House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Approves TBI Funding

Gavel with Bronze Scales in the Background

On a related note, the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee passed its version of the Fiscal 2009 Defense Appropriations bill on July 30, 2008, including hundreds of millions of dollars allocated for TBI.

The funding bill approved by the Subcommittee includes $617 million for Traumatic Brain Injury and Psychological Health. Senate Republicans Block The Advancing America's Priorities Act

Unfortunately, on July 28, 2008, Senate Republicans rejected an effort to invoke cloture on The Advancing America's Priorities Act (S. 3297), an omnibus measure containing several non-controversial bills, including important public health measures related to brain injury.

With the exception of three Republican Senators — Norm Coleman of Minnesota, Gordon H. Smith of Oregon and John W. Warner of Virginia - all other Senate Republicans followed the lead of conservative Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma in blocking consideration of the legislation.

As you may recall, in July BIAA issued a Legislative Action Alert requesting that advocates call their Senators and urge them to vote for passage of this important legislation.

Among the nearly three dozen bipartisan, non-controversial measures included in this omnibus legislation were two bills which would help address the public health epidemic of brain injury in United States: The STOP Stroke Act (S. 999/ H.R. 477) and The Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act (S. 1183/H.R. 1727).

The STOP Stroke Act is bipartisan legislation by Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) that would help ensure that all stroke patients are treated as quickly and effectively as possible. Among other things, the STOP Stroke Act would authorize a grant program to help provide states with resources to ensure that patients have access to quality stroke education, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services by establishing coordinated stroke care systems.

The Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act is a non-controversial, bipartisan bill which is primarily about two things: 1 – Advancing collaborative research in paralysis and 2 – Improving the quality of life today for people living with paralysis and mobility impairments from any cause — stroke, traumatic brain injury, ALS, spinal cord injuries, and others.

It remains unclear whether there will be another opportunity this year in the Senate to pass the bills contained in this legislative package.