The end of the Congressional session is here so what does it mean for stillbirth legislation?

Posted on November 21, 2012

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I don’t know if you know that the U.S. Congress hasn’t passed a new budget since the George W days. The Congress has passed a Congressional Resolution (CR) every year to extend the same funding and budget with no changes. So the federal government has been funded but without changes means no adjustments or new initiatives such as further stillbirth research has happened.

So, what does that mean for stillbirth legislation? Well, for starters, appropriations and the priority for those appropriations has been dormant. The first $3 million dollars in stillbirth research then the additional $1 million in research all stemmed from the appropriations process through the National Institute of Health (NIH) research budget. When Congress continually passes a CR, it’s extremely difficult to steer additional funding to stillbirth research without some Congressional directive.

That’s why the three stillbirth congressional legislation were introduced. To give the congressional directives to fund stillbirth research. Because of the “fiscal cliff”, Congress is forced (or hopefully so) to pass a new appropriations bill for 2013. The bad news is every agency and their budgets will be cut drastically including NIH research. The good news is that it provides an opportunity to add stillbirth research funding in the new but reduced budget.

So back to the original question of what does the end of the session mean for stillbirth research and our efforts to ultimately find ways to prevent future parents experiencing our pain? It means we start all over next year.

We hope that Sen. Frank Lautenberg, Rep. Peter King and Rep. Frank Pallone introduce stillbirth research legislation again. And, it means we have a chance to try to convince the NIH to add stillbirth research into their budget.

It takes time to make things happen in Congress but we have been successful in generating $4 million research in the past decade. Let’s get ready for next session and thank you all for helping in our grassroots efforts to help future families.

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