Federal Budget Cuts Could Impact Rockford's Thermo Fisher

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The nation's financial situation is so grim, federal programs are scheduled to have their funding slashed 8-point-two percent across the board. That's set to take effect in January. And the effects of sequestration could be felt in the private sector, including Thermo Fisher Scientific right here in Rockford.

Greg Kilmer is changing the world. As a research scientist at Thermo Fisher, he's giving scientists the tools they need to solve medical mysteries that includes hunting for cancer's cure.

"Cancer research is dear to my heart. I have a lot of people in my family who are fighting cancer, so I think it's really important the government support that," he says.

About 25-percent of Thermo Fisher's revenue comes from the government, mostly the National Institutes of Health. If congress doesn't act, in January the NIH will lose two-point-five billion dollars in funding.

"When it comes to research and development, when it comes to finding cures for cancer and other diseases that are out there, these are things we truly need to invest in, because it truly is an investment," says Congressman Bobby Schilling.

Suzanne Smith is one of nearly 300 people who work at the Rockford location. If Thermo Fisher starts selling fewer products, their jobs could be in jeopardy.

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