A bill (H.R. 762) that would extend research on lupus was approved, by voice vote, on September 26 by the House Commerce Committee. Sponsored by Rep. Carrie Meek (D-FL), the bill is included on the legislative agenda of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues.
As introduced, H.R. 762 would authorize $75 million for lupus research at the National Institutes of Health and $75 million for a grants programs through the Department of Health and Human Services for the establishment, operation, and coordination of the delivery of essential services to individuals with lupus and their families.
Prior to approving the bill, the committee adopted, by voice vote, a substitute amendment offered by Rep. Michael Bilirakis (R-FL). The substitute made several technical changes to the bill, including removing the specified funding amounts and replacing them with “such sums as are necessary.” The substitute also removed a provision that would have allowed grant money to be used to provide assistance to ensure continuity of health insurance coverage for individuals with lupus.