by David Miller,
Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Senate voted on June 20 against an effort to pass the so-called “rescission package,” which would have slashed the fund that is supposed to pay for construction of Cincinnati’s new NIOSH facility by half. The rescission package would have taken back federal dollars intended for a wide range of projects and programs – including Cincinnati’s NIOSH construction – in order to pay for the $1 trillion deficit created by Republican tax cuts. With U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) opposition, the package failed on the floor by a vote of 48-50.
“We made a commitment to Cincinnati, and we shouldn’t be putting southwest Ohio jobs and economic development at risk to pay for tax cuts that benefit companies shipping American jobs overseas,” said Brown.
In May, Brown called on the Administration to tell Ohio how it will keep its commitment to move forward with the NIOSH project after the fund is cut.
In 2015, Brown helped secure $110 million in federal funds to advance construction and site consolidation for NIOSH’s new facility in Cincinnati.That money is supposed to come from the nonrecurring expense fund (NEF) at the Department of Health and Human Services, which currently has about $500 million for NIOSH and other projects.
Brown’s office said he had worked to protect that fund from cuts for years in order to ensure the NIOSH construction continues moving forward. And up until now, the project had been proceeding on schedule. In fact, the CDC recently solicited bids for a design-build contract. The Administration’s rescission package would take $220 million away from the nonrecurring expense fund – cutting he fund by about half and threatening the future of the project, according to a statement issued by Brown.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) voted for the rescission package.
As part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NIOSH is responsible for conducting research and making recommendations to prevent work-related injury and illness. The NIOSH facilities in Cincinnati employ more than 500.
The new construction project is intended to consolidate NIOSH’s Cincinnati facilities into one central location to improve and enhance scientific collaboration, as employees conduct research and make recommendations to prevent work-related injury and illness. The funding will also ensure that there are appropriate and adequate research facilities for NIOSH’s scientific program and will reduce operating costs by consolidating multiple campuses.