Below are highlights of news and developments in the brain tumor advocacy and public policy, compiled by NBTS Research & Advocacy Manager, Kacey Troy Ribnik:
Appropriations for Medical Research Funding
The Senate Appropriations Committee voted on June 28 to increase funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) by $2 billion more than the FY18 budget. This increase would allow for additional money for brain tumor research, as the NIH is the largest funder of brain tumor research.
View our web training on Medical Research funding to learn more about Congress’ process for approving a spending bill for the next fiscal year, how this affects the brain tumor community, and why it is so important that we advocate for this funding each and every year. We will be engaging our advocates (YOU!) on this issue in the coming weeks and months to continue our advocacy for medical research funding, as the full Congress begins to discuss appropriations for FY19.
Brain Tumor Research in the PRCRP
We advocate for the Department of Defense’s Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program to fund brain tumor research each year. This program funds research in a variety of eligible research topics, and our advocacy has historically resulted in pediatric brain tumors and brain cancer as eligible for this funding. In FY18, the PRCRP program was funded at $80 million, and both categories were eligible for grants. This year, the House of Representatives did not include pediatric brain tumors as an eligible topic, but thanks to your advocacy, the Senate’s bill does include both pediatric brain tumors and brain cancer as topics, as well as an increase for the program to $120 million for FY19.
We’ll work with our volunteers when this bill goes to conference (when the House & Senate send representatives to come to an agreement on the final bill’s language) to ensure that pediatric brain tumors and brain cancer are both included as eligible topics for funding, and that the Senate’s proposed $120 million in funding is adopted by Congress. We will provide updates as we are able.
Childhood Cancer STAR Act – What’s Next?
As you recall, the Childhood Cancer STAR Act was signed into law last month. Now, we, along with our advocacy partners, are advocating for full funding for this law for FY19. We will be advocating for funding of this law every year for the next five years, which will guarantee the provisions of the bill are carried out efficiently. Keep your eyes out for action alerts in your inbox, asking you to engage your members of Congress as they deliberate the FY19 spending bill. They passed the bill; now let’s make sure it gets its necessary funding!
To stay up to date with all the latest NBTS Public Policy & Advocacy news as it happens, sign-up to receive Advocacy Alerts!