Congress Approves Nearly $19 Million in Lupus Funding
Year-round efforts of Lupus Foundation of America advocates lead to increased funding levels for lupus research and education.
UPDATE: On December 19, the U.S. Senate approved the two spending packages detailed below. The bills now head to the president, who is expected to sign them into law before current government funding expires on December 20. Stay tuned to our social media channels for continued updates.
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives took action and passed two funding packages that will provide nearly $19 million in new funding for lupus-specific programs as well as a significant boost in funding for the National Institutes of Health, the largest funding source for lupus research.
Last night, the House and Senate released details about these spending packages which are part of a budget agreement they reached to continue funding government programs for fiscal year (FY) 2020. The spending packages are expected to pass the Senate and be sent to the president for his signature before the end of the week. The packages include all of the funding that we advocated for on Capitol Hill this year:
- $8.5 million for the National Lupus Patient Registry at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a $1 million increase over FY 2019. This marks the second consecutive fiscal year that Congress has increased funding for this critical program!
- $10 million for the Lupus Research Program at the Department of Defense (DoD), a doubling of funding over FY 2019. The Lupus Foundation of America and its network of lupus advocates led the work to establish the DoD Lupus Research Program.
- $58.7 million for the Office of Minority Health (OMH), including a congressionally-mandated $250,000 increase specifically for their lupus program. This increase is in addition to the amount OMH already allocates to their lupus program, typically around $2 million per year;
- $41.7 billion for the National Institutes of Health, an increase of $2.6 billion over FY 2019.
As always, we are extremely grateful to the Congressional Lupus Caucus and its cochairs, Representatives Bill Keating (D-MA), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), and Peter King (R-NY), as well as the leaders of the Appropriations Committee in the House and Senate, Senators Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Representatives Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Kay Granger (R-TX), for their commitment to lupus research and education.
Most importantly, thank you to every lupus advocate who made their voice heard over the past year - without your passion and commitment, this victory would not have been possible.
Stay tuned to our social media pages for updates as this package moves through the Senate and heads to the president's desk.
To be a part of the next lupus advocacy victory, register to attend the 2020 National Lupus Advocacy Summit, which will be held March 15-17 in Washington, DC. Reserve your seat today and help make history in the fight against lupus! Limited scholarships are available.