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Public Statements

Breast Cancer Stamp Extension

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. OSE. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (H.R. 1385) to extend the provision of title 39, United States Code, under which the United States Postal Service is authorized to issue a special postage stamp to benefit breast cancer research, as amended.

The Clerk read as follows:

H.R. 1385

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. BREAST CANCER STAMP EXTENSION.

Section 414(h) of title 39, United States Code, is amended by striking "2005" and inserting "2006".

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Mr. BACA. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Davis) for yielding me this time, and I thank the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Tom Davis) for his support.

I rise in support of H.R. 1385, my bill to authorize the Breast Cancer Research Stamp through the year 2006. I am proud to say that the language in my original bill extending the stamp through the year 2005 was included in the omnibus and signed by the President last Friday. This amendment will extend the stamp for 1 additional year, through the year 2006.

It has been a long, hard fight to extend the Breast Cancer Research Stamp. It is a fight I began when I was in the California assembly and have continued to do so here in Congress.

But we would not be here today without the hard work of several individuals. I want to thank Dr. Bodai for first asking me to introduce this resolution urging Congress to extend its research stamp when I was in the California State Assembly. It was Dr. Bodai who developed the idea of a Breast Cancer Research Stamp, and it was through his crusade and persistence that we have it here today. Had it not been for him doing it in California, in Sacramento, it would not have happened.

I also want to thank Senator Feinstein and the gentleman from California (Mr. Ose). And I know it was difficult for him to be here this afternoon, because he and I were both on the Red-eye. He knew the importance of this bill and what it means to many individuals, and I want to thank him for his leadership and his hard work and what he has done to make sure that the sunset on the research stamp is extended. And for that, I compliment the gentleman for taking the time, on the Red-eye, on this important issue to address this issue here today.

I introduced this bill last year for one reason, and that is to save lives. All of us care about saving lives. This issue is more important to me now. I recently learned from my son, Joe Baca, Jr., that his wife's grandmother passed away from breast cancer. We will miss Josefine Sanchez and many others who have died, but early detection and prevention and research may have prevented this. By working together to pass this important piece of legislation we can prevent such tragedies.

This year, more than 200,000 women and men will be diagnosed with breast cancer. More than 40,000 women and men will die from this disease. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in every major ethnic group in the United States. And I say every ethnic group, not one, but all. It does not discriminate. Whether an individual is white, black, Hispanic, or whatever race or ethnicity, everyone is at risk. Early prevention and early detection is of the utmost importance.

Breast cancer is still the number one cancer killer of women between the ages of 15 to 54, between 15 to 54. The disease claims a woman's life every 15 minutes in the United States. Imagine that, claiming the life of a woman every 15 minutes. More than 2 million women are living with breast cancer in America today, yet 1 million of them have not been diagnosed. One million women have not been diagnosed. That is why it is important to increase the funding for breast cancer research.

The Breast Cancer Research Stamp is among the most successful commemorative stamps of all time, with 485 million stamps sold. I repeat: 485 million stamps sold. The stamp program has generated over $35 million for breast cancer research. It has been a critical ally in generating the resources necessary to wage war on this terrible, terrible disease.

The stamp is a semipostal stamp that can be voluntarily purchased by the public for only 45 cents. It is worth it to save a life. Eight cents of each stamp sold goes to the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program.

Working with Dr. Bodhai, Senator Feinstein introduced the Breast Cancer Research Stamp bill in 1998 to help support the fight against breast cancer. I am also proud to say that California continues to lead the way, and I thank the gentleman from California (Mr. Ose) for starting it in Sacramento, along with Dr. Bodhai. It has contributed over $3 million in research funds, or roughly 21 percent of the money raised nationwide.

Today, I ask for Members' support for the Breast Cancer Research Stamp, my bill, and all women and men who will benefit from the money the stamp raises.

We have the support of 150 Members who have cosponsored my bill, and countless organizations like the American Cancer Society, American Medical Association, the Breast Cancer Fund, and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

By supporting reauthorization of this stamp, you are not only helping research but you are helping to raise awareness and save future lives.

Think about it: the customer purchases a stamp, a carrier delivers it, and a person receives it. That is three people who have seen the message saying breast cancer needs to be stamped out. Each time we use the stamp, not only do we raise additional funds for research; we send a message of hope to many men and women who have this terrible disease. We need to find a cure, and we will find a cure. With Members' continued support of this legislation, we will do that.

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