May 19, 2005
Latest News. Your contacts to Congress are paying off!
The House Appropriations Committee met May 18 to determine funding for the various programs within the Department of Energy (DOE), including the Medical Applications and Measurement Science Program. The Society of Nuclear Medicine is pleased to report that the Energy & Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee's official recommendation to the full committee included $35 million for the Medical Applications and Measurement Science Program—a program providing crucial funding for basic nuclear medicine/molecular imaging research, recently put in jeopardy by the president’s fiscal year 2006 budget request. The full House Appropriations Committee approved the subcommittee’s recommendation without change.
“I am delighted that the full House Appropriations Committee recommended that DOE's medical applications funding of $35 million be included in the 2006 budget,” said SNM President Mathew L. Thakur, Ph.D. “The Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Committee has yet to make the final ruling, so we must continue to work hard at this vital issue,” he said. “I want to thank you all for taking the time to send to your representatives more than 3,000 e-mails and letters. This action—in addition to our making numerous visits to the House; delivering several presentations to lawmakers, their staff and representatives in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Office of Management and Budget and Senate caucus; and participating in interviews for many publications—is making a positive impact on this issue of crucial importance to nuclear medicine and molecular imaging,” added Thakur.
This House action represents great news for nuclear medicine/molecular imaging research; however, SNM members cannot afford to sit back; you must now turn your energy to the Senate, said Thakur. The Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee is expected to meet soon, and they need to hear from you, he said. Members of Congress determine their support for most issues based on the number of contacts they receive from constituents. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is that you contact your senators immediately. “In a democracy, our voice is one of our greatest privileges,” said Thakur. “The full House Appropriations Committee's recommendation is the testimony that your voice can be heard and that persistence can prevail,” he added. “Let us continue to work to write more letters and to contact the senators until our goal is finally achieved,” Thakur urged.
Additionally, it will be helpful to SNM national office staff for you to provide feedback on responses you receive, or conversations you have with Senate staff on this issue. This feedback helps SNM to ensure that the Senate understands how important this program is to nuclear medicine research. Please contact Hugh Cannon, SNM Director of Public Affairs, at email@example.com with your feedback.
Keep up the good work.