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Businessman Harley Rouda Asserts That “Cutting Science Puts America Last,” Continues to Drive Public Policy Discussion in CA-48 Contest

LAGUNA BEACH, CA – Reacting to Donald Trump’s first budget proposal that gutted investments in vital domestic programs, particularly investments in science and medical research, today Democratic businessman Harley Rouda published an editorial condemning the proposed cuts. Rouda is running to represent California’s 48th Congressional District.

The opinion editorial can be found here on, and is pasted below in its entirety:

America first? Cutting science puts America last!

Whether it’s through groundbreaking medical advancements that give patients hope, technological innovations that propel society forward, or research and development that will prepare us for the challenges of tomorrow, public investment in science saves lives. But now, with Donald Trump’s irresponsible and immoral proposed federal budget cuts, it’s our turn to save science.

Trump’s budget proposal slashes federal funding for disease prevention programs, scientific and medical research, and health insurance for children of the working poor.

For some reason, this administration and its allies in Congress dismiss the importance of investing in this field, as if their healthcare bills, infrastructure packages, and economic stimulus proposals do not rely on the cost benefit analysis established through the scientific method.

This lack of investment in science permeates into all aspects of society. Our nation has already dropped to 25th in science education, trailing countries with far less economic capacity. We’re also poised to miss out on numerous job creation opportunities generated by research and new industries.

The rest of the world – especially China – will proceed at break-neck speed on these opportunities regardless of the US’s antiquated position. Our once-innovative country can either be a leader or a follower.

By removing from the budget imperative scientific funding, health programs that stand to benefit our most vulnerable citizens are now also on the chopping block. Future generations should not have to pay for our preventable mistakes.

If Trump gets his way, the both the CDC and National Institute of Health will lose almost 1/5 of their budget, stymying the development of some our budding medical sectors and according to the CDC director “would increase illness, death, risks to Americans, and health care costs.”

It’s as if Washington Republicans have been living under a rock since 2009. If for example, as much of the science community fears, HHS Secretary Tom Price reverts back to reinstating the federal ban on stem cell funding enacted by the previous Republican administration, it will erase almost a decade of progress, starving this imperative industry as it approaches the pinnacle of influence.

As one of his earliest official acts, President Obama directed funding to reestablish federal outlays for stem cells. And the progress made since speaks for itself.

The more we learn about genetic diseases like cancer and Parkinson’s, the more we realize the true potential of stem cells. Between periphery blood stem cell transplants that facilitate vital cell production, and injections that rebuild damaged brain and heart tissue, we are only beginning to scratch the surface of its life-saving potential.

Most politicians in Washington aren’t scientists or doctors. They should stop acting like experience on Capitol Hill can be a substitute. We should empower our experts to develop cures to chronic diseases that plague our communities, not look for ways to limit them. We need representatives that will fight for their constituents; science should never be subject to such partisan grandstanding.

There is an old saying that people’s reactions to new technologies and innovations can be categorized in three ways: “Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who say, ‘what happened?’” America, let’s be the ones who make it happen.

This latest op-ed comes on the heels of Rouda submitting a letter to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) requesting an investigation into Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s possible ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin following the explosive Washington Post story revealing an audio tape where GOP House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy stated to House Speaker Paul Ryan and others that he, “swear[s] to God” that Russian President Vladimir Putin pays Rohrabacher.

Today’s announcement also follows the release of Rouda’s new, hard-hitting digital video ad , titled “2 Plans,” where he slams incumbent Dana Rohrabacher for backing Trumpcare, also known as the House GOP’s American Health Care Act (AHCA).

Below is a list of recent campaign updates, all of which reflect Rouda’s increasing momentum, including:

Harley Rouda is a successful businessman who has created several successful companies, and now serves on the board of numerous companies in a variety of industries. Rouda received an MBA from The Ohio State University, and a J.D. from Capital University Law School. He lives in Laguna Beach, with his wife Kaira Rouda, a bestselling author. They have four children.

Active in numerous charities and civic organizations over the years, Harley has been involved in fighting homelessness and domestic violence; active with Human Rights Watch; supporting education for the disadvantaged as well as supporting access to higher education; saving military jobs; and working with civic organizations to drive economic development.

The 48th Congressional District is considered a ripe pickup opportunity for Democrats, as Hillary Clinton won the district by 2%. The district is seen as all the more winnable given that Rohrabacher is an unabashed supporter of Russia’s Putin, and is one of Donald Trump’s closest allies in Congress. The 48th Congressional district also had one of the largest swings of any Congressional district in the country from 2012 to 2016, with more than 13 percentage points at the presidential level shifting to Democratic.

Posted on May 30, 2017 in Press Releases.

Washington is in desperate need of real, meaningful, and lasting change.
Our country and our people deserve better.

Meet Harley Rouda