WASHINGTON– Democratic Florida Rep. Stephanie Murphy claimed on Twitter Wednesday the House Omnibus spending package will include a provision to authorize the Centers for Disease Control to do research on “gun violence.”
Major Breakthrough: It appears #Omnibus will make it clear CDC can research gun violence – something I’m proud to have led the fight on & worked w/House leaders to get done. It’s a victory for our country & children. Our work to stop gun violence will continue. #DickeyAmendment
— Rep Stephanie Murphy (@RepStephMurphy) March 21, 2018
The measure, however, would not roll back what is known as the Dickey Amendment, named after the late Arkansas Republican Rep. Jay Dickey, who placed a provision into the 1996 funding bill that stated, “None of the funds made available in this title may be used, in whole or in part, to advocate or promote gun control.”
The measure itself does not restrict research on gun violence, Republicans argue. Republican Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie said funding was always there for research on the issue and Democrats are either misinformed or misled on the topic.
“So, for some time the Democrats have been using this worn out talking point but they’ve been either misinformed or they’ve been intentionally misleading people about the Dicky Amendment and what it says,” Massie told TheDC Wednesday.
He continued, “I don’t think they’ve actually read the amendment. The Dickey Amendment says that you can’t use government funding to promote gun control. It doesn’t say that you can do research. In fact, the government has funded research in recent years during Obama.”
He added, “They funded research on gun violence. So, whatever this text is supposedly in the omnibus, it really doesn’t change anything as far as I can tell.”
Massie pointed to numbers from Dr. John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, that research on gun violence has never exceeded three percent of federal funding.
“In other words, no more than three percent of the research on this topic was ever funded by the federal government at a level more than three percent before the Dickey Amendment and after the Dickey Amendment,” Massie said. “It stayed about the same just slightly below 3 percent.”