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Esty Blasts Research Cuts In Visit To Danbury's Boehringer Ingelheim

U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty tours Pilot Plant facility at Danbury's Boehringer Ingelheim on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Office of U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty
U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty hosts roundtable with employees at Boehringer Ingelheim in Danbury on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Office of U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty
U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty meets with employees at Boehringer Ingelheim in Danbury on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Office of U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty

DANBURY, Conn. – During a tour of Boehringer Ingelheim’s U.S. headquarters on the Danbury-Ridgefield border Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-5th District)  hosted a roundtable discussion with employees on proposed federal cuts in research funding.

Esty, a member of the Research and Technology Subcommittee of the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, recently opposed the House Republican budget in part because it would gut federal biomedical research and development funding by 24 percent over the next 10 years.

On the tour, Esty heard directly from employees about how federal budget cuts could affect new and existing research initiatives. As Congress continues to debate the budget, Esty said she will bring these stories to Washington to reinforce the importance of strong research funding.

Esty also toured Boehringer Ingelheim’s Pilot Plant Replacement Building, a new research facility unveiled last week that will produce larger quantities of compounds for research and testing and help bring new treatments to market faster. The $65 million building project was part of a larger overall expansion of its U.S. headquarters.

“Through cutting-edge research and innovation, Boehringer Ingelheim is a global leader in life-saving and therapeutic medication,” said Esty.

“It is a staple of the southwest Connecticut community and a trailblazer in biomedical research, demonstrated clearly by their new Pilot Plant. Today, I heard directly from Connecticut workers about the importance of strong, predictable federal research funding and how the federal government can be a better partner in spurring innovation and helping life-saving medication reach families who need it most. ...

"While we need to work towards a smarter, leaner government, drastically gutting these critical investments with across-the-board, indiscriminate cuts moves us in the wrong direction.”

Paul Fonteyne, president and CEO of Boehringer Ingelheim USA, praised the visit.

“We are thrilled to welcome Congresswoman Esty to our campus today to showcase our new, state-of-the-art Pilot Plant facility, and meet with our employees to discuss issues that are critical for our business,” said Fonteyne. “Congresswoman Esty has been a tireless advocate for STEM education, which is vital to the future of our industry and workforce in the state.”

The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Germany, it has 142 affiliates and more than 47,400 employees, including 2,800 people in Connecticut. Its U.S. headquarters was established in Connecticut in 1978.

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