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7th Annual Call-on Congress Summary Report
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7th Annual Call-on Congress Summary Report


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A recap of our policy program and impact at the national level in the fight against colon and rectal cancer.

A recap of our policy program and impact at the national level in the fight against colon and rectal cancer.

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  • 1. 7th 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) Annual Call On Congress: March 18-20th, 2013 Washington, DC UNITED BEHIND A CURE
  • 2. Twitter:@FightCRC| 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.
  • 3. Twitter:@FightCRC| 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
  • 4. Twitter:@FightCRC| Medicare for colorectal cancer screening tests, regardless of whether therapeutic intervention is required during the screening. 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): COSPONSORS(20), ALPHABETICAL  (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.
  • 5. Twitter:@FightCRC| 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 a decade. 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 NEWSALEART!
  • 6. Twitter:@FightCRC| together, Democrats and Republicans, and reach a compromise,” Carney said. “Compromise requires accepting the general proposition you’re not going to get 100 percent of what you want.” The fiscal 2013 spending package did represent a compromise on two of the Obama administration’s signature measures. Republicans gave up bids to block funding in the bill for the implementation of the 2010 health care law (PL 111-148, PL 111-152) and the Dodd-Frank banking overhaul (PL 111-203), while Democrats were unable to get increased funding that they wanted for carrying them out. Source: CQ News Round-the-clock coverage of news from Capitol Hill. © 2013 CQ Roll Call All Rights Reserved. On April 10th, 2013 THE President’s Budget was released: The President’s FY 2014 budget request was released.  The budget called for sequestration to be replaced by other sources of deficit reduction.  As part of this proposal, the funding levels requested assume that the sequester will not be an issue in FY 2014.  Sequestration would cut $92 billion from the FY 2014 discretionary budget cap set under the 2011 Budget Control Act.  The President’s proposal to find alternative sources of deficit reduction removes an obvious strain from discretionary programs. Because the FY 2013 funding levels in the budget documents do not fully account for the sequester as well as additional rescissions from FY 2013 spending, the FY 2014 request is being compared to the FY 2012 budget. Beyond the proposal to end the budget sequestration, the President’s budget contained a mix of good and bad news for the cancer community.  The good news is that the budget proposes increases for research, nursing, and the Food and Drug and Administration (FDA).  Unfortunately, the bad news is that the budget would cut funding for cancer screening and control programs at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and would shift substantial support for these programs to the Prevention and Public Health Fund.  Specific details are provided below. The President’s Budget included $31.3 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), restoring the sequestration cuts and a $471 million increase over FY 2012 (1.5 percent).  This amount includes $5.125 billion for the National Cancer Institute, a $63 million increase over FY 2012 (1.2 percent).  The NIH request also included $283 million for the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, a $7 million increase (2.7 percent), as well as $146 million for the National Institute on Nursing Research, a $2 million increase (1.2 percent). Details on the CDC cancer programs are still being collected.  We currently know that the cancer prevention and control budget would be cut from $371 million in FY 2012 to $329 million in FY 2014, a cut of $41.8 million (11.3 percent).  Additionally, more than half ($176 million) of the cancer prevention and control budget would be paid for through the Prevention and Public Health Fund, diverting resources from the fund’s intended purpose.  The largest cut to the CDC cancer programs is in the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Program, which is cut by $28 million (13.2 percent).  The colorectal cancer program was cut by nearly $3.9 million (8.7 percent).  Level funding at FY 2012 levels is provided for the Comprehensive Cancer Control Initiative and the National Program of Cancer Registries.  Details on the remaining CDC cancer programs will be provided as they become known. The President requests $251 million for the HRSA Title VIII Nursing Programs, a $20 million increase (8.6 percent) over FY 2012. The FDA would receive an increase in appropriations of $52 million (2 percent) over FY 2012 in the President’s Budget.  Including all proposed user fees, the FDA would see a $821 million increase in FY 2014. While the House and Senate are not planning to take up the President’s Budget, appropriators will take note of programs the President supports as well as those that the President is willing to cut.  It will be imperative that we work to both build on the support provided for the NIH and other programs and work to push back against the proposed cuts to the CDC cancer programs.
  • 7. Twitter:@FightCRC| WHAT DIDthe ADVOCATES THINK? “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 2013 AWARDEES Congressional Champion Award Presented to 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 Presented to Kate Murphy 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 Presented to Rose & Eric Hausmann For their unwavering commitment to advocacy in the fight against colorectal cancer.
  • 8. Thank you to our sponsors: Thank you to our community partners: