A weekly advocacy message from Mary Woolley: Crunch time

Mary Woolley

I am sending my letter early this Thursday to give readers who support the NIH and FDA funding in the 21st Century Cures Act -- most of you, based on the emails and calls I’ve been receiving -- a little more time to take action.  The House is slated to vote on the 21st Century Cures Act (HR 6) tomorrow.  As part of the process they will first vote on amendments, including one offered by Congressman Dave Brat (R-VA-07) to eliminate the $8.75 billion in mandatory funding for NIH and $550 million for FDA.  
I can’t stress the importance of stopping this amendment strongly enough: opportunities like this to fund significantly more research do not present themselves often.This is $8.75 billion for NIH and $550 million for FDA.  Please help secure this funding.  Call your representative right now. You can reach him or her by calling (202) 224-3121.  Even if you simply say:  “I want my representative in Congress to fight for patients.  Please vote against the Brat amendment and vote for HR 6,” that’s enough. Or click here to send an email.  Prefer to use Twitter? Find your representative’s Twitter handle here, and don’t forget to include the hashtag #Cures2015 in your tweet.

One excellent example of advocacy is The Huffington Post blog post written by journalist Katie Couric, Research!America board member and former FDA commissioner Mark McClellan, and Research!America member organization Friends of Cancer Research chairperson and founder Ellen Sigal. In your messages to Congress you might consider including links to articles such as this one to help support your argument.

Some good news on the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act: the Senate Commerce Committee has designated a bipartisan team, Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Gary Peters (D-MI), to gather input from the science and technology community and other stakeholders before making any decisions regarding the future of the National Science Foundation. Read this week’s op-ed from Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Senator Gardner here. For more information, click here for the press release and send your comments to sciencepolicy@senate.commerce.gov.

Sometimes a little inspiration helps one put pen to paper.  I wrote this LTE not only in response to Senator Klobuchar’s (D-MN) terrific commentary about the American Cures Act, but also powered by the urgency and sense of hope expressed by the many, many Research!America members who have weighed in over the past few months on the 21st Century Cures Act.  My job is to advocate; I know yours pulls you in a million other directions.  So I thank you in advance for taking time to speak out today. 

Mary Woolley

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The capabilities are enormous, a little bit of research can pay off quite a bit in the long run.
Paul D’ Addario, retinitis pigmentosa patient