Last ditch effort for US cancer research funding
I spent part of the day over at Orac's place, bitching about our NIH grants being cut even more than they were originally cut when we each got ours. Well, one of my primary scientific organizations, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), just came across with the following e-mail alert.
You can be sure I'll be calling our US Senators tonight and tomorrow. Feel free to join in from your own state should you care to support your local, hardworking cancer researchers:
To: All AACR Members
From: Dr. Margaret Foti, Chief Executive Officer; Dr. William G. Nelson V, Chairperson, Science Policy & Legislative Affairs Committee
Date: Wednesday, March 15, 2006 by e-mail
Re: Please Contact Your Senators TODAY or TOMORROW in Support of the Specter-Harkin Budget Amendment and the Feinstein-Mikulski Amendment
- MAKE CONTACT BY 4:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 16
The President's FY 2007 budget proposal calls for no increase for the National Institutes of Health (which was cut by 0.1% in FY 2006) and for a cut of $40 million for the National Cancer Institute (which was cut 0.7% in FY 2006).
The Senate is taking up the FY 2007 budget today (March 15) and is expected to vote on it by tomorrow afternoon.
Senators Specter and Harkin have proposed an amendment to the Senate Budget Resolution (S. Con. Res. 83) which would add $7 billion above the President's budget request in order to restore funding for the NIH and NCI to FY 2005 levels.
According to Senator Harkin, "This is the decisive vote . . . this is our best, maybe our last real opportunity to change our budget priorities, and if we fail to act we will indeed be cutting into the bone and marrow of our most important programs."
Senators Feinstein and Mikulski have now also introduced a cancer-specific amendment that would increase funding for cancer research and programs by $390 million.
Without an increase in funding by the Budget Committees, the Appropriations Committees will simply be unable to provide more funding for the NIH and NCI than is provided in the President's woefully inadequate FY 2007 budget
AACR urges you to call your Senators between now and Thursday afternoon, March 16th and take the following steps:
Call (202) 225-3121 and ask to be connected to your Senators.
Once connected to the offices, ask to speak with the legislative assistant who handles health care issues (or leave a message).
Request that the Senator vote FOR the SPECTER-HARKIN budget amendment to increase funding for health and education by $7 billion.
Request that the Senator vote FOR the Feinstein-Mikulski budget amendment to increase funding for cancer research and programs by $390 million.
Make it clear that there is no excuse, rationale, or explanation to justify voting against their constituents and approximately 1.5 million Americans who will be diagnosed with cancer this year and the nearly 10 million Americans living with and beyond cancer.
Let them know you will be following the budget process closely and ask them to keep you up to date on what actions they take.
Please ACT by March 16. Thank you for your ACTION to support cancer research.