Congress has yet to pass any of the 12 regular appropriations bills for FY2009, which will begin on October 1. However, it is likely that they will attach the 2009 DoD appropriations bill to the CR.
This year, MS activists have been working to secure specific funding for MS research under the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP). The CDMRP is a program within the DoD and is funded annually through the defense appropriations bill. This means that there is still time to secure MS research funding under the CDMRP for FY2009.
Take action now by calling your legislator’s Washington, D.C. office to talk about this issue. Call the Capitol switchboard at 1-800-828-0498 to be connected or visit http://www.house.gov/ or http://www.senate.gov/ for their contact information.
You can use these talking points and background when you speak with your Member of Congress:
- MS is a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system and is generally diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, the prime of life. The cause of MS is still unknown, the symptoms are unpredictable, and there is no cure.
- Preliminary evidence suggests that Gulf War veterans could have an increased risk of MS. I'd like to ask for your support for $15 million for MS research funding in the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) to be included in the Continuing Resolution (CR).
- More than 28,000 veterans being treated in the VHA are living with a diagnosis of MS. A recent study in the Annals of Neurology identified more than 5,000 cases of MS among U.S. veterans that were deemed "service-connected."
- A study found an unexpected, doubling of MS between 1993 and 2000 in Kuwait, which suggests a potential environmental trigger for MS because of exposure to neurotoxins such as burning oil fields and poison gases.
- The Department of Defense has an obligation to fund research for diseases related to military service. This research would benefit our veterans and would help move us closer to a world free of MS.