Being an election year, legislators are more focused on issues significant to their constituents than any other time during the legislative cycle, as many of them strive for re-election. Use this opportunity to meet with your Representative and Senators in their district office about the request for a $15 million appropriation for MS research in the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP).
The Appropriations Committee in both chambers is currently preparing the Defense Appropriations Act. There is no better time to talk to your Representative and Senators to about the CDMRP, a program funded annually through this appropriations bill.
Visit www.house.gov and www.senate.gov for legislator contact information.
You can use these talking points and background when you speak with your member of Congress:
- [Share how MS has impacted you personally]
- 63 members of the House of Representatives and 27 Senators have signed on in support of a $15 million appropriation for MS research in the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP), a program funded annually by the Defense Appropriations Act.
- Preliminary evidence suggests that Gulf War veterans could have an increased risk of MS.
- 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.
This is an opportunity to participate in and influence an issue that has become a legislative focal point, since the Defense Appropriations bill is the only bill expected to pass through Congress and be signed by the president this fiscal year. The other appropriation bills will be operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR) until the next Congress.