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Congress Moves One Step Closer to Funding MS Research Priorities

August 30, 2018

On August 23, 2018, the U.S. Senate passed the Labor Health and Human Services (LHHS)/Defense “minibus” spending package with a vote of 85-7. The bill included a $2 billion (5.4%) increase for the National Institutes of Health as well as $5 million to implement the National Neurological Conditions Surveillance System at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The amendment to fund the Surveillance System was filed by Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Christopher Murphy (D-CT) and was included in the manager's package that was offered shortly before the Senate voted on the total spending package. 

In July, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the LHHS bill out of the Appropriations Committee, but has not yet considered it on the House floor. Funding for the Surveillance System was included in the House version of the LHHS bill– placing it in a good position to be included in the final bill that is sent to the President for his signature.

In late June, the House passed its Defense appropriations bill, which included $6 million for the MS Research Program at the Department of Defense. Now that the Senate has passed both its LHHS and Defense spending bills, focus moves back to the House to complete the process and submit a final bill to the President for his signature. 

President Trump has signaled that he may not sign spending measures if his Administration’s funding priorities are not included. To prevent a possible lapse in Congressional appropriations that would shut down the federal government, Congress must pass a final spending package and the President must sign it by midnight on September 30th.   
 
Learn more about the National Neurological Conditions Surveillance System at the Centers for Disease control. 

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

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