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(April 5, 2000)

April 5, 2000

The Honorable ……
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator ……:

The undersigned organizations, representing individuals with cancer and their caregivers, strongly support the Specter-Harkin amendment to increase domestic discretionary spending by $1.6 billion in order to facilitate a $2.7 billion boost in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. We urge you to vote for this amendment to the FY 2001 Budget Resolution, which will help ensure that progress toward doubling the NIH budget is not interrupted.

Biomedical research holds the key to improved prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. For those who are diagnosed with cancer and their families, research is our lifeline. Our nation's investment in research is yielding impressive results; important basic science discoveries are answering fundamental questions about human disease and being translated into improved treatments. Unless NIH funding is enhanced, research progress will slow and promising research endeavors may be abandoned. Even with the recent increases in NIH appropriations, strong research proposals are going unfunded.

Congress has shown its strong support for biomedical research by approving 15 percent increases for NIH for FY 1999 and FY 2000. However, achieving the goal of doubling the NIH budget by FY 2003 will require growth of 15 percent, or $2.7 billion, in FY 2001. Because the Budget Resolution passed by the Senate Budget Committee assumes that NIH funding will climb by only $1.1 billion, there is a risk that the progress toward doubling the NIH appropriation will halt. The Specter-Harkin amendment would address this issue by raising the discretionary spending allowance in the Budget Resolution.

Please vote for the Specter-Harkin amendment on NIH funding. Individuals with cancer and their caregivers are counting on your strong support for biomedical research.

Cancer Leadership Council

American Cancer Society
American Society of Clinical Oncology
Association of American Cancer Institutes
Cancer Care, Inc.
Cancer Research Foundation of America
The Children's Cause, Inc.
Colorectal Cancer Network
Cure For Lymphoma Foundation
Coalition of National Cancer Cooperative Groups, Inc.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
National Prostate Cancer Coalition
North American Brain Tumor Coalition
Oncology Nursing Society
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
US-TOO International, Inc.

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