Transcript of "7th Annual Call-on Congress Summary Report"
With over 80 participants, 104 Hill meetings scheduled and 24 states
represented, this year’s Call-on Congress inspired, educated and engaged
advocates in bigger ways than we have seen to date! Advocates united in
Washington, DC to share their stories and to be a voice for over 1 million
colorectal cancer survivors living in the USA. This was our largest Call-on
Congress yet, having grown participation by 20%. Advocates from across
the country - comprised of patients, caregivers, families, friends, medical
professionals and even researchers - joined together for this annual event
to ask our lawmakers to support policies for colorectal cancer research,
treatment, and prevention.
Call-on Congress hosted 2 days of in-depth advocacy training and a 3rd
day of Hill visits where advocates met with their members of Congress.
The training sessions were an opportunity for participants to develop
congressional engagement skills and were followed by real and immediate
action component meetings directly with their elected officials.
“It’s important to have strong advocacy for this. It’s the most curable cancer
there is yet many people succumb to it. It just doesn’t make sense.”
~Congressman Donald Payne, Jr. (New Jersey)
March 18-20th, 2013
DAY 1: The Power of One Voice
Day 1 began at 9 AM, before our advocacy training even began
- Fight Colorectal Cancer hosted a 4-hour training workshop
with our Research Advocates and Training and Support (RATS)
program members. Nancy Roach and Dr. Dan Dixon hosted a
mock grant review for our first face-to-face meeting with over
12 RATS members.
At 1 pm, to officially kick off Call on Congress 2013,
President Carlea Bauman began with opening remarks, sharing
Fight Colorectal Cancer’s vision and its passion for advocacy
and support for research instilled by our Founder and Board
President Nancy Roach. Our first speaker, Max Bronstein with Research!America, provided an overview of the
legislative landscape and the importance of funding medical research. He was followed by Rodrick Samuels, CEO of
Profile Barber Institute and long-time advocate, who facilitated an energetic and inspirational storytelling session on
the power of one advocate’s voice. We then broke into small groups to share our personal stories and why we came to
Washington, DC. These afternoon sessions were standing room only, with almost 100 participants.
DAY 2: The Power of Knowledge
Educational sessions were in full swing by Tuesday, Day 2.
The morning session focused on recent progress in colorectal
cancer research from bench to bedside to the community
and a panel of experts shared their perspective. The panel
consisted of: Dr. Dan Dixon, Dr. Johanna Bendell, Andrea
Dwyer and Nancy Roach. They reviewed the importance of
targeted therapies, survivorship, and the role of advocates in
the research community.
The afternoon session of Day 2 focused first on: 1) the key
legislative priorities and interactive sessions, led by Camille
Bonta, and 2) how to meet with members of Congress and/or their staff, led by Christopher Kush with Soapbox
Consulting, followed by breakout sessions gave participants a chance to explore research funding, policy and
awareness/social media efforts in more detail. The awareness and social media breakout session was led by Michael
Sola, VP of Operations for Fight Colorectal Cancer, and included exploring strategies that can help advocates most
effectively communicate with the 113th Congress. This conversation was particularly relevant as the latest channels
for communication open new paths for dialogue with members of Congress. Advocates walked through how to tweet
and how to craft messages using social media platforms.
DAY 3: The Power of Advocates United
Behind a Cure
By Day 3, March 20th, advocates were armed with knowledge
and ready to meet their legislators. Eighty colorectal cancer
advocates gathered at 7AM to load on to buses, trained and
ready. The halls of Congress were filled with blue as our
community urged support for colorectal cancer research and
awareness, as well as passage of a bill that would reduce
barriers for colorectal cancer screening.
New Jersey advocates meeting Congressman Donald Payne, Jr.
Taking an opportunity in the hallway, Rodrick Samuels speaks with Congressman Charles Dent.
2013 legislative asks included:
• Sign the CDC Colorectal Cancer Control Program FY 2014 funding letter being circulated by Rep. Donald Payne
Jr. The contact in Rep. Payne’s office is Thomas Saunders.
• Request $15 million for the Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program for FY 2014.
• For the House: Cosponsor H.R. 1070 -Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act.
• For the Senate: Cosign Senator Sherrod Brown’s Dear Colleague Letter (parallel bill to H.R. 1070)
Advocates’ visits on the Hill could not have come at a more vital time as members of Congress have been facing
deep federal cuts. Sequestration will have harmful budgetary impacts, which will affect cancer research funding at
National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Department of Defense Peer Reviewed
Cancer Research Program, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. According to some estimates,
medical research supported by the NIH would be cut by an estimated $1.5 billion, including more than a $250
million reduction in cancer research funding in 2013 alone. In total, these cuts could lead to 1,380 fewer research
grants being funded next year.
At the end of the long day on the Hill, in celebration of the group’s successful advocacy efforts, a celebration dinner
was hosted for all of our advocates, survivors, and family members. We took time to remember those lost to this
cancer and for our friends and loved ones who have been impacted. To honor these loved ones, we fight for a cure.
Attendees were dressed in blue and pledged to support our national campaign ONE MILLION STRONG to raise
awareness and to be an advocate.
SUMMARY OF MEETINGS ON THE HILL:
Fight Colorectal Cancer has cultivated bipartisan leadership and support on the Hill:
• Rep. James P. McGovern [D, MA-2]
• Rep. Donald M. Payne Jr. [D, NJ-10]
• Rep. Charles Dent [R,PA-15]
H.R.1070 - Removing Barriers to Colorectal
Cancer Screening Act of 2013
To amend title XVIII of the Social Security
Act to waive coinsurance under Medicare for
colorectal cancer screening tests, regardless
of whether therapeutic intervention is required
during the screening.
Short: Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer
Screening Act of 2013 as introduced.
Official: To amend title XVIII of the Social
Security Act to waive coinsurance under
Medicare for colorectal cancer screening tests, regardless of whether therapeutic intervention is required during the
Latest Action on H.R. 1070:
• Mar 12th - Referred to House Ways and Means
• Mar 12th - Referred to House Energy and Commerce
• Mar 12th - Referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to
• the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for
consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
• Mar 12th - Introduced in House
H.R. 1070 Co-Sponsors (Last update April 16,2013):
(Sort: by date)
Rep Bonamici, Suzanne [OR-1] - 4/11/2013
Rep Capps, Lois [CA-24] - 4/11/2013
Rep Connolly, Gerald E. [VA-11] - 3/21/2013
Rep Courtney, Joe [CT-2] - 3/12/2013
Rep Fitzpatrick, Michael G. [PA-8] - 3/12/2013
Rep Graves, Sam [MO-6] - 3/21/2013
Rep Green, Gene [TX-29] - 3/21/2013
Rep Hastings, Alcee L. [FL-20] - 4/11/2013
Rep Kennedy, Joseph P. III [MA-4] - 4/11/2013
Rep Maffei, Daniel B. [NY-24] - 4/11/2013
Rep Maloney, Carolyn B. [NY-12] - 4/11/2013
Rep McCollum, Betty [MN-4] - 4/11/2013
Rep McGovern, James P. [MA-2] - 3/21/2013
Rep Norton, Eleanor Holmes [DC] - 4/11/2013
Rep Payne, Donald M., Jr. [NJ-10] - 3/12/2013
Rep Rahall, Nick J., II [WV-3] - 3/21/2013
Rep Runyan, Jon [NJ-3] - 3/21/2013
Rep Schiff, Adam B. [CA-28] - 3/21/2013
Rep Schneider, Bradley S. [IL-10] - 4/11/2013
Rep Speier, Jackie [CA-14] - 4/11/2013
AFTER CALL ON CONGRESS:
After arriving back home, we asked that advocates follow up on key issues with their members of Congress. They were
asked to reach out to their Representatives (HOUSE) only on the following issues:
• Sign the CDC Colorectal Cancer Control Program FY 2014 funding letter being circulated by
Rep. Donald Payne Jr. By April 1st, 2013, over 50 members of Congress signed the Payne letter.
• Request $15 million for the Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP)
for FY 2014.
• Cosponsor H.R. 1070 -Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act.
More on the PRCRP: The PRCRP falls under the umbrella of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs
(CDMRPs) at the Department of Defense (DoD). Service members, and oftentimes their families, are exposed to
hazardous environments that put them at increased risk of certain cancers. The PRCRP was established in 2009 and
supports military-relevant research into specifically designated cancers. The PRCRP currently supports research in
the following areas: melanoma and other skin cancers, pediatric brain tumors, genetic cancer research, pancreatic
cancer, kidney cancer, blood cancer, colorectal cancer, mesothelioma, neuroblastoma, and listeria vaccine for cancer.
A hallmark of the PRCRP is its focus on innovative research in cancers through the support of exceptionally talented,
early career researchers and clinicians who have the potential to advance the field of cancer research and deliver
breakthroughs in the prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer. Without the PRCRP, important military-related
medical research is likely to go unfunded and is why we are asking $15 million in FY 2014.
The FY 2013 DoD bill included $15 million for the program so we are not requesting an increase.
One week after our visits:
Obama Signs CR With Sequester Intact
CQ News March 26, 2013 – 6:07 p.m.
By Kerry Young and Steven T. Dennis, CQ Roll Call
President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed into law a final fiscal 2013 spending package that represents at
least a temporary setback in attempts to replace the sequester.
“There is no question that we believe we should not have come to this point where sequester would be
imposed,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday.
The measure (HR 933) completes appropriations work for the year without undoing the automatic spending
cuts known as sequester. Republicans and Democrats alike offered proposals for replacing the reductions first
dictated by the 2011 Budget Control Act (PL 112-25). But other than scaling back the total cuts to $85 billion
from $109 billion through the fiscal cliff law (PL 112-240) early this year, Congress was unable to further
change the unpopular across-the-board cuts in the year’s final appropriations legislation.
As a result, most federal agencies will have to make automatic reductions by the end of the fiscal year on Sept.
30. The sequester will drop the federal government’s operating expenses in fiscal 2013 by roughly $59 billion
to about $984 billion.
Lawmakers created the sequester to force a deal with the White House on deficit reduction, but without an accord,
cuts in federal services and furloughs for workers are now expected.
“There’s no question that we believe regular folks out there are being unnecessarily harmed by imposition of the
sequester, which was designed by Democrats and Republicans purposefully never to become law, to be filled with
nonsensical approaches to deficit reduction,” Carney said.
Republicans and Democrats appear now to have shifted their budget battle to fiscal 2014, with the House and Senate
each having endorsed very different blueprints last week for how the federal government should raise and spend
money in the decade ahead.
The House voted, 221-207, to adopt the resolution (H Con Res 25) sponsored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul
D. Ryan, R-Wis., that leaves the sequester intact. It calls for reducing projected spending by $4.6 trillion by cutting
domestic programs, repealing the 2010 health care law and overhauling the income tax code.
The Senate voted 50-49 for the adoption of a resolution (S Con Res 8) prepared by Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray,
D-Wash., that calls for replacing the spending sequester with a combination of tax increases and cuts while also
seeking $100 billion in new funding on infrastructure and worker-training programs over 10 years. The Senate
budget would direct the Finance Committee to write legislation that would increase tax revenue by $975 billion over
The budget resolutions are widely seen as outlines of each party’s beginning positions in deficit reduction negotiations.
“We hope that, now that the House has passed a budget and the Senate has passed a budget, that we can come
“Congress determines what’s important by hearing from constituents. Advocacy determines priorities.”
Max Bronstein, Research!America
“Survivorship is research as much as science is research.”
Andrea (Andi) Dwyer, The Colorado School of Public Health-University of Colorado Cancer Center
“There is no reason my father should be gone. He wouldn’t be gone if he would have been
screened. We lost a great man and a leader in this nation and we lost him to something
that was curable.”
Congressman Donald Payne, Jr (New Jersey, District 10)
“I got my activist roots from my mom.”
Dana Rye, colorectal cancer survivor
“It’s far cheaper to prevent colorectal cancer than it is to treat it.”
Dr. Thomas M. Teas, gastroenterologist
Congressional Champion Award
The Honorable Congressman Jim McGovern (Massachusetts, District 2)
For leadership in the United States Congress in service to colorectal cancer patients and
survivors, and for efforts to make the disease preventable, treatable and beatable.
Andrew Giusti Memorial Award
For activism on behalf of colorectal cancer patients and for focusing, like Andy did, on pushing for great science that
will translate to patient benefits as quickly as possible.
National Volunteer Advocate Award
Rose & Eric Hausmann
For their unwavering commitment to advocacy in the fight against colorectal cancer.
Thank you to our sponsors:
Thank you to our community partners: