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Congress Approves Extension of Breast Cancer Stamp Bill

On December 11, the House approved, by voice vote, the Breast Cancer Postage Stamp Act (S. 597). The bill would extend until 2011 the U.S. Postal Service’s authority to issue the breast cancer postage stamp and to use the proceeds from its sale for breast cancer research. The current authorization (P.L. 109-100) is set to expire on December 31, 2007. The Senate approved the bill, by unanimous consent, on December 13, clearing the measure for the president’s signature, after agreeing to the House amendment to S. 597 to extend the stamp for four years. The House passed similar legislation on October 30 (see The Source, 11/2/07); the Senate first passed S. 597 on November 14 (see The Source, 11/16/07).

Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) said, “Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women and the leading cause of cancer death among women under the age of 40. Research is key to improving breast cancer prevention, detection, and treatment. In the nine years the stamp has been sold, it [has] raised more than $40 million to fund breast cancer research around the country. In those nine years, great strides have been made, but we can do more and that’s why we should support the extension of the breast cancer stamp. In addition to this important legislation, we need to do more to prevent breast cancer deaths in women under the age of 40.”

Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA) said, “This extension is not only critical, but it comes at a time when those of us on this House floor are still remembering the recent loss of Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis [R-VA]. Yes, in fact, today could be considered…Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis’ Breast Cancer Awareness Day because it’s not just the statistic of 180,000 people, mostly women, getting breast cancer or 40,000 dying. [I]t’s a friend and a colleague who fought valiantly through not only this Congress but the previous Congress, and almost, but did not, win against this dreaded disease.” He continued, “Breast Cancer Awareness stamps are not about the $54 million raised, although that goes a long way towards adding to the research pool. It’s about the countless millions of people who receive a stamp that sends a message that reminds them to get that available mammogram; to, in fact, do a self-test; to be aware of lumps; to be aware of the possibility of this terrible and invasive disease taking the life of their wife, their daughter, their mother.”

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