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You Spoke and Congress Listened -- Now They Are Taking Action!

Remember back in March we opted to visit the Hill virtually so we could protect our lupus community from exposure to COVID-19? Instead of knocking on doors, we made endless phone calls and sent hundreds of emails. Now’s the time for Congress to act on our three requests as members are considering the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget. To ensure the greatest allocation of funds and attention to lupus research, we asked Congress to:

  • Allocate $10 Million in Funding to Continue Building the Lupus Research Program at the Department of Defense
    Given the need for more lupus research plus the rising numbers of women treated at military health facilities, we requested that Congress maintain its investment and provide $10 million for the Lupus Research Program operated under the Defense Health Program.

Status Update as of July 13, 2020
Last year, due to your advocacy efforts, we successfully doubled funding for the Lupus Research Program operated under the Department of Defense from $5 million to $10 million. This year, with tighter caps on spending and greater demands across the federal budget, our goal has been to protect this increased funding. Today, we took our first step on that long journey.

We are pleased to report that the Fiscal Year 2021 House Defense Appropriations report was made public, and it includes LRA’s request to preserve $10 million in funding for the Lupus Research Program.

  • Increase Funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
    To provide at least $44.7 billion to the NIH in Fiscal Year 2021 to fund the research needed to fight lupus and other diseases, and to catch up on years of lowered funding to the NIH.

Status Update as of July 13, 2020
The House Appropriations Subcommittee bill provides a total of $47 billion – even more than we requested — for the National Institutes of Health, an increase of $5.5 billion above what was passed in Fiscal Year 2020. The bill provides $42 billion in annual appropriations, an increase of $500 million above the 2020 enacted level and $8.6 billion above the President’s budget request, as well as $5 billion in emergency appropriations. 

The bill increases funding for each Institute and Center within the National Institutes of Health by no less than 7 percent to support a wide range of critical research on diseases and conditions that affect individuals and families all over the world.

 

  • Increase Funding for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by $120 M
    FDA helps the pharmaceutical industry innovate and develop new treatments — and hopefully one day a cure — for diseases like lupus. That is why we requested that Congress provide a $120 million increase in FDA’s budget authority.

Status Update as of July 13, 2020
TBD

There are many steps to go before the 2021 budget is signed into law. Check back regularly to watch the progress of this important bill that will help make possible the scientific work needed to deliver new treatments and a cure for lupus.

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