Yesterday, all of us who care about ending asbestos’s toll of human suffering made a historic step forward. Senator Patty Murray’s bill to finally ban asbestos in the USA, and provide federal research funding to develop treatments for mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases passed from its committee by unanimous, bipartisan vote. The Ban Asbestos in America Act of 2007 will now advance with very strong momentum to the Senate floor for final vote. Click here for full news release.
The Meso Foundation helped draft this legislation and has worked closely with Senator Murray the past six years, providing expert testimony and working v igorously on Capitol Hill to support it. Many of you responded to our Action Alerts with calls, letters, emails and personal visits to your Senators, asking them to cosponsor the bill. In fact, the bill gained 19 Senate cosponsors, including much of the majority leadership. This strong support was key to its overwhelming success yesterday, and we are deeply grateful to all of you for your advocacy.
Now, the action shifts over to the House side of Congress. The Meso Foundation has been working there all year to develop robust support for the legislation and find a key Representative who would lead it in the House. We have found a vigorous ally in Congresswoman Betty McCollum. Tomorrow, Congresswoman McCollum will introduce in the House the companion version of the bill. She has titled it the “Bruce Vento Ban Asbestos and Prevent Mesothelioma Act of 2007,” honoring Congressman Bruce Vento, who died from mesothelioma in 2000, and recognizing the immense contribution of his wido w, Meso Foundation Board member Sue Vento, in pushing this legislation toward reality.
Much remains for all of us to do to make this legislation a reality, ban asbestos, fund critically needed research and save countless lives. The legislation must pass its relevant committees in the House, be passed by both the full House and Senate, then signed into law by the President. Also, the appropriation of the actual research and education funding authorized by the bill must be included in the budget legislation. You can make a key difference! Continue to respond to our Action Alerts. And be part of the 2007 Symposium and the Call for a Cure advocacy day on October 4. We will prepare you and arrange for you to meet personally with your Senators and Congressional Representative and/or their legislative assistant directly responsible for health and medical issues. Your personal stories and advocacy will have a profound impact. Registration forms and more information are available on the website, the recent Breath of Hope newsletter, and the full Program Announcement which will be mailed soon.
We have made huge progress and with continued commitment, we will ban asbestos and cure meso!
Yours in the fight,
Information about mesothelioma medical and legal options provided by the Law Office of Roger G. Worthington, P.C., www.mesothel.com.