House of Representatives Approves $17.5 Million in Lupus-Specific Funding
Earlier today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation that will provide $17.5 million in funding for lupus-specific research programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Defense (DoD) in fiscal year 2020. Additionally, the bill provides significant funding increases for the National Institutes of Health and the Office of Minority Health, both of which contribute to lupus research and education.
The legislation passed by the House today combined several appropriations bills previously advanced by the Appropriations Committee, including the fiscal year 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) Appropriations bill and the fiscal year 2020 DoD Appropriations bill.
The legislation approved today maintains the same funding levels for lupus programs that were in the LHHS funding bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee on May 8. This includes:
- $7.5 million for the National Lupus Patient Registry at the CDC, which funds comprehensive studies to identify how common lupus is and identify those at risk.
- $41.1 billion, an increase of $2 billion over 2019, for the National Institutes of Health, the largest funder of lupus research.
- $65 million for the Office of Minority Health, including the National Lupus Outreach and Clinical Trial Education Program, an increase of more than $8 million over 2019.
The legislation passed today by the House provides $10 million for the Lupus Research Program at DoD, a 100% increase over the $5 million it received in fiscal year 2019. The Lupus Research Program funds high-impact research into every aspect of lupus that is advancing the field and will lead to breakthroughs in identifying the causes of lupus and how it can be more effectively treated and diagnosed.
If enacted into law, this additional $10 million would bring total funding for lupus research from the Department of Defense to more than $46 million. To learn more about the Lupus Research Program and the Foundation’s role in creating it, read our earlier post.
As with all of our advocacy victories, this would not be possible without the incredible national network of lupus advocates who have contacted their members of Congress to tell the lupus story and build support on Capitol Hill for these programs. Whether you were one of the more than 350 advocates who joined us for the 2019 National Lupus Advocacy Summit in March, or took action digitally from home, this victory belongs to you – thank you.
The Foundation would also like to thank our champions on the Congressional Lupus Caucus, including co-chairs Bill Keating (D-MA), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), and Peter King (R-NY). The leadership of the Caucus was invaluable in securing funding for all of these programs.
The Senate must still act on their versions of both the LHHS and DoD Appropriations bills. Once they have passed both bills, the Senate and House will convene Conference Committees to resolve the differences in the two bills and prepare versions for final votes in both chambers. To review the legislative process, click here.
As the Appropriations process continues to move forward, we will need advocates to contact their members of Congress in support of these programs – sign up as an advocate to make sure you don’t miss a chance to make your voice heard!