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Learn More About the Super Committee and Contact the Members!

The Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF) has received another important update from the Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN) about the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. Take action now and reach out to your Members of Congress in efforts to protect federally-funded medical research.


From PAN:

Background:
On August 2, 2011, Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011, establishing the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, commonly referred to as the “Super Committee.”  The Committee is a special congressional committee made up of twelve members of Congress – six Representatives and six Senators, equally divided between the Democratic and Republican parties.

The Committee is charged with finding at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions over the next ten years.  The deadline to submit these recommended cuts to Congress is November 23, 2011. Congress is then required to vote on the Committee’s recommendations by December 23, 2011. If the committee fails to recommend $1.2 trillion in spending cuts to Congress by the November deadline, or Congress fails to enact those cuts by the December deadline, automatic across-the-board cuts – impacting every aspect of the federal budget – will be triggered.

Read on to learn more about how this Committee’s action may impact federally-funded biomedical research and our immediate call to action!

Why Does this Matter?
When Congress returns into session on September 6, the Super Committee will undertake the monumental task of identifying where Congress can cut at least $1.2 trillion from the federal budget.  The Committee can make cuts in a number of areas - including health care spending, medical research, drug and therapy development and approval, and programs like the Department of Defense’s Neurotoxin Exposure Treatment Parkinson’s Research (NETPR) program.  Moreover, if the Committee fails to come to agreement on where the cuts should come from by the November 23 deadline, we will see severe across-the-board budget cuts.

What Should You Do?
PAN is closely monitoring this process and will keep you informed, through Action Alerts, of opportunities to reach out to your Members of Congress.  Your voices are, and will remain, critical in efforts to protect federally-funded medical research, and everyone should keep an eye out for future Action Alerts. Click here to learn how to contact your Member today if they are on the Super Committee (see below)!

Members of the Super Committee:
Here’s some background on each of the twelve committee members, appointed by House and Senate leadership:

Senators
Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) – Committee Co-chair
Sen. Murray is the senior Senator from Washington State and is serving her fourth term. She is also a member of the Democratic leadership. Sen. Murray is a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), Appropriations, and Budget Committees, and chairs the Veterans’ Affairs Committee.  Sen. Murray signed on to a letter in support of the Department of Defense Neurotoxin Exposure Parkinson’s Research (NETPR) program. She voted in favor of the debt ceiling compromise.

Senator Max Baucus (D-MT)
Sen. Baucus, who is serving his sixth term in office, is the senior Senator from Montana.  Sen. Baucus chairs the Senate Finance Committee, which has authority over Medicare, Medicaid, and all tax code changes.  He participated in the Simpson-Bowles Commission, established by President Obama in 2010, charged with analyzing the nation’s spending and debt. Sen. Baucus has consistently signed on to letters in support of the Department of Defense’s Neurotoxin ExposureParkinson’s Research (NETPR) program and in support of NIH funding. He voted in support of the debt ceiling compromise.

Senator John Kerry (D-MA)
Sen. Kerry, who is serving his fifth term in office, is the senior Senator from Massachusetts and a former presidential candidate.  Sen. Kerry chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and is a member of the Senate Finance Committee. Sen. Kerry has consistently signed on to letters in support of the Department of Defense’s Neurotoxin Exposure Parkinson’s Research (NETPR) program and in support of NIH funding.  He voted in support of the debt ceiling compromise.

Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
Sen. Kyl is the junior Senator from Arizona, serving his third term in office and will retire next year.  Sen. Kyl is also the Minority Whip in the Senate, serving as a liaison between party leaders and members.  Sen. Kyl is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, and he also participated in the debt ceiling negotiations with Vice President Biden earlier this summer.  Sen. Kyl voted in support of the debt ceiling compromise.

Senator Rob Portman (R-OH)
Sen. Portman is the junior Senator from Ohio, serving his first term in office. He served as director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under former President G.W. Bush, and from 1993-2005, as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, serving on the House Ways & Means and Budget Committees.  Currently a member of the Senate Budget Committee, Sen. Portman voted in support of the debt ceiling compromise.

Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA)
Sen. Toomey is the junior Senator from Pennsylvania and serving his first term in the U.S. Senate.  Prior to his election, he was president of the Club for Growth, an organization that champions low taxes, free markets, and limited government.  Sen. Toomey was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1998 to 2004. He is currently a member of the Senate Budget and Banking Committees and voted against the debt ceiling compromise.

Representatives
Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-TX-5) – Committee Co-chair
Rep. Hensarling is serving his fifth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving on the Financial Services and Budget Committees.  He was a member of President Obama’s 2010 Simpson-Bowles Commission, which evaluated and made recommendations regarding the nation’s spending and deficit.  Rep. Hensarling voted in support of the debt ceiling compromise.

Representative Xavier Becerra (D-CA-31)
Rep. Becerra is serving his tenth term in Congress. He is vice-chair of the House Democratic Caucus, a member of the House Ways & Means Committee, and ranking member of the Subcommittee on Social Security.  He was a member of President Obama’s 2010 Simpson-Bowles Commission, which evaluated and made recommendations regarding the nation’s spending and deficit.  Rep. Becerra voted against the debt ceiling compromise.

Representative Dave Camp (R-MI-4)
Rep. Camp is serving his eleventh term in Congress. He chairs the House Ways & Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over taxes and Medicare.  He was a member of President Obama’s 2010 Simpson-Bowles Commission, which evaluated and made recommendations regarding the nation’s spending and deficit.  Rep. Camp voted in support of the debt ceiling compromise.

Representative James Clyburn (D-SC-6)
Rep. Clyburn is serving his tenth term in office. He is the assistant democratic leader in the 112th Congress and is also the leadership liaison to the House Appropriations Committee.  Rep. Clyburn participated in debt ceiling negotiations with Vice President Biden earlier this year and voted in support of the debt ceiling compromise.

Representative Fred Upton (R-MI-6)
Rep. Upton is serving his thirteenth term in Congress.  He is a current member and former co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Parkinson’s Disease. Rep. Upton chairs the House Energy & Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration.  Rep. Upton has consistently signed on to letters in support of the Department of Defense’s Neurotoxin Exposure Parkinson’s Research (NETPR) program. He voted in support of the debt ceiling compromise.

Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD-12)
Rep. Van Hollen is serving his fifth term in office and is a co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Parkinson’s Disease and a recipient of the 2011 Morris K. Udall Award for Public Service.  He is the ranking member on the House Budget Committee and participated in debt ceiling negotiations with Vice President Biden earlier this year.  Rep. Van Hollen has consistently signed on to letters in support of the Department of Defense’s Neurotoxin Exposure Parkinson’s Research (NETPR) program.  He voted in support of the debt ceiling compromise.

Take Action! Contact your Member today if they are on the Super Committee!


PAN is the voice of the Parkinson's community in Washington, DC.  In 2011, PDF is supporting PAN with a grant of $200,000.

 

Source Date: Aug 25 2011