Jun. 29, 2017

House Appropriations Bill Includes Additional $5 Million for Lupus Research

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee passed the Fiscal Year 2018 Department of Defense (DoD) Appropriations bill, which includes $5 million in funding for the Lupus Research Program at the DoD in 2018. This funding is in addition to the $5 million that Congress provided earlier this year for 2017.

The additional funding for the Lupus Research Program brings the two-year total for the program to $10 million and comes just two days after the Lupus Foundation of America’s (Foundation) National Policy Summit and advocacy day on Capitol Hill.

During the Foundation’s advocacy day, activists visited over 200 Congressional offices. As those activists were meeting with Members of Congress, thousands of others from 49 different states participated in the Foundation’s Virtual Advocacy Day and sent over 5,500 emails reaching nearly 400 U.S. Representatives and 98 U.S. Senators, all in an effort to urge their Members of Congress to increase funding for lupus research and ensure access to quality health care.

“It’s clear that the tremendous efforts of our lupus activists, this week and throughout the year, have had a significant impact on the Committee’s decision to continue funding for the Lupus Research Program,”
said Sandra C. Raymond, President and CEO of the Lupus Foundation of America.

"This funding is critical to the fight against lupus as it will help us learn what causes lupus and can advance the development of new treatments for our military heroes and the 1.5 million Americans living with the disease. We thank the leaders of the House Appropriations Committee, including Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), and the Congressional Lupus Caucus Co-Chairs – Rep. Thomas J. Rooney (R-FL), Rep. William Keating (D-MA), Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) for championing this funding increase for lupus research. Of course, none of this would be possible without lupus activists making their voices heard."

Beginning in 2003, the Lupus Foundation of America has led the effort to establish a lupus-specific research program at the DoD. A historical timeline of the Foundation’s advocacy to establish the Lupus Research Program can be found on its website.

Next Steps
The bill now moves to the House floor for a vote. The Senate has yet to act on its version of the legislation, which is expected later this year.