Cure SMA has been carefully monitoring the consideration of 21st Century Cures on Capitol Hill. As you know, the House passed legislation in July last year, but the Senate has not acted on the bill or introduced their own version of “Innovation” legislation.

Senator Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) committee has announced an important development. The Senate HELP Committee plans to discuss and vote on a number of individual bills on biomedical innovation as part of the Senate’s broader bipartisan Innovation initiative in February, March and April.

The Senate approach to moving the Innovation legislation differs from that taken by the House to move a comprehensive legislative package. This “step-by-step” approach, as named by the committee, means various provisions of the 21st Century Cures act will be considered in the Senate as separate bills. Cure SMA is pleased to see the Senate’s progress and supports the Senate’s commitment and dedication to advancing this legislation that would directly impact the SMA community.

Upcoming Votes

Beginning on February 9, the Senate will bring forward different provisions for consideration. Included on the February 9th list is The Advancing Research for Neurological Diseases Act of 2015 (S.849), sponsored by Sens. Isakson (R-Ga.) and Murphy (D-Conn.) This bill serves to expand and enhance federal research on neurological diseases and would facilitate the collection and tracking of information on neurological diseases for federal agencies, and the public, including researchers. This bill, along with others, could have a positive impact on research for SMA.

Cure SMA will continue to monitor this process. Watch for action alerts with opportunities to show your support for Innovation!