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House Passes Bill Extending Breast Cancer Research Stamp

On October 30, the House passed, by voice vote, a bill (H.R. 1236) that would allow the U.S. Postal Service to continue issuing a special stamp to raise money for breast cancer research until 2011. The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the bill on October 16 (see The Source, 10/19/07). On August 1, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved a similar measure that would extend the sale of the postage stamps for two years (see The Source, 8/3/07). The current authorization (P.L. 109-100) is set to expire on December 31, 2007.

Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO), the bill’s sponsor, said it “retained the Postal Service’s flexibility by reauthorizing the breast cancer stamp for an additional four years and strengthens the bill’s reporting requirements. The new reporting requirements would assess the breast cancer stamp’s effectiveness and appropriateness and the cost to the Postal Service for administering the program to find a cure for breast cancer…The Postal Service has sold over 785.6 million breast cancer research stamps from which $54.626 million have been transferred to the National Institutes of Health and DOD [Department of Defense] for breast cancer research and awareness. I encourage my colleagues to support H.R. 1236 and urge the swift passage of this bill.”

Rep. John Duncan, Jr. (R-TN) said, “After two decades of progress, both the use of mammograms and the rates of detection have begun to slip in recent years. As early detection increased, so did survival rates; but they will fall, too, if we can’t improve public awareness of the importance of early detection. That’s where the measure that is before us comes in. This bill would reauthorize the Postal Service to issue the 55-cent stamp for first-class mail, with 14 cents of each stamp going to breast cancer research and awareness programs for an additional four years…This disease preys on women, such as [Rep.] Jo Ann Davis [R-VA] and on so many others, women on whom others have come to depend…We need this measure to help save their lives.”

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