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Continuing the SMA Charge on Capitol Hill

April 27, 2011 by Bill Strong
Get ready -- a NEW SMA bill is on it's way and we will need YOUR help.

We've always believed that having a consistent, coordinated SMA voice on Capitol Hill is a key component to continuing to move SMA awareness, funding, research, and advocacy forward at the highest level.We've been big supporters of the SMA Treatment Acceleration Act (SMATAA) the last several years through our successful and effectiveonline petition and other efforts and, as a result, we've forged a strong connection with our localCongresswoman, Representative Lois Capps (D-CA). Although the SMATAA never passed, our collective efforts as a disease community paid material dividends in key areas: broad awareness, increased funding via the NIH and NINDS, and collaboration and coordination of programs. We should all be very proud of what has been accomplished in a very short period of time and we are very excited to be part of the next SMA legislative steps.

No doubt, this 112th Congress has brought new challenges for SMA legislation but it has also born fresh, exciting opportunities. Two key Members of Congress -- our incredible Representative Lois Capps (D-CA) and Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) -- have signed on to enthusiastically run with the SMA torch and build on the past grassroots momentum. The support of these specific Members from both sides of the aisle is critical as they are both members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and its Health Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over legislation such as this. This development is a first for SMA legislation and is very exciting.FightSMA will be leading the charge and GSF will now be taking a larger role in the future of SMA on the Hill -- specifically via our relationship with Representative Capps.

So, what will the focus of this new bipartisan legislation be? Over the coming weeks and months FightSMA and GSF will work with key Members of Congress to shape the new bill and are seeking to enhance federal support for clinical trials to accelerate the development of therapeutics. Pretty exciting stuff and so needed!

We will no doubt be reaching out to YOU in the coming months so you can once again help rally support for SMA. YOUR help has been critical in the past and will again be necessary to help gain broad support for this new SMA legislation.

Thank you so much for your continued support -- know that it has made a difference, it is making a difference, and together we will END SMA!

For more detailed information on this fresh SMA charge on Capitol Hill, see FightSMA's post by clicking HERE.

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