Tremendous Congressional Support for Sleep and Sleep Disorders

Project Sleep is thrilled to share the news that an unprecedented 41 members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed onto a bipartisan letter on March 17, 2020, supporting critical sleep and sleep disorders research and awareness.

Importantly, 41 co-signers is considered a tremendous and impactful success by sign-on letter standards, with nearly 10% of the entire House of Representatives signing on. Likewise, this exceeds our successful sign-on letter last year, when 31 Representatives signed on. This progress is a testament to the unstoppable momentum of our sleep community!

Sleep Advocacy In Action

One month ago, Project Sleep issued an urgent advocacy action alert asking patient advocates to reach out to their Representatives about signing onto this letter. Patient advocates mobilized quickly, with over 200 individuals across the country reaching well over 100 Representatives’ offices. Likewise, the Sleep Research Society and other organizations took action and spread the word.

Meet the 41 Co-Signers

Please join us in thanking the bipartisan group of 41 Representatives who joined the letter including:

  • Congressman Adam B. Schiff of CA-28
  • Congressman Albio Sires of NJ-8
  • Congressman Alcee L. Hastings of FL-20
  • Congressman Bill Foster of IL-11
  • Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick of PA-1
  • Congressman Brian Mast of FL-18
  • Congressman Chris Pappas of NH-1
  • Congressman Danny K. Davis of IL-7
  • Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E. of WV-1
  • Congresswoman Diana DeGette of CO-1
  • Congressman Donald Norcross of NJ-1
  • Congresswoman Eleanor Homes Norton of DC
  • Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin of MI-8
  • Congressman Gerald E. Connolly of VA-11
  • Congressman Gergory W. Meeks of NY-5
  • Congressman Harley Rouda of CA-48
  • Congressman James Himes of CT-4
  • Congressman James P. McGovern of MA-2
  • Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of IL-9
  • Congressman Jared Golden of ME-2
  • Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton of VA-10
  • Congresswoman Judy Chu of CA-27
  • Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester of DE
  • Congresswoman Lucy McBath of GA-6
  • Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon of PA-5
  • Congressman Max Rose of NY-11
  • Congressman Mike Levin of CA-49
  • Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez of NY-7
  • Congressman Peter Stauber of MN-8
  • Congressman Peter A. DeFazio of OR-4
  • Congressman Peter Welch of VT
  • Congressman Ro Khanna of CA-17
  • Congressman Ron Kind of WI-3
  • Congressman Sean Casten of IL-6
  • Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of TX-18
  • Congressman Stephen Lynch of MA-8
  • Congressman Steve Stivers of OH-15
  • Congresswoman Terri Sewell of AL-7
  • Congressman Tom Suozzi of NY-3
  • Congressman William Keating of MA-9
  • Congresswoman Zoe Lofgen of CA-9

Why This Letter Matters

As the House of Representatives drafts FY 2021 federal spending legislation, this letter outlined timely key sleep community priorities, including:

  1. Encouraging the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue advancing scientific understanding to benefit people with sleep disorders,
  2. Ensuring the inclusion of “sleep disorder and restriction” in the Department of Defense (DoD) medical research program, and
  3. Establishing a “Chronic Disease Education and Awareness Program” at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which would be a crucial opportunity for sleep public health initiatives.

Sleep advocates on Capitol Hill in February 2020 laying the groundwork for this national letter

What If Your Representative Didn’t Sign On?

If your Representative did not sign on, it does NOT mean they didn’t support your request. Importantly, some may have put in the requests using a confidential process rather than this public process (which is their prerogative and still advances our cause). Similarly, some of your Representatives serve on the subcommittees that the letter is addressed to, so they cannot be both a sender and receiver. Truthfully, getting 41 co-signers is a huge win that took every person’s contribution.

Huge Thanks

Congressman Adam Schiff with Julie Flygare

Project Sleep would like to extend a huge thank you to Congressman Adam Schiff and his Legislative Assistant, Anthony for taking the lead on this important effort, and to all the Congressional Offices that signed the letter and supported the community’s FY 2021 appropriations requests.

Last but not least, thank YOU for raising your voice. We know your time, energy and “spoons” are limited, so we do not take one action for granted and will keep you updated as progress advances over the year. You deserve to feel great pride in viewing the final official letter and sharing what we accomplished together!

To find out about future sleep advocacy activities and action alerts, sign up for Project Sleep’s e-updates.

COVID-19 UPDATE: In the wake of COVID-19, Congress has made some adjustments and accommodations but continues to work on Fiscal Year 2021 funding and policy priorities, which is why your advocacy this past month was so important. Also, please know that during this difficult time, Project Sleep continues to monitor all policy matters on Capitol Hill that could potentially impact people with sleep disorders.

Stay strong, stay healthy, and stay safe at home, friends!

Thank you for your support!

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