Source: Queens Gazette: I On Politics

By John Toscano

Congress Member Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) asked Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar how he plans to use the Centers 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 May 15 letter to Secretary 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.’”

However, there has been no indication of when the research will begin, what kind of research will be conducted, and when the results will be available to the public, Maloney noted during a May 19 rally where she, joined by gun safety advocates and researchers at Lenox Hill Hospital again called on Azar to direct the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) to immediately begin research into how we can combat and reduce gun violence research.

“In the meantime, hundreds more people have been killed or wounded by guns and there was another school shooting in Texas just yesterday. It is time for the CDC to do what it does best so we can have the tools we need to start fighting back,” said Maloney.

In her letter, Maloney also asked how does the CDC plan to exercise its authority to use this increase in funds relating to gun violence research and prevention; and “how and when do you plan to make the results of this gun violence research available to the public?”

Specifically Maloney stated, “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.”

Maloney supported the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 and has since pushed several key bills, to crack down on gun violence by making gun trafficking a federal crime, allowing federal public health agencies to conduct research into gun safety, closing the gun show loophole, supporting innovative “smart gun” technology, and to strengthen the NICS review system to keep guns out of the hands of those we have determined should not own them. She has also cosponsored legislation to require universal background checks, limit the number of rounds in magazine clips, and renew the expired assault weapons ban.

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