I recently had the opportunity to meet with some Americans whose lives have been forever changed by cancer. A group of constituents from the 15th District who are a part of PanCAN – the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network – took time to share their experiences with me. Hearing their stories only reemphasized the urgency and the importance of finding a cure. Pancreatic cancer has surpassed breast cancer, and is now the 3rd leading cause of cancer-related deaths in this country. This, and all other forms of cancer, is taking far too many loved ones from their families, and it is affecting lives across the political spectrum.
Cancer doesn’t discriminate by age, gender, or political affiliation. That is why I am proud to join my Republican and Democratic colleagues in the Congressional Caucus on Deadliest Cancers, and to co-Chair the Biomedical Research Caucus with Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN). Both of these bipartisan groups of lawmakers advocate for funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), because supporting their research and technological advances is key in finding cures for diseases like pancreatic cancer.
Additionally, as a part of the Continuing Resolution passed in May, there was a $2 billion increase to the NIH. In a time of budgetary constraints, this increase demonstrates widespread support and that cures to diseases and cancers are a top priority. It is also the fulfillment of a promise that Congress made to the American people last year when the 21st Century Cures Act was passed with bipartisan support and signed into law by President Obama.
This law, which was recently enacted, works to modernize and personalize health care, support research, and streamline the system to deliver better and faster cures to more patients. It is paving the way for a new generation of health care innovation, and I am excited to see the difference it will make for the far-too-many Americans whose lives are unfortunately touched by cancer.
As the House of Representatives continues to debate the budget, I know that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will agree: doing our part to find a cure for cancer does not require hours of debate.
If you have questions or comments regarding the appropriations process, or Congress’s investment in cancer research, please contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-2015, my Hilliard office at (614) 771-4968, my Lancaster office at (740) 654-2654, or my Wilmington office at (937) 283-7049. For more information on where I stand on the issues before Congress, you can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and sign up for my e-newsletter at stivers.house.gov.
Steve Stivers is a Congressman serving Ohio’s 15th District.