Rep. Chip Roy (TX-21) issued the following statement Thursday morning regarding his Wednesday vote on H.R. 3537, the “Accelerating Access to Critical Therapies for ALS Act.”
ALS is a tragic, terrible disease. Seven years ago this month, in December of 2014, I interviewed a wonderful, brilliant lawyer in Austin, Texas at a coffee shop en route to hiring her to work for us at the Office of the Attorney General. In 2017, I attended her funeral after she was hit hard by ALS. It was devastating for all of us who knew her, but none more than her daughter, of whom my friend was so proud; but she was also thankful in her late months that her daughter was adopted, because there was no genetic concern that her daughter would likely get ALS.
I hate this illness, and I think our nation can and should do more — collectively — to fight it. Typically, the individuals affected by ALS — tragically — do not survive long enough to make for a strong enough market for drug companies to run trials and tests for effective medicines. This is the kind of area where a combination of philanthropy and government funding can appropriately work to stand in the gap to try to help our fellow citizens, while remaining subject to constitutional limitations and constraints.
This week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on a well-meaning bill that would authorize $100 million a year of additional spending to increase access to important potential treatments for ALS patients. I support that goal. However, as usual, this was a new $500 million over 5 years that was not paid for. I therefore could not vote for the measure in good conscience, despite believing strongly in the underlying objective.
The simple fact of the matter is this: The United States is very blessed; but decades of irresponsible leadership, now accelerating at historic and unsustainable rates, has placed our nation in peril and demands a new era of spending accountability. It can do us simply no good as a people to borrow and print money to pay for programs and policies like ALS research and therapies if there is no Republic remaining to see them through to fruition.
We are rapidly approaching $30 trillion in national debt, and our nation’s leaders on both sides of the aisle are irresponsibly stepping on the gas in regard to spending. Inflation is now rampant, our dollar is going to weaken, and we are going to risk — not just financial, but moral — collapse by spending money without making tough choices. Enough. For the good of all who love this country – including those affected by ALS, Cancer, and countless other terrible diseases – we must say enough of this broken and irresponsible way of doing things in Washington.
I certainly will continue to look for ways to help all those impacted by ALS and myriad other terrible diseases provided that we do our job to do it the right way.