As you know, Susan G. Komen is the largest NGO funder of breast cancer research. Komen research dollars total over $889 Million and have helped support more than 2,400 research grants in 49 states and 20 countries. We’re committed to supporting research that will one day identify and deliver the cures for breast cancer. And while our funding is paramount to this goal, so is the continued funding of the Breast Cancer Research Program at the Department of Defense.
In the coming weeks the U.S. Senate is expected to debate the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2017 (FY17), S.2943. Included within this bill are two sections that cause us grave concern as they would prohibit funding for medical research at the Department of Defense (DOD) unless such research meets certain narrowly defined criteria related to military relevance. As you may be aware, funding for the Breast Cancer Research Program (BRCP) at the DOD has long been a priority for Komen and many of you were pivotal in defeating similar efforts last year. Komen HQ staff has worked closely with Senator Richard Durbin’s (IL) office the last week in developing a strategy to amend the NDAA and defend funding for the critical medical research conducted at the DOD.
We are happy to announce that last Thursday, May 26, Senator Durbin introduced a bipartisan amendment to repeal Section 756 and 898 of S. 2943. We feel Section 756 should be repealed because it is unnecessary and, if enacted, could jeopardize funding for research activities that have broader relevance to the U.S. military, including the health and well-being of military families and veterans, and the efficiency of the military health care system. Additionally, Section 898 would place unnecessary and burdensome acquisition compliance and auditing requirements on programs that are already serving the taxpayer well.
A vote is not expected on this amendment until the week of June 6 (next week), but it is critical our Senators hear from you now. We ask that you call or email your Senate offices as soon as possible to encourage them to support this amendment. Sample phone script and email templates are below, as well as contact information for our Senator’s Appropriations staff for your reference.
|Last Name||First Name||Senator’s Office||Phone Number|
|Droney||Jackson||Sen. Barbara Boxer||Jackson_droney@boxer.senate.gov||202-224-3553|
|Esquivel||Josh||Sen. Dianne Feinstein*||Joshua_esquivel@feinstein.senate.gov||202-224-3841|
*Sponsor of Amendment
Komen will send a letter to all Senate offices next week from Dr. Salerno and has also signed on to a group letter, organized by the Defense Health Research Consortium, which will be distributed next week.
· Request that Senator Boxer vote in favor of the Durbin amendment, #4369, to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
· Convey that the amendment repeals language in the bill that would do irreparable damage to the Breast Cancer Research Program at the DOD and damage the progress we are making in finding the cures for breast cancer.
* Inform them of the investment this program is making in their state:
o Since 1993, the DOD has provided 844 breast cancer related awards totaling nearly $425 Million ($424,991,984.96)
o 34 of the 844 breast cancer related awards were to San Diego, totaling nearly $10.7 Million ($10,695,826.06)
· Tell the office that as a constituent and breast cancer survivor/activist the Breast Cancer Research Program is important to you and the people we serve at Komen (if applicable, please include your personal story).
Dear Senator Boxer,
On behalf of Susan G. Komen San Diego, I am writing today to urge you to support Amendment #4369 to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), S.2943, when it comes up for a vote after congressional recess. This bipartisan amendment, led by Senators Richard Durbin and Thad Cochran, would repeal sections 756 and 898 of S.2943. These onerous sections would prohibit funding for medical research at the Department of Defense (DOD) unless such research meets certain narrowly defined criteria related to military relevance. The passage of this amendment would preserve critical, high-risk, high-reward research conducted through the Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP), which benefits millions impacted by breast cancer and is awarded through a distinct partnership between consumers and scientists.
Since its inception in 1992, the Breast Cancer Research Program has awarded over $3.2 billion in support of over 6,500 innovative research grants. The Breast Cancer Research Program has invested in research to better understand how and why breast cancer develops, factors that increase risk, and more advanced ways to detect and treat this disease, including innovative treatments for breast cancer that are both more effective and less toxic (e.g. sentinel lymph node biopsy, trastuzumab for HER2+ breast cancer, vaccines and immunotherapies for breast cancer, nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems). To date, the BCRP has invested nearly $425 Million in California.
I strongly urge you to vote in favor of the Durbin amendment, #4369, and protect this vital funding for breast cancer research. Investment in biomedical research must remain an unwavering national priority if we hope to continue the progress we are making to find the cures for breast cancer.
Thank you for your support and advocacy to ensure that funding for the Breast Cancer Research Program continues! If you have any questions or comments, please contact the Director of Grants and Public Policy, Lizzie Wittig at firstname.lastname@example.org