March on Capitol Hill Update
The annual TS Alliance March on Capitol Hill to advocate for federal funding for the Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Research Program (TSCRP) at the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) took place in late February 2017. More than 100 members of the TSC community participated and asked their senators and representatives to sign onto Dear Colleague letters in support of the TSCRP.
Many other advocates who were unable to travel to Washington, DC met with their Senators and Representatives back in their home states to make the case for continued funding. Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Dave Loebsack (D-IA) sponsored the House Dear Colleague Letter for fiscal year 2018. The House letter garnered 160 signers. The Senate Dear Colleague Letter was sponsored by Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Chris Murphy (D-CT). The Senate letter closed with 24 signatures.
In FY2017, the TSC Research Program at the CDMRP received a $6 million appropriation, bringing the cumulative funding to $71 million since 2002 as a result of our successful grassroots efforts. Funding for FY2018 is pending on Congress passing the FY2018 budget but is currently included in the House’s 2018 Defense Appropriations Act at $6 million.
The TS Alliance Government Advocacy Program
TS Alliance government advocacy efforts focus on increasing federal and state appropriations for TSC research, raising awareness, and collaborating with government partners to drive TSC research forward and improve clinical care and treatment options for individuals with the disease. As of December 2014, state funding for TSC research has been secured in Michigan and Missouri. The TS Alliance advocates for increased financial support of TSC initiatives through the following federal agencies:
- The National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- Including National Center for Advancing Translational Science/Office of Rare Disease Research (NCATS/ORDR), National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
- The Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Research Program (TSCRP) at the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) administered through the Department of Defense (DoD)
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD)
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Social Security Administration (SSA)
- Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
Although our government advocacy efforts continue year-round, activity peaks in February/March when we encourage our grassroots supporters to join us in Washington, DC to educate their members of Congress about TSC and why increased federal funding for TSC research is critically needed.
The annual TS Alliance March on Capitol Hill to advocate for federal funding for the Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Research Program (TSCRP) at the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) took place in early March 2016. 100 members of the community participated and 165 Members signed the House letter, and 25 Senators signed the Senate letter. The TSCRP has received from Congress an aggregate appropriation of $65 million since fiscal year 2002.
Join Our Government Action Team
March on Capitol Hill
The TS Alliance March on Capitol Hill is an annual event that takes place in late February or early March. This event is held in conjunction with the annual TS Alliance leadership training as well as the TS Alliance Board of Directors meeting. These events are open to the community for participation.
The March on Capitol Hill is a government advocacy event centered around securing continued federal funding for the Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Research Program (TSCRP) within the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) at the Department of Defense (DoD). Each year, volunteers from across the country join together and meet with their senators and representatives to encourage them to sign on to a Dear Colleague Letter in support of the TSCRP.
We invite anyone interested in government advocacy to participate in this event whether it is from home or by coming to Washington, DC. If you are able to join us in DC, the TS Alliance will provide the following free of cost:
- Training and coordination with others coming from your state
- Special hotel room block pricing
- Dinner Tuesday and Thursday
If you are unable to join us in DC, you can still participate by sending your Community Alliance representative who is coming to DC your personal story to take with them to your representatives and senators.
If you are interested in joining us on Capitol Hill, please contact Katie Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need More Information?
Please contact Katie Smith at (800) 225-6872 or email@example.com if you have any questions.