WASHINGTON (WBBM) — U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin is urging voters to write letters to their congressmen and tell them to leave the funding for medical research alone.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Michele Fiore reports, Durbin says newly elected lawmakers originally intended to take $60 billion out of President Obama’s budget, and it seems they could have done so without cuts on medical research.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Michelle Fiore Reports

But then, Republican lawmakers decided to cut even more.

“Unfortunately, the cuts became, I think, totally unreasonable when they tried to reach their $100 billion goal,” Durbin said. “I think at the end of the day, they are not only going to fail to reduce our deficit, they are going to at least limit – if not cripple – our economy in some areas, and it will be harder for us to get out of this recession.”

Durbin says it’s next to impossible to reduce federal funding of the National Institutes of Health without compromising the quality of medical research on cancer and AIDS.

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