News & Blog

Public Policy and Brain Tumor Advocacy Updates From July 2018

Below are highlights of news and developments in the brain tumor advocacy and public policy, compiled by NBTS Research & Advocacy Manager, Kacey Troy Ribnik:

Funding Medical Research: Appropriations for the NIH and the STAR Act

NIH Appropriations

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. Both the full House and the Senate still need to take on the Labor, Health and Human Services (Labor HHS) spending bills, which contain NIH funding. This may happen in the Senate as early as this week, but we will likely see more progress at the beginning of September as Congress returns from August Recess.

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.

Send an email to your members of Congress to continue your advocacy for medical research funding, as the full Congress begins to discuss appropriations for FY19.

Childhood Cancer STAR Act Appropriations

When Congress passed the Childhood Cancer STAR Act earlier this year, it authorized at $30 million to fund the law in each year for the next five years. Now, we must advocate to Congress to continue their support by appropriating that funding as they prepare their spending bill for FY19. The Senate has included language in their spending bill for Labor HHS that NIH should fully implement the programs of the STAR Act and provides guidance to the CDC to implement their parts of the Act as well. We will send out calls-to-action as the spending bills move forward in early September.

In-District Meetings During Congress’ August Recess

As a brain tumor advocate, you know the importance of contacting your members of Congress about the needs of the brain tumor community. From funding brain tumor research to enhancing resources for childhood cancer survivors, decisions made by our elected officials have an impact on the brain tumor community. Throughout the year, we ask you to call or email your representatives to educate them and ask for their support.

It’s time to build on that momentum and the connections made during our DC-based Head to the Hill event in May by meeting with your members of Congress when they return to your local districts during the Congressional Recess in August. View our online training video and toolkit, which will walk you through the steps of scheduling the meeting, recruiting others to attend with you, and educating yourself on our legislative agenda.

Follow the steps outlined in the toolkit and let your members of Congress know how they can take action to support brain tumor patients and families in their district. Questions? Contact me at or 520.762.4544.

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