Sep. 26, 2018

House Sends Lupus Research Funding to President’s Desk

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a spending package that includes more than $14 million in funding for lupus-specific research and education programs, and a $2 billion increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the largest funder of lupus research. The package was passed by the Senate last week, and now heads to the desk of President Donald J. Trump, who is expected to sign it into law before the end of the week.

The approved spending package combined the Fiscal Year 2019 Department of Defense (DoD) Appropriations bill with the Fiscal Year 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) Appropriations bill. The legislation includes:

$7.5 million for the National Lupus Patient Registry Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a $1 million increase from 2018 funding!
$5 million for the Lupus Research Program at the Department of Defense;
$39.1 billion for the NIH, which is expected to provide nearly $110 million for lupus research;
$2 million for the Office of Minority Health’s National Health Education Lupus Program. 

The Foundation and its advocates were instrumental in establishing the National Lupus Patient Registry at the CDC, and with this year’s $1 million increase, Congress continues to recognize the program’s critical role in learning more about the impacts of lupus on the 1.5 million Americans living with the disease. Congress has now provided more than $63 million for the Registry since it was established in 2003.

With the passage of this legislation, the Lupus Research Program at the DoD will now have dedicated $15 million to lupus research in the three fiscal years since it was established by Congress in 2017. The Lupus Research Program funds high-impact research to identify the causes of lupus and accelerate the search for more treatments for the disease. Learn more about the type of research the DoD is funding and to see the history of the Foundation’s advocacy for the program.

Thank you to our national network of lupus advocates for contacting your representatives throughout the year and urging them to support this critical funding for lupus research. You are leading the fight against lupus!

The Foundation would also like to recognize the Congressional Lupus Caucus in the House of Representatives for their leadership in building support for these programs among their colleagues on Capitol Hill, and specifically Caucus co-chairs, Representatives Tom Rooney (R-FL), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Bill Keating (D-MA) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX). Additionally, thank you to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ).

As the appropriations process continues, sign up to become a lupus advocate to know when your outreach to Congress can make a difference.