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Letter to Senate Colleagues

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44 Senators Call For Full Funding of Cancer Research, Nursing Programs

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) along with 40 other Senators today urged their colleagues to keep cancer research and nursing programs a priority for funding in the fiscal year 2005 appropriations process.

"The tremendous investment our nation has made in the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including the National Cancer Institute and National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, has reaped remarkable returns," said the Senators in a letter sent Wednesday to Senators Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. "We urge you to continue our national commitment to research, allowing for unparalleled innovation in the fight against cancer in the years to come."

Senators Max Baucus (D-MT), Evan Bayh (D-IN), Joe Biden (D-DE), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), John Breaux (D-LA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Tom Carper (D-DE), Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), Susan Collins (R-ME), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Jon Corzine (D-NJ), Tom Daschle (D-SD), Mark Dayton (D-MN), Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Jim Jeffords (I-VT), Tim Johnson (D-SD), John Kerry (D-MA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Frank Lautenberg, (D-NJ), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Joe Lieberman (D-CT), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Dick Lugar (R-IN), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Patty Murray (D-WA), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Jack Reed (D-RI), Rick Santorum (R-PA), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jim Talent (R-MO), John Warner (R-VA), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) also signed the letter, the text of which follows:

"As Members of Congress concerned about the burden of cancer on our communities and the nation, we write today to urge you to make cancer funding a priority during the fiscal year (FY) 2005 appropriations process. While we recognize that our nation faces a tight budget and must make difficult fiscal decisions, we are grateful that we have always been able to come together on a bipartisan basis to find the resources necessary to advance the fight against cancer.

Cancer remains the number two killer in the United States. This year, 1.3 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer and approximately 556,500 are expected to die - more than 1,500 people a day. In addition to lives lost, cancer costs our nation more than $189 billion per year. We can win the fight against this devastating disease but it will require a sustained commitment on the part of the Administration and Congress.

The tremendous investment our nation has made in the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including the National Cancer Institute and National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, has reaped remarkable returns. We urge you to continue our national commitment to research, allowing for unparalleled innovation in the fight against cancer in the years to come.

We also urge you to support the cancer prevention and control programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC applies the vital research conducted at the NIH to cancer prevention, screening and education programs that are implemented by communities across the nation. Finally, we ask you to help address the national nursing shortage by supporting the nursing programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration. Nurses serve on the front-line in the battle against cancer, providing critical patient care services and also helping conduct cancer research through clinical trials.

While we understand that our nation faces a growing deficit and difficult decisions must be made, we hope that you will choose to continue the federal commitment to the fight against cancer - a disease that touches the lives of nearly every American."

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