Statement of American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer in response to the agreement reached on FY19 funding bills for the Departments of Health and Human Services and Defense by Congress:
"The American Lung Association welcomes the bipartisan agreement reached by Congress to fund the Departments of Health and Human Services and Defense, among others.
“As announced, the agreement will provide a $2 billion increase in funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – including increases for both the National Cancer Institute and the Cancer Moonshot Initiative. This is welcome news to the millions of people with lung disease and their loved ones. This is also a major win for the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE Heroes – men and women whose lives have been forever changed by a lung cancer diagnosis – who, last spring, held nearly 200 meetings with their senators and representatives to request this robust funding increase for NIH.
“The American Lung Association thanks Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL), Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) and Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY) for this tremendous victory – a strong bipartisan bill without harmful new policy riders, including those that would weaken public health protections.
"Unfortunately, the legislation did not include much-needed increased investment in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As millions of Americans face health threats from extreme weather events, we are reminded of the critical importance of a robust and resilient public health infrastructure. We also thank the Senate for its support for the Climate and Health Program, which had been zeroed out in the House’s bill but was ultimately restored in this final agreement.
“While we are pleased Congress maintained the lung cancer research program at the Department of Defense, however, we are disappointed the final agreement did not increase funding for the program.
“We urge Congress to pass this bipartisan bill as soon as they return to Washington, D.C., and ask them to continue this bipartisan process as they work to resolve the remaining funding bills, including the bills that fund the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. It is critical that all final appropriations bills, and any continuing resolutions, continue to be free of harmful policy riders that put public health and the lives of Americans at risk.”
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.