On September 15, the Senate Committee on Appropriations approved their FY12 report by a vote of 30-0. Included in the report was their recommendations for the Department of Defense Research Programs.
The report includes line items for specific Department of Defense (DOD) Programs in the following amounts:
Breast Cancer $120 million
Peer Review Program $ 50 million
Ovarian $ 10 million
Prostate $ 64 million
Psychological/TBI $ 60 million
Joint Warfighter $ 50 million
These numbers are a consistent 20% decrease across the board from the 2009 figures. Prostate Cancer research received the same percentage cut as breast cancer despite the fact that prostate cancer has been flat for the last seven years while breast cancer has seen as increase in funding each year.
I suppose you could argue that we are better off since our base was lower so our cut is lower in real dollars.
BOTTOM LINE: Overall, I believe that given the amount of cuts that the Senate had to absorb, the situation could have been a lot worse, although one could argue that a bigger portion of the cuts should have come out of the allocation for the cancer that saw an increase in funding every year (of course, I would never suggest that since I don’t wish to stir up the wrath of the pink lobby).
Our next step is to do all we can to preserve the House numbers in conference!
Also, we shouldn’t keep our guard down with respect to possible amendments when this comes to the floor of the Senate. I have yet to hear of any rumblings from Senator McCain or others (see my prior posts about Senator McCain), but we need to be prepared in case negative amendments are offered!
Joel T. Nowak, M.A., M.S.W.