Thursday, March 28, 2013
Monday, March 18, 2013
|Stewart Ferry, Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod (CA-35), Mary Ann Braubach|
Byron Dorgan (ND), JP Paluskiewicz, deputy chief of staff to MS Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Michael Burgess, MD (TX-26) and veteran pollster Celinda Lake. MS activists talked about how they are involved at the FDA and the impact that medical research has had on the development of MS therapies and other speakers educated the crowd about using social media to promote advocacy.
Jimmy Fahrenholtz, Roi-Lynne Hulin, Rep. John Fleming, M.D. (LA-5), Erin Hulin, Crystal Smith
A snow storm, which earned the formidable nickname “Snowquester” hit the D.C. region towards the end of the conference and unfortunately, significantly impacted the visits MS
activists were planning to make on Capitol Hill. Despite this, MS activists persevered and some were able to visit their lawmakers before they headed home! Dozens of Hill visits occurred the day before and after the scheduled Hill Day and one meeting even occurred in the airport!
Rep. John Shimkus (IL-15), Amy Thomas, Steve Izard, Rep. Rodney Davis (IL-13)
Even though the storm dampened our Hill Day, true to form, our MS activists remained strong and were able to educate our public officials about MS and encourage them to support funding for the FDA and MS research. The budget climate in Washington remains tough, so this advocacy is critical to preserving funding for our community and kick starts our year. Thanks to all those who traveled to Washington and persevered in the eye of the storm!
Posted by MS Activist at 2:58 PM
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
MS Activists at the 2013 Public Policy Conference started an early kick off for MS Awareness week. Although the impending snow storm dampened our visits to Capitol Hill, it did not dampen our Activists’ enthusiasm. MS activists who were able to visit congressional offices raised awareness about MS and urged their members to post on social media during MS Awareness Week and cosponsor the congressional resolution.
Representatives Barbara Lee (CA-13), Michael Burgess, M.D. (TX-26) and Chris Van Hollen (MD-8) introduced the Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week Resolution (H.Res. 95) and Senators Bob Casey (PA), Susan Collins (ME), Mary Landrieu (LA) and Sherrod Brown (OH) will introduce a companion in the Senate (bill number not available yet). Use the link above to follow the Resolution’s progress and see if your Representative has cosponsored it. Please consider thanking these legislators for their continued support!
Here are some easy ways to boost your involvement with MS Awareness Week:
-Connect with your chapter to find out about local happenings recognizing MS Awareness Week
-Connect with the Society on social media and ask your friends to connect with us too! Every connection counts so share why you connect.
-Use the MS Activist Toolkit to spread the word and educate public officials about MS
-Stay informed by signing up to receive the Society’s email communications
-Download badges, email signature images, wallpapers and more to increase MS awareness
-Donate to help us move closer toward a world free of MS
Posted by MS Activist at 10:31 AM
Monday, March 11, 2013
Happy meteorological spring! It arrived in the Washington area with a refresher course on what winter looks like with a snowstorm hitting early this week, dumping over 18 inches on some parts of the Greater DC metro area. This edition has a summary of our Public Policy Conference plus a lot of information on the sequester and the budget, an upcoming medical research rally the Society is co-sponsoring, a link to a new MS fact sheet by Research!America, and of course information on how (not) devastating the budget situation is on Members of Congress. Be sure to get to the end though – interesting statistic about St. Patrick’s Day.
Rally for Medical Research in DC. The National MS Society is joining with dozens of other groups on April 8 in a rally for medical research funding. Sign up for email alerts about the rally under ‘get involved.’
Federally Funded Research to be made public. The White House announced that research funded with federal dollars will now be made available to the public.
Government Shutdown on March 27 (likely) averted. Before leaving town on Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a bill to extend the temporary spending bill, or continuing resolution (CR) for another 6 months to prevent a government shutdown. The House bill blunts the impact of sequestration on defense spending, and the Senate bill is likely to do the same for non-defense spending, so the extension effort is not a ‘clean’ effort so negotiations will determine whether a shutdown will be averted.
Federal Budget & Deficit Deal maneuverings. President Obama has begun an outreach effort to rank and file members of the House and Senate, going around each chambers leaders to try and find common ground. Obama dined with key Republican senators Wednesday and had lunch with Budget Committee Chairman Congressman Paul Ryan and ranking member Chris Van Hollen on Thursday. Speaker Boehner expressed positive feelings about the outreach. Senator Mike Johanns stated that ‘His goal is ours. We want to stop careening from crisis to crisis.’ Ryan and Senate Budget Chair Patty Murray are the key lawmakers to make a deal happen.
Obamacare notes? The Federal Reserve Beige Book reports that in some areas of the country, the Affordable Care Act is being cited as the reason for some layoffs. And freshman Senator Ted Cruz is renewing the now-pretty-dormant push to de-fund the health law.
The Cuban Missile Crisis ‘myth.’ Yes, this is random, but it caught my eye. A new book explores what went down in the Cuban Missile Crisis based on recordings of actual proceedings, asserting that RFK’s book ’13 Days’ essentially established a myth around the crisis.
St. Patrick’s Day. The National Retail Federation estimated that Americans spent around $4.6 billion on St. Patrick’s Day in 2012. The National MS Society spends approximately $45 million per year on research and the federal government spends another $130 million or so. That means that on one day, Americans spend enough to fund the combined Society/Federal government MS research efforts for over 26 years . . . that’s a bit sobering, huh!
Have a great week!
Posted by MS Activist at 10:19 AM