DearColleague.us

Letter

Sending Office: Honorable Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan
Sent By:
Frances.Diaz@mail.house.gov

Supported by 16 VSOs:  Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Veterans for Common Sense, DAV, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA),
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), AMVETS, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), Blinded Veterans Association (BVA), The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA),
Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), Fleet Reserve Association, Association of the United States Navy (AUSN) National Gulf War Resource Center, Burn Pits 360, Sgt. Sullivan Circle, and the National Vietnam & Gulf War Veterans
Coalition.

DEADLINE TODAY 

Defense Appropriations submission deadline is Monday, April 1.

Current co-signers:  Beatty, Bergman, Bilirakis, Bost, Brown, Brownley, Buchanan, Bustos, Cárdenas, Carson, Chu, Cicilline, Clarke, Correa, Crow, Davis (IL-07) , Davis (CA-53), DeFazio, DeGette, DeLauro, DeSaulnier, Delgado, Dingell, Doggett, Dunn, Escobar,
Gabbard, Gallego, Garcia, González Colón, Grijalva, Hastings, Hayes, Hunter, Jackson Lee, Johnson (GA-04) Katko, Keating, Kim, Kind, Krishnamoorthi, Kuster, Lamborn, Larsen, Lee (CA-13), Lipinski, Loebsack, Lowenthal, Luria, Lynch, McGovern, McMorris Rodgers,
Moore, Omar, Pannetta, Payne, Perlmutter, Peters, Peterson, Pingree, Plaskett, Radewagen, Rice, Roe, Rouda, Ruiz, Rush, Sablan, Sánchez, Scanlon, Schakowsky, Sires, Slotkin, Soto, Speier, Takano, Tipton, Tlaib, Veasey, Vela, Welch, Yarmuth, Yoho

 

Dear Colleague: 

We invite you to join us in sending a letter (text below) to the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee urging continued support in FY 2020 for the treatment-focused
Gulf War Illness Research Program within the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP).

The Gulf War Illness Research Program is a unique federal program with an unprecedented vision to achieve, “improved health and lives of Veterans who have Gulf War Illness.” The GWIRP continues to succeed in efforts to “fund innovative Gulf War
Illness (GWI) research to identify effective treatment and accelerate their clinical application, improve definition and diagnosis, and better understand pathobiology and symptoms.” As specified in more detail in the letter, the GWIRP continues to demonstrate
its effectiveness in its mission to improve the health and lives of veterans debilitated and suffering from Gulf War Illness. We need to ensure that these efforts continue for these veterans and for current and future U.S. forces at risk of similar exposures
and outcomes. 

By congressional design, the Congressionally-directed Gulf War Illness Research Program (GWIRP) is a unique medical research program narrowly focused on identifying treatments and diagnostic markers for Gulf War
Illness (GWI).1

The most recent report of the Congressionally-mandated Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses (RAC) recommended maintaining funding for this effective treatment-oriented program.

The FY 2019 GWIRP request was supported by 83 offices, including current House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Takano and Ranking Member Roe. 

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Veterans for Common Sense, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), AMVETS, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), Blinded Veterans Association (BVA), The Retired Enlisted Association
(TREA), Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), Association of the United States Navy, National Gulf War Resource Center, Burn Pits 360, Sgt. Sullivan Circle, and the National Vietnam & Gulf War Veterans Coalition support this request.

The deadline to sign on is Thursday, March 28, 2019. Please contact
Frances Diaz at frances.diaz@mail.house.gov, in Rep. Sablan’s office or
Remy Fortin at remy.fortin@mail.house.gov, in Rep. Bergman’s office for more information or to sign this letter.

 

Sincerely,

 

GREGORIO KILILI CAMACHO SABLAN                                                             JACK BERGMAN                  

Member of Congress                                                                                                 Member of Congress 

 

April 1, 2019

The Honorable Pete Visclosky 

Chairman

Subcommittee on Defense 

Committee on Appropriations

H-307, The Capitol

Washington, DC 20515

 

The Honorable Ken Calvert

Ranking Member 

Subcommittee on Defense 

Committee on Appropriations

1016 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515 

Dear Chairman Visclosky and Ranking Member Calvert: 

As your Subcommittee begins work on the Fiscal Year 2020 Defense Appropriations Bill, we respectfully request adequate funding for the Gulf War Illness Research Program within the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP).
We also thank you for providing the program $22 million in Fiscal Year 2019.

By congressional design, the GWIRP is a unique medical research program narrowly focused on the vision of improving the health and lives of Veterans with Gulf War Illness. Reports by the congressionally-mandated Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’
Illnesses (RAC) and the National Academy of Sciences (NASEM) have shown that: 1) GWI is a physical condition – likely caused by toxic exposures – that affects up to one-third of the nearly 700,000 veterans who served in the 1991 Persian Gulf War; 2) Debilitating
GWI symptoms typically include “some combination of widespread pain, headache, persistent problems with memory and thinking, fatigue, breathing problems, stomach and intestinal symptoms, and skin abnormalities.”[1],
[2]

Two-thirds of GWIRP studies are still in progress. However, the positive news is that there is a growing body of GWIRP-funded study results, many published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, that demonstrate steady advances of GWIRP’s goals of identifying
underlying mechanisms, diagnostic markers, and treatments. For example, the GWIRP-funded consortia at Boston University and Nova Southeastern University identified several potential treatments through their interdisciplinary preclinical and computational biology
research projects. Those treatments will now be tested in the Gulf War Illness Clinical Trials and Interventions Consortium, which will include five clinical trials at seven study sites to target GWI’s inflammation, energy production, and immune function issues.[3]Additionally,
the GWIRP-funded Boston Biorepository, Recruitment, and Integrative Network will aggregate biological samples and data to further advance GWI diagnostic marker efforts. These successes are the direct result of clear, treatment-focused congressional direction,
stable appropriations for the GWIRP, and effective GWIRP management.

Recognizing the program’s progress, the most recent RAC report’s recommendations remain instructive: “Congress should maintain its funding to support the effective treatment-oriented [GWIRP].”[4] The discoveries
through the program continue to represent encouraging steps toward achieving the 2010 NASEM treatment goals “to speed the development of effective treatments, cures, and, it is hoped, preventions” for current and future U.S. forces at risk of similar exposures
and outcomes. Indeed, the GWIRP has served as a model of how to conduct treatment-oriented research to address a challenging illness and is succeeding where earlier programs failed. Its two-tier peer-reviewed and highly competitive process ensures the independence
and value of the results produced. Unlike the VA’s GWI research program which only funds VA researchers, GWIRP seeks out and funds the best research by any combination of government, academic, or private-sector research teams.

We respectfully request that you provide the necessary resources to continue this vital and effective program in the FY20 Defense Appropriations Bill. Furthermore, it is critical to the program’s success and accountability that it remains a stand-alone program
within the CDMRP and not be combined as a topic area within broader, less-targeted research programs.

Thank you for your consideration of our request, which is supported by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Veterans for Common Sense, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), AMVETS, Paralyzed Veterans of America
(PVA), Blinded Veterans Association (BVA), The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA), Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), Association of the United States Navy, National Gulf War Resource Center, Burn Pits 360, Sgt. Sullivan Circle, National Vietnam
& Gulf War Veterans Coalition.

Sincerely,

GREGORIO KILILI CAMACHO SABLAN

Member of Congress

JACK BERGMAN

Member of Congress

 

MARK TAKANO

Member of Congress

DAVID P. ROE, M.D.

Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Appropriations, Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Government, HealthCare, Science, Veterans

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