Jun. 29, 2017

Advocates Earn Significant Victory for Lupus Research

A Department of Defense (DoD) Appropriations bill that includes $5 million in funding for the Lupus Research Program in 2018 was just passed today by the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee. 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. 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.

During the Foundation’s advocacy day this week, our lupus activists visited more than 200 Congressional offices 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. Lupus advocates’ year-round grassroots efforts made a significant impact on the Committee’s decision to continue funding for the Lupus Research Program.

We also 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) and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) for championing this funding increase for lupus research.

For a historical timeline of our more than decade-long advocacy work to establish the Lupus Research Program at the DoD, please visit our 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. Please follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up to become a lupus activist to stay up-to-date on the latest news from Washington and to learn when your outreach to Congress can make the most impact in the fight against lupus.