Update: US House Lyme Disease Caucus Letters
In February 2020, the Lyme Disease Association, Inc. (LDA) asked you to contact your Congress Member and request that he/she sign on to two important letters from the US House Lyme Disease Caucus. The language in the bipartisan letters was developed with input from the LDA and other TBD advocates.
Below are links to the final letters sent by House Lyme Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Chris Smith and Rep. Collin Peterson to the Appropriations Committees last week. The letters request fund increases and provide directions for the monies for Labor HHS Appropriations and the DoD CDMRP appropriations for FY2021.
The letter to the Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies requests significant increases for CDC Lyme disease programs. The request includes $20 million for a new program that would allow CDC to enter into cooperative agreements with State and Tribal health departments to improve data collection and analysis of Lyme and other TBD. The letter also requests a funding increase for the Office of the Secretary of HHS, enabling the agency to enter agreements and enhance resources to accelerate breakthroughs/solutions for Lyme disease. The Caucus also outlined a number of important language specifications to be made to the Committee report.
The letter to the Subcommittee on Defense requested that the Committee provide an increase from $7 million to $10 million in the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) for research on Lyme and TBD. The Caucus clarifies that the goal is to make enhancements and meet the demand of an increasing number of (underreported) Lyme disease cases. The letter suggests important language specifications for the Committee report and calls attention to the increased risk and impact of TBD on military members and military readiness.
LDA thanks everyone who provided input on the letters, those who contacted their Congress Member, and the members who signed on.
Click here to view the letter to the Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies/House Committee on Appropriations.
Click here to view the letter to the Subcommittee on Defense/House Committee on Appropriations.
Visit Congressman Chris Smith’s Leadership on Lyme webpage.