|Congress is currently working to finalize the FY11 appropriations process in the closing days of the lame duck session. Last week, the House of Representatives passed a "Continuing Resolution (CR)" that funds most departments, agencies and programs of the Federal government at current FY10 levels through the end of FY11 (Sept. 30, 2011). Of specific interest to the SADS Foundation, the Continuing Resolution level-funds existing institutes and centers at the National Institutes of Health and provides $25 million in new funding to support the Cures Acceleration Network (CAN). CAN is a new NIH program established in the health reform bill designed to speed the translation of basic biomedical research findings into better clinical treatments and cures.|
The Senate has not taken up the House-passed CR. Instead, Senate Democrats yesterday released an "omnibus" appropriations package for FY11. This legislation contains all 12 unfinished FY11 appropriations bills, including the bill that funds the NIH. The omnibus package provides a $750 million increase for the NIH. Included in this increase is $50 million for the Cures Acceleration Network.
In the next few days, Senate Democratic leaders will attempt to pass the omnibus bill on the Senate floor. It is unclear at this time if they have the votes to secure passage. If the bill fails to advance, then the Senate will likely approve the House-passed Continuing Resolution. That would result in level funding for the NIH in FY11. If the Senate does pass the omnibus bill, then it will go to the House for consideration. Passage of the omnibus bill is a preferable outcome for NIH advocates as it provides a $750 million increase in funding for much needed biomedical research.
Contact your two senators today and ask them to support an increase of $750 million for the NIH as called for in the Senate omnibus appropriations bill. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and they can connect you to the appropriate office.
Tips for calling senate offices..............
1) Be prepared to leave a brief (60-90 second) voicemail explaining that you are calling in support of increased funding for the National Institutes of Health in FY11.
2) Identify yourself as a patient or family member of a SADS patient and a member of The SADS Foundation and ask to speak with the senator's healthcare legislative assistant.
3) When connected to the healthcare legislative assistant (or his/her voicemail), explain that hope for a better future for patients and families living with SADS conditions lies in biomedical research supported by the NIH.
4) Ask that the senator support an increase of $750 million (2.4%) for the NIH in FY11, as called for in the Senate omnibus appropriations bill.
Calling works best, but if you would prefer, you may also e-mail senate offices. You may find information for your senators at www.congress.org by entering your zip code in the box on the right-hand side of the page.
Alice, Laura, Joanne, Sarah, Adrienne and Amy
The SADS Foundation
P.S. Thanks for taking action! Please let us know who you contacted by emailing Adrienne@sads.org or replying to this email.