JDF Washington Report
Vol. II, No. 6, March 5, 1999
JDF Advocates Urge Increased Funding on Capitol HillJDF's Annual Government Day proved to be another incredible success, according to volunteers, Congressional staff and Members of Congress. JDF Advocates from across the country spent three days in Washington to attend intense briefings on public policy issues affecting diabetes research and to conduct personal visits on Capitol Hill with Members and staff. The volunteers communicated JDFs messages and requests about the following issues:
- Sought $827 million for diabetes research in FY 2000 based on the recent release of the congressionally mandated Diabetes Research Working Group report. See the JDF website for a full summary.
- Maintain the momentum established last year to double the NIH budget 15% each year for 5 years (despite the President's request for an unacceptable 2% increase for NIH this year). Go to http://www.jdfcure.org/advocacy/wr23.
- Support the recent HHS decision to permit federal funding for STEM CELL research in the quest to find a cure for diabetes. Go to http://www.jdfcure.org/advocacy/melton011299.
- Ask Members to join Representatives George R. Nethercutt, Jr. (R-WA) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) who co-chair the Congressional Diabetes Caucus in signing a letter to Labor/HHS/Education Subcommittee Chairman John Porter (R-IL) to show support for a diabetes research budget of $827 million. Currently there are 145 signatures from House Members (see story below).
- Ask Members to join the Congressional Diabetes Caucus which currently boasts 218 members a majority in the House! Go to http://www.house.gov/nethercutt/membership.htm to view an updated list and to read about upcoming events for the Caucus.
- Request that Members join Senators Specter (R-PA), Reid (D-NV) and Representatives Nethercutt and DeGette in becoming Honorary Chairmen for JDF's Children's Congress June 20-22, 1999. There are currently over 150 Members who have agreed to become Honorary Chairmen and the numbers continue to grow! See the Children's Congress Web Site http://www.jdfcure.org/promise
JDF advocates were addressed by Dr. Pearl O'Rourke, NIH, on stem cell research and heard from staff from the Congressional Diabetes Caucus. Several volunteers were accompanied by their children and all reported extremely successful and receptive meetings.
If you would like to contact your Congressman or Senator about any of this information, please call the Capitol Hill switchboard at 202/225-3121. To find out the name of your Member of Congress, go to http://www.house.gov/writerep. Keep up the great work!
Congressional Diabetes Caucus Reaches 218 MembersAt press time, the official count for the Congressional Diabetes Caucus just hit 218 members, which is very significant because this number represents a majority of Members in the House of Representatives!
JDF Establishes Nethercutt Family Research GrantDuring JDF's Government Day in Washington, Leah Mullin, Chair, JDF Government Relations Committee presented Diabetes Caucus Co-Chairman George R. Nethercutt, Jr. with the JDF Nethercutt Family Research Grant. Mr. Nethercutt is a former JDF Spokane, Washington Chapter President and has a college-aged daughter with diabetes. Representative Nethercutt attended JDF's Government Day before deciding to run for public office in 1994.
JDF Children's Congress Welcomes Over 150 Members as Honorary ChairmenThe first JDF Children's Congress to be held June 20- 22, 1999 in Washington, DC (see http://www.jdfcure.org/promise) is enjoying widespread support from bipartisan Members of the House and Senate. Chaired by Senators Arlen Specter (R-PA), Harry Reid (D-NV) and Representatives George R. Nethercutt, Jr. and Diana DeGette, hundreds of Congressional leaders and voicing their support for finding a cure for diabetes through the support of research by lending their names to this effort. Senators Specter and Reid will hold a hearing on June 22 to discuss the future of diabetes research and children joined by JDF International Chairman Mary Tyler Moore.
Letter to Chairman Porter Gains Momentum for Funding 145 SignaturesCongressional Diabetes Co-Chairs George Nethercutt (R-WA) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) have written a letter to Labor/HHS Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Porter (R-IL) to express their support for the DRWG's request of $827 million for diabetes research at the NIH. Currently, 145 Members of Congress have signed the letter and Representatives continue to call the Caucus to add their names.
The letter reads in part:"Each of us represents approximately 37,000 Americans with diabetes, a disease that dramatically increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, and is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease, new adult blindness, and non-traumatic amputations. Diabetes is one of the nation's most costly diseases...."
"We strongly support the findings of the DRWG and an $827 million budget for diabetes research at NIH in FY As Chairman of the subcommittee that funds NIH, we urge you to make the financial commitment needed to put our nation on track to cure diabetes early in the next century."
Juvenile Diabetes Foundation - Government Relations
1400 I Street, NW #500
Washington, DC 20005
1-800-JDF-1VOTE ex. 5 (800-533-1868)
Posted 7 March 1999
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