July 30, 2020

July 30, 2020

Washington, DC - Rep. Davis delivered the following floor statement in support of an amenderment to increase Sickle Cell Funding. 

Mr. Speaker,

I want to thank Rep. Michael Burgess who has been my bipartisan partner in this effort to continue helping tens of thousands of Americans who suffer from this dreadful disease and for all his support and dedication to this important issue.

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is an inherited blood disorder that is a major health problem in the United States, primarily affecting African Americans and Latinos. SCD occurs in approximately 1 in 300 newborns each year, and more than 3 million Americans have the sickle cell trait today. The average life span for an adult with SCD is 20 to 30 years shorter than an adult without SCD. In addition, many SCD patients have asuppressed immune system and co-existing medical conditions that tend to result in a much higher risk of severe complications stemming from infection with COVID-19 and other possible pathogens.

The Davis/Burgess Amendment will add $2 Million to the Center for Disease Control’s National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities’ (NCBDD) Public Health Approach to Blood Disorders Account to fund a surveillance program in Sickle Cell Disease and reduce the administration account in the Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services account by a similar amount. 

This same bipartisan amendment was offered last year by Rep. Davis, Rep. Burgess and Rep. Butterfield (H. Amdt. 283-116th Congress 1st session-2019) and passed in the House by a roll call vote of 410 yes to 12 noes.  In the House/Senate negotiations on the FY2020 Labor HHS Appropriations the additional funds were not included in the final version of the bill signed into law.

The current FY2021 Labor HHS Appropriation bill reported from the House Appropriations Committee does not include funding for sickle cell disease surveillance, but the Committee Report that accompanies the bill includes language urging the Division of Blood Disorders in the Center for Disease Control’s National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities to establish a separate budget account for SCD and to establish a population-based surveillance system to collect and analyze longitudinal data on people living in the U.S. with sickle cell disease.  Our hope is that CDC creates a separate budget account for sickle cell disease and that the $2 million we are seeking through this amendment be included in this account once it is established.  Because there is no separate account for SCD at this time, we are asking that the funds be placed in the Center for Disease Control’s National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities’ Blood Disorders Division’s Public Health Approach to Blood Disorders’ within the account as a separate line item like other blood diseases, which has a funding allocation in the committee report(p. 82) (but not the bill).   

You can view the floor statement here

Congressman Davis is the Chairman of the Worker & Family Support Subcommitee of the House Ways and Means Committee