Thursday, November 15, 2007

New Funding Source for MS Research

Unfortunately, Bush vetoed the FY 2008 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill (H.R. 3043) on Tuesday. The president's action against the health and education funding was not surprising, as he had repeatedly vowed to veto the bill. But the result is still disappointing. This bill would have provided a 3.1% increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including MS research, and a 6% increase for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In addition, Congress had incorporated nearly $4 million in funding in the bill for the development of a comprehensive MS center at West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va. And it included $2 million for state respite care grants authorized by the Lifespan Respite Care Act (which MS activists helped pass last year).

But here's some good news!

MS Activism Success — New Defense Funding Available for MS Research
(via MSActivist Blog)

For the first time ever, multiple sclerosis research will be eligible for funding under the Department of Defense (DoD). Congress has listed MS as a research area eligible for funding under the DoD's Peer Reviewed Medical Research Programs (PRMRP). PRMRP is a sister program to the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) under DoD that we've been working toward all year. This program has a budget of $50 million that can only be spent on research areas that Congress directs. It is a new and untapped funding source for MS research, and will complement the work that NIH is doing to move us closer to a world free of MS. The PRMRP was established in 1999 and continues to fulfill its Congressional intent by funding research of clear scientific merit with relevance to the health of the military and the American public. PRMRP Congressional appropriations have totaled $344.5 million through 2006 and funded 247 projects in more than 60 topic areas. While this program is not the exact line item we asked for, it is a significant gain in our effort to expand research funding for MS in the federal arena. The National MS Society continues to carefully watch emerging evidence from Veterans' Affairs researchers and others that might point to an increased risk of MS among combat veterans. More research must be conducted to better understand a potential environmental trigger. The Defense Appropriations (H.R. 3222) funding bill was signed by the President on November 13, 2007. As the program is implemented, we will let you know how researchers and others can apply for this funding. Thank you again for all your hard work and MS activism on this issue. We will need your voice again next year.

U.S. Representatives Leading the Congressional MS Caucus

Russ Carnahan (D-MO)
Michael Burgess (R-TX)

Members (as of 11/13/07)
Neil Abercrombie (D-HI)
Tom Allen (D-ME)
Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Marion Berry (D- AR)
Brian Bilbray (R-CA)
Leonard Boswell (D-IA)
Lois Capps (D-CA)
Mike Castle (R-DE)
Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO)
Tom Cole (R-OK)
Barbara Cubin (R-WY)
Susan Davis (D-CA)
Diana DeGette (D-CO)
Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)
Keith Ellison (D-MN)
Bob Filner (D-CA)
Randy Forbes (R-VA)
Virgil Goode (R-VA)
Bart Gordon (D-TN)
Gene Green (D-TX)
Tim Holden (D-PA)
Darrell Issa (R-CA)
Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)
Patrick Kennedy (D-RI)
Peter King (R-NY)
Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Frank Lobiondo (R-NJ)
Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
Edward Markey (D-MA)
Jim Marshall (D-GA)
Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI)
Jim McDermott (D-WA)
Jim McGovern (D-MA)
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
Michael Michaud (D-ME)
Dennis Moore (D-KS)
Tim Murphy (R-PA)
Grace Napolitano (D-CA)
James Oberstar (D-MN)
Donald Payne (D-NJ)
Collin Peterson (D-MN)
Chip Pickering (R-MS)
Todd Platts (R-PA)
David Price (D-NC)
Deborah Pryce (R-OH)
Adam Putnam (R-FL)
Dave Reichert (R-WA)
Rick Renzi (R-AZ)
Tom Reynolds (R-NY)
Steve Rothman (D-NJ)
Pete Sessions (R-TX)
John Shadegg (R-AZ)
Christopher Shays (R-CT)
Adam Smith (D-WA)
Vic Snyder (D-AR)
Patrick Tiberi (R-OH)
Fred Upton (R-MI)
Henry Waxman (D-CA)
Peter Welch (D-VT)

(hattip and thanks to MSActivist Blog)

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