Legislation Passed by House Subcommittee Includes Funding for Lupus Research Program
UPDATE: On July 14, the House Committee on Appropriations in the U.S. House of Representatives advanced the fiscal year 2021 Department of Defense funding bill, including $10 million for the Lupus Research Program. The legislation now moves to the full House of Representatives for consideration later this month.
Wednesday evening, the Committee on Appropriations’ Defense Subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives passed their fiscal year 2021 Department of Defense (DOD) Appropriations bill. Moments ago, complete details of the legislation were released, and we are thrilled to report that the Subcommittee has once again included $10 million for the Lupus Research Program at the DOD!
This marks the second consecutive year that the Defense Subcommittee has supported $10 million for the Lupus Research Program, and if enacted into law, it would bring total funding for the Program to $35 million in just five years since it was established in 2017.
After leading the fight to establish a lupus-specific research program through the DOD, the Lupus Foundation of America and lupus advocates have continued to successfully advocate for the Program. Most recently, earlier this year thousands of advocates urged their members of Congress to support $10 million – the exact amount included in this legislation – for the Lupus Research Program as part of the first-ever Digital Lupus Advocacy Summit in March.
While this is only the first step in a long process, it is yet more evidence that the power of lupus advocates on Capitol Hill is unmatched.
We would also like to thank the Congressional Lupus Caucus and its co-chairs, Representatives Bill Keating (D-MA), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Peter King (R-NY). Additionally, we sincerely appreciate the leadership of Defense Subcommittee Chairman Pete Visclosky (D-IN) and Ranking Member Ken Calvert (R-CA) as well as Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-TX).
Update on Other Lupus Priorities
On July 13, the House Committee on Appropriations advanced their fiscal year 2021 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (LHHS) spending bill. The legislation includes funding for several programs and agencies critical to lupus research and education, including::
- $8.5 million for the National Lupus Patient Registry at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC);
- $2 million for the Lupus Program at the Office of Minority Health;
- $47 billion for the National Institutes of Health, the largest public funder of lupus research in the world, an increase of more than $5 billion over 2020.
Both pieces of legislation now move to the full House of Representatives, which is expected to consider the spending bills later this month. The Senate Committee on Appropriations has yet to begin working on their version of either bill.
We need your voice to make sure these critical lupus programs reach the finish line and are funded in 2021 to continue their vital work! Sign up as an advocate to ensure you receive future updates, and check out our 2020 August district meeting campaign to learn how you can meet (virtually) with your members of Congress this summer to urge them to support these programs!