Today, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI)—joined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and other members of the House and Senate—signed the 21st Century Cures Act, bipartisan legislation to reform our approach to medical research and innovation. With his signature, the bill now goes to the president’s desk to become law. Below are Speaker Ryan’s opening remarks for the enrollment ceremony:
“What a day, and what a moment. I could not think of a better way to end the year than by signing this bill. This is exactly the kind of legislation that we need to be passing. This bill takes head on one of the big challenges we face: curing what today are considered incurable diseases. I don’t have to tell any of you that this moment was a very, very long time coming. And we would not be here if it were not for the tireless, relentless work by so many people that are standing here today like Fred Upton. And now, we have a lot to show for it.
“I just want to say to all those legislators here, fantastic—you guys just did such a good job. Look what we have to show for it: More money for medical research; a streamlined process for approving new drugs and devices. That means millions of patients will get the treatments that they need. I’m talking about people like our good friend over here, Max Schill. Speeding up medical innovation could mean fewer surgeries and less hassle for Max. It could mean millions of Americans get to live longer, healthier lives. If that doesn’t convince you that we need this bill, then I don’t know what will.
“I’d also be remiss if I did not recognize the good work of Congressman Tim Murphy. Tim Murphy, just like everybody else on Cures, worked so hard on getting mental health reform over the finish line—criss-crossing America, listening, doing hearings, talking to people about how to fix these issues. He’s led the charge to bring attention and the resources to mental health issues.
“But all of you have worked very hard to put the patient back in charge. That’s what this is all about. I am so proud of all of the accomplishments of these members, and I simply want to say: Thank you and job well done.”
Today’s ceremony included Max Schill. Max, who was born with a rare disease called Noonan Syndrome, has been a leading advocate for this bipartisan legislation. Max turns 8 next week, and as he wrote on gop.gov, “My birthday wish is that 21st Century Cures will pass and become a law.”