Angela Godby, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Federal Relations for the University of Texas System.

Deficit Reduction Dominates DC

It was a long hot summer in Washington, DC as Congress and the White House negotiated a deficit reduction deal to avert financial catastrophe. Without action, the federal government faced imminent default on this country’s borrowing authority. Amidst unprecedented partisan wrangling, the White House and Congress put the federal government on a path to reduce the federal deficit while also reducing federal spending.

In August, the President signed the Budget Control Act of 2011. The bill established a bipartisan, bicameral committee of twelve legislators. This group is charged with the daunting task of coming up with a plan to reduce federal spending by at least $1.2 trillion over the next ten years. The so-called “Super Committee” has a very quick timeline – any plan they develop must make it be signed into law by the end of the year. If the committee fails to come up with a plan that can pass both houses of Congress and be signed into law, then automatic, across the board cuts are triggered.

What does this mean to you? First, almost everything is on the table for cuts. Medicaid, Social Security and veterans’ benefits are protected, but Medicare and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are not. Medicare would face at least a 2% cut across the board if automatic cuts are put in place, and potentially more from a Super Committee plan. While the NIH is supported by many members of Congress, but when the budget will be slashed by cuts of this magnitude, there is no doubt that the pain will be felt everywhere.

What can you do? Continue to educate your member of Congress and the White House about ichthyosis. Using your personal example, share why medical research is so important to ichthyosis patients as well as other rare conditions. Visit our Advocacy page to learn more about how to help.


Deficit Reduction
“Super Committee”
Xavier Becerra (CA)
James Clyburn (SC)
Chris Van Hollen (MD)
Max Baucus (MT)
John Kerry (MA)
Patty Murray (WA)
Dave Camp (MI)
Jeb Hensarling(TX)
Fred Upton (MI)
Jon Kyl (AZ)
Rob Portman (OH)
Pat Toomey (PA)

News on the Hill keeps members current with the legislation in Washington, DC. This column is written by Angela Godby, affected with lamellar/CIE.

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