House Passes Defense Appropriations Bill with $5 Million for Lupus Research Program
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Fiscal Year 2017 Department of Defense appropriations bill that includes $5 million to create a lupus-specific research program within the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) at the Department of Defense (DoD).
"This critical vote brings us one step closer to establishing a research program at the Department of Defense that will be dedicated to solving the cruel mystery of lupus, identifying what causes the disease, and finding new treatments that can improve the lives of our military heroes with lupus and all Americans living with the debilitating disease,” said Sandra C. Raymond, President and CEO of the Lupus Foundation of America. “We are grateful to all lupus advocates and our Congressional champions who have supported this bill, particularly 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) – and the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee.”
For more than a decade, the Foundation has led the effort to secure new funding for a lupus-specific research program at the DoD, including testifying before the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, authoring a white paper describing the connection between military service and the development of lupus, spearheading the establishment of the Congressional Lupus Caucus and leading many other initiatives designed to build support in Congress for a lupus-specific research program at the DoD.
The bill now heads to the Senate for that chamber’s consideration. As the legislative process moves forward, the Foundation will continue to work to ensure the bill clears the Senate and is enacted into law. Creating a lupus-specific research program at the DoD is a top priority and one that will build on the Foundation’s advocacy efforts to increase funding for lupus research. The Foundation will continue to provide updates on this important issue as they become available.