DearColleague.us

Letter

From: The Honorable Jim McDermott
Sent By: Laura.Hughes@mail.house.gov
Date: 3/31/2014

*Note: Includes two programmatic requests*

Deadline to sign on EXTENDED: COB TODAY MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

Current cosigners: Carson, Clark, Cohen, Conyers, Delaney, Ellison, Grijalva, Heck, Jackson Lee, Lee, Lynch, McDermott, Moore, Moran, Norton, Rangel, Sablan, Schakowsky, Van Hollen, Waxman, (Frederica) Wilson

Dear Colleague:

Please join me in sending two programmatic request letters to the Labor, Health and Human Services and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittees in support of funding in Fiscal Year 2015 for the polio eradication activities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a partnership spearheaded by CDC, the Rotary International, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, continues to make tremendous progress.  More than two billion children have been immunized, 10 million have been spared disability and over 250,000 deaths from polio have been averted.  In addition, polio eradication is a cost-effective public health investment, as its benefits accrue forever.  Eradication of polio would achieve an estimated savings of between $40-50 billion over the next 25 years.  However, until the world is polio-free, every child, even those in the United States, is at risk.

The polio eradication initiative is one of the largest, most successful public-private health initiatives ever undertaken. The tremendous progress made in the fight against polio would not be possible without the financial and political commitment of the United States, which is the leading public sector donor to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.  The continued leadership of the United States is essential to ensure we capitalize on the historic opportunity to free the world from polio once and for all.

A copy of the two request letters is below.  For questions, please contact Laura Hughes in Rep. McDermott’s office at Laura.Hughes@mail.house.gov or 5-0103. The deadline to submit these  requests has been EXTENDED TO COB TODAY, MONDAY MARCH 31, 2014.

Sincerely,

JIM McDERMOTT
Member of Congress

House Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee Letter

The Honorable Kay Granger                                        The Honorable Nita Lowey
Committee on Appropriations                                      Committee on Appropriations
Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations,                Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations

and Related Programs                                                  and Related Programs
HT-2, The Capitol                                                        1016 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515                                               Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairwoman Granger and Ranking Member Lowey:

Thank you for your ongoing support of funding for the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Polio Eradication Initiative.  We are writing to respectfully request that you continue your leadership by providing $59 million for the polio eradication activities of USAID in the Fiscal Year 2015 State, Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, the same level included in FY2014. With the opportunity to eradicate polio within our reach, the challenges to achieving that historic goal require significant expenditures from all parties in the global eradication campaign, including the U.S. Government, international donors, and private sector donors like Rotary International and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

This funding will enable USAID to continue its global technical leadership in support of high quality immunization campaigns and polio surveillance in order to interrupt polio transmission globally.  The polio eradication initiative is one of the largest, most successful, public-private health initiatives ever undertaken.  More than two billion children have been immunized, 10 million have been spared disability and over 250,000 deaths from polio have been averted.  In addition, it is a cost-effective public health investment, as its benefits accrue forever.  Eradication of polio would achieve an estimated savings of between $40-50 billion over the next 25 years.

Eradication efforts have led to more than a 99% decrease in cases since the launch of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988.  2012 saw the lowest levels of polio transmission in the fewest places in recorded history with only 223 cases of polio. All but six of these cases were in the three remaining polio endemic countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria.  The endemic countries continued to make progress in 2013 with nearly 30% fewer cases. Nigeria, the only country in Africa which has never interrupted transmission of wild polio, made significant strides in 2013 and has only confirmed six cases of polio since September of 2013.

Outbreaks in the Horn of Africa, Syria and Cameroon underscore the risk that ongoing transmission in the three endemic countries presents to all polio free countries, however, progress continues despite these challenges. India, long considered the global epicenter of the disease, was certified polio free in February 2013, after surpassing three years without a single case of polio. The entire Southeast Asia region is now slated to be certified polio free at the end of March 2014. This clearly demonstrates that strong political will, concerted and persistent high-quality efforts and continued financial commitment can stop polio, even in the toughest areas of the world.

We have a narrow and finite window of opportunity to make history by eradicating polio.  The continued leadership of the United States is essential to ensure we capitalize on the historic opportunity to free the world from polio once and for all.  In order to continue this tremendous progress toward global polio eradication, I respectfully request your continued support by providing $59 million for the polio eradication activities of USAID in the FY2015 Foreign Operations appropriations bill.

House Labor HHS Appropriations Subcommittee Letter

Chairman Jack Kingston                                              Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro
House Appropriations Subcommittee on                     House Appropriation Subcommittee on
Labor, HHS, Education                                                Labor, HHS, Education
2358-B Rayburn House Office Building                     1016 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515                                               Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Kingston and Ranking Member DeLauro:

Thank you for your ongoing support of funding for polio eradication through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Global Immunization Program. We respectfully request that you continue your leadership by providing $161 million for the polio eradication efforts of the CDC in the FY 2015 Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bill, the same level included in the President’s FY15 budget.  With the opportunity to eradicate polio within our reach, the challenges to achieving that historic goal require significant expenditures from all parties in the global eradication campaign, including the U.S. Government, international donors, and private sector donors like Rotary International and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

This funding will enable CDC to continue its global technical leadership in support of high quality immunization campaigns and polio surveillance in order to interrupt polio transmission globally.  The polio eradication initiative is one of the largest, most successful, public-private health initiatives ever undertaken.  More than two billion children have been immunized, 10 million have been spared disability and over 250,000 deaths from polio have been averted.  In addition, it is a cost-effective public health investment, as its benefits accrue forever.  Eradication of polio would achieve an estimated savings of between $40-50 billion over the next 25 years.

Eradication efforts have led to more than a 99% decrease in cases since the launch of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988.  2012 saw the lowest levels of polio transmission in the fewest places in recorded history with only 223 cases of polio. All but six of these cases were in the three remaining polio endemic countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria.  The endemic countries continued to make progress in 2013 with nearly 30% fewer cases. Nigeria, the only country in Africa which has never interrupted transmission of wild polio, made significant strides in 2013 and has only confirmed six cases of polio since September of 2013.

Outbreaks in the Horn of Africa, Syria and Cameroon underscore the risk that ongoing transmission in the three endemic countries presents to all polio free countries, however, progress continues despite these challenges. India, long considered the global epicenter of the disease, was certified polio free in February 2013, after surpassing three years without a single case of polio. The entire Southeast Asia region is now slated to be certified polio free at the end of March 2014. This clearly demonstrates that strong political will, concerted and persistent high-quality efforts and continued financial commitment can stop polio, even in the toughest areas of the world.

We have a narrow and finite window of opportunity to make history by eradicating polio.  The continued leadership of the United States is essential to ensure we capitalize on the historic opportunity to free the world from polio once and for all.  In order to continue this tremendous progress toward global polio eradication, I respectfully request your continued support by providing $161 million for the polio eradication efforts of the CDC in the FY2015 Labor HHS appropriations bill.