I’ve heard from health professionals across my state who’ve expressed the impact this legislation can make, from the Kentucky Hospital Association to the University of Kentucky — our state’s largest research university. 

“This bill, UK’s President says, reflects the ‘growing support from Congress for increased investment in research that addresses the compelling questions of our day.’

“I am pleased to welcome President Capilouto to the Capitol this morning.

“Cures is one example, he says, of how the university will be better equipped ‘to improve the lives of those in the Commonwealth.’

“We know this bill wouldn’t have been possible without Chairman Alexander’s ceaseless efforts alongside Ranking Member Murray to drive it forward. We thank them both, as well as members like Senator Cornyn, Senator Hatch, and Senator Cassidy, who’ve all endeavored to make this bill the strongest it can be.

“I also want to recognize my friend, Vice President Biden, who joined us yesterday for his efforts to include his Cancer Moonshot initiative in the package. This is an issue that hits close to home for the Vice President, and he’s been a leading voice in supporting efforts to strengthen cancer research and find a cure.

“I am pleased that we'll pass this legislation soon so that we can begin to put its provisions to work on behalf of American families.

“I’ve spoken with the Speaker on a number of occasions about an issue facing coal miner retirees like those I represent in Kentucky, and have insisted that the CR include a provision to address that issue so these retirees don’t lose their health benefits at the end of the year.

“We hope to have a final bill to share with members soon, and we look forward to turning to it as soon as possible after House action.

“But I will have more to say on that later.

“We’re also working to wrap up a number of conference reports, including for the defense authorization bill and the water resources development bill.

“Last night, I took the next step on the defense conference report so that we can pass it this week.

“This legislation will provide more of the tools servicemembers need to take on national security challenges, help strengthen our military posture, and support our men and women in uniform with the benefits and pay raises they’ve earned.

“I hope the Senate will also take the next step soon on the Water Development Resources conference report.

“This water resources conference report will invest in our nation’s waterways infrastructure, enhance commerce, and support safe and reliable water sources to prevent future situations like the one we saw in Flint, Michigan. To that point, this bill also includes assistance for families like those in Flint who’ve already been impacted by lead poisoning.”

Related Issues: Health Care, Coal, Infrastructure, NDAA, National Security