December 06, 2017

Van Hollen, Markey, Collins, Capito Introduce Legislation to Extend Availability of New Alzheimer’s Semipostal Stamp

Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.),today introduced legislation with to authorize the recently-released United States Postal Service Alzheimer's research stamp for an additional six years, providing more time to raise additional Alzheimer's research funds for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Senators made the announcement alongside U.S. Representatives Elijah Cummings (MD-07) and Maxine Waters (CA-43), who introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives earlier this year, at a press conference with Alzheimer's researchers and advocates. The group spoke about the importance of research funding to help end Alzheimer's, a progressive, neurological disease that affects more than five million Americans.

"Alzheimer's causes immeasurable heartache to families across Maryland and our country, and over the years I've fought to increase funding for critical research,"said Senator Van Hollen."I'm proud to join Senator Markey and Maryland advocate Kathy Siggins today in announcing legislation to direct the Postal Service to continue the stamp beyond the current planned two years. Whether it's sending holiday packages or mailing a letter to a friend, every dollar we put towards Alzheimer's research can help make a difference."

"While we've made significant progress in our fight against Alzheimer's, we need continued research investments through the National Institutes of Health to help us end this disease," said Senator Markey. "This stamp will help us achieve that, but we need more than two years that the Postal Service has dedicated to build upon the momentum that this stamp will create. The issuance of this stamp gives me a renewed hope that, as the stamp art depicts, we will continue to bring Alzheimer's out of the darkness and into the light. And together, we will find a cure."

"Alzheimer's is an irreversible disease that slowly robs people of their memories, their identities, and their ability to care for themselves," said Rep. Cummings. "That's why this stamp is so important-it will enable Americans everywhere who are touched by Alzheimer's to make a contribution to help us win the fight against it. The Breast Cancer stamp issued nearly 20 years ago has raised more than $86 million to fight that disease, and I am confident that the Alzheimer's stamp can be just as effective in supporting Alzheimer's research."

"In addition to the human suffering it causes, Alzheimer's is our nation's costliest disease. As the founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer's, I strongly advocated for the $1.8 billion for Alzheimer's research that was included in the proposed funding bill for the upcoming fiscal year," said Senator Collins. "By allowing Americans to continue to purchase Alzheimer's research stamps, our legislation will promote additional funding for the NIH to help combat this devastating disease."

"The new stamp recently released by the U.S. Postal Service will be another source of funding for critically important Alzheimer's research. By making that stamp available for an even longer period of time, we can further strengthen our efforts to fight Alzheimer's," said Senator Capito. "We have a long way to go in a fight that means so much to so many, and this bipartisan legislation is another step forward in finding a cure to this devastating disease."

"I am so proud that the Postal Service has heeded our call and established an Alzheimer's stamp. I am also proud that my Senate colleagues are introducing a Senate companion to my bill, in order to make this stamp available for six years instead of two," said Congresswoman Waters.

A copy of the legislation can he found HERE.

Today at the press conference, Dr. John Lazo and Dr. Beth Sharlow, Alzheimer's researchers at the University of Virginia, highlighted the importance of building upon recent developments in Alzheimer's research. Advocates Kathy Siggins of Maryland, Caitlin Moran of Washington, D.C., and Tom Misciagna of Virginia shared their personal experience with Alzheimer's disease and why the new Alzheimer's stamp is important to raise awareness about the disease and help enhance research funding.

Senator Markey first introduced legislation to authorize the Alzheimer's research stamp in 2005 and has worked with Senate and House members every year to reintroduce this legislation.