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Advocacy Update - February 15, 2010
President’s Budget Includes Funding Increases and Cuts to Blood Cancer Programs

President’s Budget Includes Funding Increases and Cuts to Blood Cancer Programs

The President’s budget proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2011 was delivered to Congress on February 1st.  The President’s budget reflects the economic climate and an effort to reduce spending. As a result, domestic programs are being squeezed.  While indicating continued support for cancer research, the President’s budget falls short of the commitment needed for cancer prevention and screening.

The President’s budget provides the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with $32 billion which $1 billion more than the FY 2010 appropriated level. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) includes an additional $126 million for a total of $32 billion $5.26 billion in FY 2011.

The cancer programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are cut by $19 million (3.9 percent) under the President’s budget.  The Geraldine Ferraro Blood Cancer Program is eliminated under the President’s Budget.  The Geraldine Ferraro Blood Cancer program received $4.7 million in FY 2010 provides important educational resources that help and support vital patient services as well as helps support community-based organizations that serve a critical role for cancer patients and their families.

The IMF will be working to ensure Congress supports the cancer programs funded through the NIH, NCI, and the CDC. For more information about IMF’s activities, please visit IMF’s advocacy page at www.myeloma.org.

President to Lead Congressional Health Care Summit

President Obama has scheduled a bipartisan congressional health care summit for February 25th in Washington, DC that will be broadcast live on C-SPAN. This meeting is intended to draw more Republican input into health care reform legislation that has been largely directed by Democrats. White House officials have made it clear that the President will not be starting from scratch and that the House and Senate bills would remain an integral part of the legislation. Republican leadership is uncomfortable with the possibility of participating in this meeting without starting over on health care reform and has asked the President to scrap the current House and Senate passed bills as a measure of goodwill.

Congressional Recess

The House and Senate are in recess for Presidents Day.  Both Chambers will resume legislative business on February 22nd. 

Congressional Retirements

A number of Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have announced that they would not be running for reelection in November. This list includes Representatives Marion Berry (D-AR), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), John Shadegg (R-AZ), and Diane Watson (D-CA) as well as Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN).

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