A Weekly Advocacy Message from Mary Woolley: Happenings in and out of Washington


Dear Research Advocate:

I am writing a day early this week since all of us at Research!America will be engaged in our programs tomorrow. If you haven’€™t registered for the National Health Research Forum, there is still time to join us! More details here.

Congress is back in town. The House will soon consider a simple, short-term continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government through early December. (Nobody wants a repeat of last year’€™s government shutdown at the beginning of the new fiscal year, October 1.) To offset funding requested by the Administration to help meet the Ebola crisis, as well as to adjust for certain other ’€œanomalies,’€ the CR bill includes a 0.0556% across-the-board spending cut. There may be modest negotiations, but this or a very similar CR is likely to easily pass both Houses shortly. After the election, it will be important to vocally support the efforts of Appropriations Committee Chairs Mikulski (D-Md.) and Rogers (R-Ky.-05) as they seek to complete the FY15 appropriations process with omnibus legislation before the 113th Congress adjourns in December. More on this in future letters.

With your help, the Ask Your Candidates! voter education initiative has been heating up, with more congressional candidates sharing their thoughts on achieving medical progress.  Now that primaries have been held in all but one state, Louisiana, which does not have a congressional primary before the general election, it’€™s time for a full-court press. One thing that helps attract candidate interest is media in their district. A number of newspapers, most recently The Middletown Press, and the Deseret News, have devoted space to connecting the dots between the future of medical research and the November elections. It would be terrific if more stakeholders would make an op-ed or letter-to-the-editor submission to your local paper. We’€™d be glad to help!

Speaking of commentary, American Heart Association CEO and Research!America board member Nancy Brown invited Research!America Board Chair, the Honorable John Porter to weigh in on the imperative of medical research in her recent Huffington Post column. Absolutely worth the read!

Finally, I’€™d like to extend warm congratulations to the 2014 Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation award winners. Their work exemplifies the power of research to change our world for the better.

Mary Woolley

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Without continued support for health research, many of the most promising young scientists, their ideas and a myriad of potentially life-changing scientific breakthroughs will vanish into oblivion.
Paul Marinec, PhD; University of California San Francisco