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Advocacy Update - February 28, 2011
03.01.11

February 28, 2011

House Two-Week Spending Bill Includes Major Spending Cuts
As you know, the Federal government is operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR), as Congress has not passed any of the appropriations bills for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011.   The current CR expires on March 4.  If Congress does not reach an agreement prior to that time, many functions of the Federal government would be curtailed.

House Republicans have proposed a temporary measure that appears to be gaining bipartisan support.  Under the proposal, the CR would be extended until March 18.  The measure would maintain current funding levels for most programs until that time.  However, the proposal also includes an immediate cut of $4 billion in FY 2011 spending.   Of that amount, approximately $1.2 billion would be from cuts in programs identified in the President's 2012 budget request for reductions or eliminations.   Furthermore, the temporary spending proposal would revoke $2.7 billion in Congressional "earmarks" requested by individual lawmakers. 

The measure is scheduled to be considered by the House of Representatives beginning March 1.  Assuming the legislation passes in the House, the Senate would then need to approve the measure before it is sent to President Obama for his signature. 

Once the temporary measure is in place, the House and Senate will continue negotiations on appropriations for the remainder of FY 2011.  Earlier this month, the House of Representatives approved a spending bill that cuts overall Federal spending by $61 billion in FY 2011.  This includes a $1.6 billion cut to the National Institutes of Health as well as cuts to cancer-related programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.  Senate Democrats have indicated their opposition to the House GOP proposal and will instead introduce their own proposal. 

Oral Parity Bills Introduced in Various States     
State legislatures across the country are busy debating various issues important to cancer patients.  Many states have already introduced bills concerning orally administered anticancer medications.  It is imperative that all cancer patients have access to the treatments recommended by their physicians and the IMF believes that patients should not suffer from cost discrimination based on the type of therapy provided or the mechanism for the delivery of that therapy.  To find out what’s going on in your state, please visit the IMF Advocacy Action Center at www.advocacy.myeloma.org

For more information about the legislation listed above or any other IMF advocacy initiative, contact IMF’s Director of Government Relations, Christine Murphy at cmurphy@myeloma.org or 703-738-1498.


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