U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) was in the Midstate Monday trying to raise awareness for a bill to increase funding for Alzheimer’s disease.
Inside Harrisburg University, Toomey spent the afternoon with those passionate about finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
Toomey co-sponsors a bill that would raise funding through an Alzheimer’s postage stamp. Since 1998, a breast cancer stamps have raised more than $75 million, according to Toomey.
Toomey said less than two percent of the National Institute of Health’s budget goes toward the debilitating disease, not enough in his eyes.
In January, an Alzheimer's Association article stated the government allocated $566 million towards research, $122 million more than 2013. The funding source was included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act in 2013 and 2014.
According to Congressional voting records, Toomey voted against both of these acts.
When asked, Toomey explained the Alzheimer’s funding was a fraction of the overall “trillion-dollar, thousand-page” document that comes at the end of the year when the federal government has little money left.
"Sometimes it's not available to be read, it is not subject to amendment and there's no real debate on it. It's an up or down vote,” he said. "I'm not going to be a part of a process that grossly mismanages the government as these bills do."
The senator said he would like reform this process so funding avenues as important as Alzheimer’s research are not buried in bureaucracy.
Toomey said his bill would require the NIH to directly budget various programs intended to gain from sales of the postage stamp.