UPDATE: HR 2239 did not pass in the 112th Congress. In February 2013, the Act was reintroduced in the 113th Congress as HR 842. Please see the March 2, 2013 post or click on the HR 842 category on the blog sidebar for updated information.
According to THOMAS, the Library of Congress legislative database, as of late last week, Representative Tammy Baldwin (D-WI-2) has signed on as a cosponsor to the Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act of 2011.
The 2nd Congressional District of Wisconsin encompasses southern Wisconsin, including Dane, Columbia and Green Counties and parts of Jefferson, Sauk and Walworth Counties. The state capital of Madison and its suburbs are in this district.
Last year, in the 111th Congress, Representative Baldwin was the lead sponsor of H. Res 1309, a House Resolution for IBS awareness. Her continuing commitment to the IBS community is appreciated. If you are a constituent of Representative Baldwin, please write or call to thank her.
In officially supporting HR 2239, Representative Baldwin joins the lead sponsor, Representative F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-WI-5) and co-sponsors, Representative James Moran (D-VA-8), Representative Peter Welch (D-VT), Representative Elton Gallegly (R-CA-24), and Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL-2). U.S .citizens residing in the districts of Representative Baldwin’s colleagues listed here, please thank them as well.
According to the information on THOMAS, it appears that the bill is currently under consideration in the Subcommittee on Health. If you would like to see a list of the members of that Subcommittee, click here and scroll down to the fourth subcommittee listing.
U. S. citizens, if your Member of Congress is not yet a co-sponsor of HR 2239 and you have not contacted him or her recently to ask for his or her support, please see this previous post from July 6 for links to the bill and more details on how to do so. Often, it takes multiple attempts to elicit any interest from legislators, so if you do not receive a reply, do not hesitate to try again or to switch contact methods until you attract attention.
Your personal experiences as a person with IBS and/or other functional GI/motility disorders, or as a concerned family member, friend or colleague, are most effective in communicating to legislators and their staff that there are real human beings behind the statistics.
It may also be helpful to note that HR 2239 is bipartisan legislation (supported by members of both parties) and according to IFFGD discussions with IBS Impact, is “revenue-neutral,” meaning that there will be no additional taxes or spending added to the current federal deficit if it is enacted. Discretionary funds are available at the National Institutes of Health to be allocated if Congress directs NIH, through this Act, that functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders are a priority. Congress will only do so if we, as a community, are able to show them the importance of the research, education and FDA coordination provided for in HR 2239.
Check back on this blog or join IBS Impact’s Yahoo discussion group for further updates on HR 2239 as they occur.