Rep. Levin Hosts Roundtable to Bring Attention to Medical Research

May 14, 2015

Rep. Levin Hosts Roundtable to Bring Attention to Medical Research

On May 6, Rep. Levin met with researchers and doctors from some of Michigan’s major health systems, as well as with advocates for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, ALS, Cystic Fibrosis, juvenile diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis to discuss the importance of supporting medical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  The NIH is the largest source of funding for medical research in the world.  Yet despite its significant work, NIH funding has been flat or in decline for more than a decade, with no reprieve in sight.

Earlier this month, Congress passed a budget blueprint for 2016 along party lines.  This misguided bill calls for deep cuts in domestic spending; as a result, House Republicans plan to reduce the amount of money available for health, labor and education programs by $3 billion.  The House and Senate will spend the next few months debating which specific programs receive cuts.  Underfunding our nation’s hub for medical research has negative and potentially long lasting impact on our nation’s health and ability to produce medical innovation.

Lawmakers Introduce Raise the Wage Act

Rep. Levin has joined 160 other House members in introducing the Raise the Wage Act [H.R. 2150] which proposes to gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $12.00 by 2020.  Since the minimum wage reached $7.25 six years ago in 2009, the minimum wage has not kept pace with inflation or the growth in the median wage, resulting in low-wage workers continuing to fall behind.

If passed, H.R. 2150 would benefit 37 million -- or one in four -- workers.  Putting more money in to the pockets of low-wage workers stimulates consumer demand and strengthens the economy for all Americans.

Rep. Levin and Local Letter Carriers Team up to Stamp Out Hunger

On May 9, Rep. Levin joined local letter carriers who were participating in the 23rd annual National Association of Letter Carriers “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive.  Rep. Levin visited the Sterling Heights Post Office, and then accompanied a letter carrier on a postal route in the city, and walked house-to-house collecting food donated by residents left at their doorstep.  

The event is the nation’s largest single-day food drive, and is held annually on the secondSaturday in May in 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states.  Hunger affects about 49 million people around the country, including millions of children and senior citizens.  Rep. Levin has been a leading advocate on food insecurity issues in Congress.

First Quarter of 2015 was the Warmest on Record

While Michigan and much of the Eastern United States endured a much colder than normal winter, the Earth as a whole had its warmest first quarter of the year on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Temperature records date back to 1880.

The global temperature for the first three months of 2015 was 1.48 degrees above the 20th century average.  While this doesn’t sound like a lot, the cumulative effect of the long-term warming is becoming more pronounced, most noticeably at the North Pole where the polar ice cap is shrinking and the Arctic permafrost is thawing.  Nine of the ten warmest years on record have occurred since 2000.  The vast majority of climate scientists link this warming trend to rising concentrations of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere.  For more information, click here.