Washington summary: 21st Century Cures is signed into law and more

The 114th Congress is history. The new Congress convenes on January 3, 2017.

21st Century Cures

Before adjourning, Congress gave final approval to the 21st Century Cures Act (now known as H.R. 34). President Obama signed the bill into law on December 13. Read about the details on the components of this historic health innovation package.

We have been a strong supporter of increased health innovation that could accelerate treatments and a cure for PKD. Together with 216 organizations, we asked Congress to approve this bill. Thanks to the efforts of PKD advocates and others, Congress did its job. In 2017, we need to build on this foundation.

FY17 Appropriations

Congress also approved a new continuing resolution (CR) that keeps the government working until April 28, 2017. The bill maintains National Institutes of Health (NIH) spending at $32 billion. The two Appropriations Committees had proposed increases of $1 to $2 billion.

Recently, we joined 209 other health research stakeholders in signing a letter asking the Senate to hold firmly on its proposal to provide $34 billion for NIH.

2017 and the 115th Congress

A few changes will occur in the key committees that deal with PKD issues: House Energy and Commerce, Senate HELP and the two Appropriations Committees. The changes will not become official until early in 2017, after the new Congress is sworn in. As we learn more about new committee assignments, we will let you know so that you can begin to contact them. Remember that the new Congress will begin from square one on PKD-related subjects.

We will provide you with a list of new Representatives and Senators in January. That will give the information you need to introduce yourself to your new elected officials and to begin to educate them on PKD and our needs in 2017.