2021 Legislative and Public Policy Priorities
This month, The NBCC Board of Directors met and approved a set of legislative and public policy priorities to guide our public policy advocacy work for 2021. As always, our goals are focused on our mission to end breast cancer. You can read the full list of legislative and public policy priorities here.
A Closer Look At the 117th Congress
Following the contentious election cycle of 2020, the Democratic party now controls the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the White House. However, the margins by which Democrats control Congress are slim. In the House, Democrats now hold fewer seats than they had after the 2018 midterm elections. This puts the party makeup in the House at 222 Democrats to 212 Republicans, and 218 votes are required to constitute a majority. The Senate has an even tighter margin between parties, with a 50/50 split between Democrats and Republicans. The President of the Senate, Vice-President Kamala Harris, casts the Senate’s tie-breaking vote, which gives Democrats a simple majority over Republicans.
What do these razor-thin margins mean for passing legislation?
The Senate requires a supermajority of votes – 60 votes – to pass major legislation because of the current filibuster rules. For Democrats, this threshold requires flipping 10 Republicans from the other side and asking them to vote with the opposing party. The supermajority acts as a bargaining tool for Republicans to use when their votes are needed to pass legislation.
Some types of legislation do not require a supermajority of votes to pass in the Senate but can pass with a simple majority. One example is a budget reconciliation. Reconciliation, which involves spending and/or revenue, only requires a simple majority (50 + 1) to pass. There is also a process called the Congressional Review Act, through which Congress can pass measures canceling regulations recently passed by the previous presidential administration. This means Democrats can pass measures using a simple majority that rescinds regulations that the Trump Administration passed.
We will continue our bipartisan approach and make certain that our agenda becomes law. Our top legislative priorities, the DOD Breast Cancer Research Program appropriations and the Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act do have bipartisan support and we will make certain the new Congress is on board.
NBCC Resources and Tools Help You Take Action
This New Member Guide outlines the new and returning Members of the 117th Congress, plus committee assignments, a breakdown of the House and Senate demographics, and much more.
The 117th Congress was elected to office by your voice and your vote. Elected officials are responsive to you as their constituents. There is a unique power in your voice as a constituent. Advocating for legislative actions that will help end breast cancer carries significant weight when the advocacy comes from a constituent.
We need your voice on Capitol Hill. One easy way to reach out is to use the NBCC Action Center. Here you can share NBCC resources and priorities with your Members with just a few clicks. If you are interested in more information on NBCC’s public policy activities, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2021 Virtual Advocate Leadership Summit
Mark your calendars! The National Breast Cancer Coalition is holding its Virtual Advocate Leadership Summit this year on May 13-15, 2021! The exciting program will include skill-building workshops for advocates, updates from scientists on the latest research, and numerous networking opportunities. Attendees will hear from experts on topics such as moving the needle on disparities in breast cancer, the Artemis Project, and how the new Congress and administration will shape breast cancer policy. On Monday we will host our Lobby Day Briefing and state delegation meetings. And on Tuesday, May 18, advocates will participate in a Virtual Lobby Day to ensure our leaders in Congress join us in our fight to end breast cancer.
Registration for the Virtual Summit is $150 per person, or $125 with a buddy discount. Registration is expected to open soon, so be sure to stay tuned for more information!
We look forward to seeing you at this year’s Summit! Together we can end breast cancer for everyone.
NBCC increases federal funding for breast cancer research, monitors how research funds are spent, expands access to quality health care, and ensures trained advocates influence all decisions affecting breast cancer. Join NBCC and thousands of others to keep breast cancer a priority for Congressional and state policymakers. Join our efforts today.