Butterfield Statement on Demonstration in Durham

DURHAM, NC – Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) today released the following statement regarding the demonstration in Durham:

“There is no place for hate, bigotry, and racism in our society.  The demonstrators today are making it known loudly and clearly that the KKK, Neo-Nazis, and other extremist groups are not welcome in our communities.

“The actions in Durham do not take place in a vacuum.  People of good will no longer tolerate anyone who desires to honor and celebrate a dark period of American history.  240 years of slavery in America is considered an original sin and we have long been moving toward a color blind and inclusive society.

“Through his words and actions, it is clear that President Trump either condones or is indifferent to racist behavior and policies that will turn back the clock on the progress we have made toward equality.  President Trump must forcefully and unequivocally condemn the actions of the KKK, Neo-Nazis, and other extremist groups and reject their political support.

“Like Governor Cooper, I call for the immediate removal of all confederate statues and monuments that are displayed on government property, including the US Capitol.  These monuments depict a period of history that must be taught to future generations but not celebrated.”

Butterfield to GOP: Time to Put Country Over Party

WASHINGTON, DCCongressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) today released the following statement in response to reports that President Donald Trump shared highly classified intelligence with Russian officials:

“The reports that President Trump may have shared classified intelligence with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador is alarming and deeply disturbing.  This sharing of highly classified intelligence with Russian representatives is the latest in a pattern of reckless ineptitude from the White House that puts our national security and our ability to work with our allies at risk.

“Enough is enough.  This is just another incident in a long line of troubling revelations that call into question the President’s relationship with Russia.  Congressional Republicans must put country over party and join the American people in demanding answers and accountability from President Trump and his administration.  Anything less is a grave mistake that could have ramifications far beyond Mr. Trump’s presidency.”

http://butterfield.house.gov

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Butterfield Statement on SCOTUS Voter ID Decision

WASHINGTON, DCCongressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) today released the following statement after the United States Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ unanimous finding that the North Carolina General Assembly acted with discriminatory purpose in enactment of a 2013 Voter ID law:

“Today’s announcement is a victory against those who try to implement discriminatory voter ID laws written to suppress the vote of certain North Carolinians.

“The Supreme Court’s decision to not hear the case left in place the Fourth Circuit’s well-reasoned finding that the Republican-led North Carolina General Assembly acted with a discriminatory purpose in enacting its 2013 voter ID law that also included other discriminatory voting changes like limitations on early voting predominately used by African Americans.

“Today, the Supreme Court rightly refused to hear the appeal of a law that I have long said discriminates against African American voters.  I hope this is finally the end to one of the most undemocratic and disgraceful voter ID laws in the country.”

http://butterfield.house.gov

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G.K. Butterfield Comments on Trump’s Budget Blueprint

WASHINGTON, DCCongressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) today released the following statement on President Donald Trump’s budget blueprint for FY2018:

“Budgets demonstrate priorities.  And once again, President Trump- though, light on details- clearly demonstrates regressive priorities that will have an extreme impact on working families.

“If Congress adopts President Trump’s proposed budget, agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institutes of Health, and the State Department face large cuts. Smaller agencies such as the National Endowment for the Arts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting stand to be eliminated under President Trump’s plan.  The President’s proposal also calls for the elimination of key economic development agencies including the Minority Business Development Agency and the Economic Development Administration.

“This budget fails to address our economic problems by slashing funding that supports our long-standing commitment to increase economic opportunities through investments in education, infrastructure, affordable housing, and job training.  Many of these programs sustain older Americans and so many in eastern North Carolina.

“I am outraged by the President’s call to drastically cut funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  This will be devastating to programs that support public housing in low-income communities and, quite frankly, keep a roof over people’s heads.  Under the President’s proposal, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) will be cut entirely, significantly impacting small, rural communities like the ones in my congressional district.  More than 88,000 households in North Carolina benefit from LIHEAP, and the very threat of this program’s elimination could push these families beyond the tipping point.  The CDBG program has been a successful means of helping communities secure federal funding for local neighborhood revitalization, housing rehabilitation, and economic development activities.

“I cannot and will not support measures that take a wrecking ball to programs that have long supported low and moderate-income Americans.

“President Trump calls his proposal the ‘America First’ budget, but this plan puts many Americans last.”

http://butterfield.house.gov

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Congressman Butterfield Reintroduces RACE for Children Act

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Congressman G. K. Butterfield (D-NC-01) joined U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Cory Gardner (R-CO), along with U.S. Representatives Michael T. McCaul (R-TX-10), Sean Duffy (R-WI-07), and Yvette Clarke (D-NY-09) to reintroduce the RACE for Children Act (Research to Accelerate Cures and Equity for Children Act) to support the development of innovative and promising cancer drugs for children.

The bipartisan bill, first introduced in the 114th Congress, would update the Pediatric Research Equity Act (PREA) to reflect the latest advances in cancer drugs. PREA was enacted by Congress in 2003 to address the scarcity of information about how to treat children with drugs developed for adults, and therefore develop pediatric data during drug development. Although PREA has resulted in new information on how to treat children for a multitude of drugs over the years, there are still limited pediatric studies for cancer drugs.

“As co-chair of the Childhood Cancer Caucus, I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing the RACE for Children Act,” Butterfield said.  “Researchers in North Carolina and across the country are taking promising steps in diagnosing and treating children with cancer.  Still, the law lags behind the current advances in treatment of childhood cancer.  This bill will update the law to provide researchers with the tools they need to accelerate the search for innovative, life-saving treatments for childhood cancers.”

“In Colorado and around the country, researchers are making dramatic advances to treat and cure cancer, but there is even more we can do for our kids,” Bennet said. “This legislation is a necessary update to our laws and has the potential to save thousands of children’s lives. I look forward to continue working with parents, researchers, and other advocates to advance this bill to expand treatment options for children.”

“Pediatric cancer impacts too many families in Florida and across the nation, including my own,” Rubio said. “I am proud to reintroduce the RACE for Children Act, which would encourage more treatment options for children battling against cancer. This bill ‎takes a further step in extending medical advances in adult cancer treatment to children fighting this horrific disease. I am especially honored to reintroduce this bill on behalf ‎of the many advocates who have relentlessly fought to get more attention, funding and resources for childhood cancer. I look forward to continuing my work with them to make this crucial legislation a law.” ‎

“No childhood should be interrupted by a struggle for survival, but cancer tragically puts far too many kids in Maryland and across the country in a battle for their lives,” Van Hollen said. “Researchers at institutions like the National Institutes of Health have made important progress on cancer research, and our laws need to reflect this. Our bill would update statutes around drug development to reflect recent advancements to research, which will help save children and their families from the misery of this horrific disease.”

 “The RACE for Children Act has the potential to increase access of life-saving cancer treatment and treatment for other serious illnesses for children by expanding pediatric studies,” Gardner said. “This bipartisan, commonsense legislation paves the way for scientific breakthroughs and has the potential to not only mitigate suffering for pediatric cancer patients, but also save lives.”

“Researchers have made tremendous strides in fighting cancer in adults, using ‘molecular targeting’ to precisely attack cancer cells,” McCaul said. “However, current law does not reflect such advances in cancer drug development because these therapies have been under-studied in pediatric cancer.  As the founder of the Childhood Cancer Caucus, I am pleased to re-introduce the RACE for Children Act because it will modernize current law to require pediatric studies for the most promising and innovative cancer treatments.  I look forward to continuing the good fight with my colleagues and the advocacy community to give hope to the approximately 15,000 children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer each year.”

“We’ve come a long way in the battle against childhood cancer, but we need the RACE for Children Act to beat this disease,” Duffy said. “Our laws must be brought into the twenty-first century so that our nation’s children can benefit from cutting-edge research and development.”

“More children are lost to cancer in the U.S. than any other disease. In fact, before they turn 20, about 1 in 285 children in the U.S. will have cancer—a tragedy that touches too many American families,” Clarke said. “I’m proud to join with my colleagues in introducing The RACE for Children Act, which will help advance research into lifesaving cures. Together, we can promote the development of new treatments and combat this deadly disease.”

PREA does not apply to cancer because children’s cancers arise in different organs than adult cancers, and as a result, most pharmaceutical companies receive waivers from PREA obligations. However, scientific advances have shown that some childhood and adult cancers may share the same molecular targets, and cancer drug development is now focused on advancements in molecular targets.

The RACE for Children Act would update PREA by reflecting this new and promising approach to cancer drug development using molecular targets. Unlike the current structure of PREA, which applies to specific indications or specific types of cancer, this legislation would allow PREA to focus on a molecular target in a specific adult cancer when the same target presents in another childhood cancer. Currently, a PREA exemption may also be applied if the company studies the drug in an adult cancer that occurs in less than 200,000 patients. The bill would allow pediatric studies with a particular molecular target to still be considered for these cancers.

The bill is supported by the Duke University Medical Center, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Nemours Children’s Health System, NYU Langone Medical Center, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital, and more than 100 pediatric cancer advocacy organizations.

http://butterfield.house.gov

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Butterfield to Host Community Discussion on Feb. 25

WASHINGTON, DC – Tomorrow, February 25, Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) will host “Forward Together,” a community discussion, in Durham, North Carolina in the First Congressional District.

During the discussion, the Congressman will offer a Washington update, take questions from residents, and hear ideas about how we can resist efforts to take our country backward and fight for a jobs and justice agenda that moves us forward.

This is the first in a series of events Congressman Butterfield will host to engage residents in a dialogue about a positive agenda for our future.

WHAT:          “Forward Together” Community Discussion

 

WHO:             Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01)

 

WHEN:          Saturday, February 25, 2017

                        1:00 p.m. ET

WHERE:       Hillside High School Auditorium

                             3727 Fayetteville Street

                             Durham, NC  27707

http://butterfield.house.gov

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Congressman Butterfield to Host Community Discussion on February 25th

WASHINGTON, DC – On Saturday, February 25, Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) will host “Forward Together,” a community discussion, in Durham, North Carolina in the First Congressional District.

During the discussion, the Congressman will offer a Washington update, take questions from residents, and hear ideas about how we can resist efforts to take our country backward and fight for a jobs and justice agenda that moves us forward.

This is the first in a series of events Congressman Butterfield will host to engage residents in a dialogue about a positive agenda for our future.

More details are listed below.

WHAT:          “Forward Together” Community Discussion

 

WHO:             Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01)

 

WHEN:          Saturday, February 25, 2017

                      1:00 p.m. ET

WHERE:       Hillside High School Auditorium

                             3727 Fayetteville Street

                             Durham, NC  27707

http://butterfield.house.gov

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Butterfield Re-Introduces Childhood Cancer STAR Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, Congressman G. K. Butterfield (D-NC), along with Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Congressman Mike Kelly (R-PA), and Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), re-introduced the Childhood Cancer STAR (Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research) Act, HR 820, in the 115th Congress.

The STAR Act would improve efforts to identify and track childhood cancer incidences, improve the quality of life for childhood cancer survivors, and identify opportunities to expand the research of therapeutics necessary to treat the approx. 15,700 children diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. every year.

Congressman Butterfield: “Childhood cancer remains the leading cause of death in American children and we need to take action. The Childhood Cancer STAR Act aims to give young cancer patients and their families better access to life-saving treatments and the support they need even after beating cancer.  I thank my colleagues for their continued partnership on this measure.  No parent should have to lose a child to cancer.  This Act moves us one step closer to seeing that it does not happen.”

Congressman McCaul: “I co-founded the Childhood Cancer Caucus because we need to do more in the fight against the number one killer of our children.  When I was in elementary school, my friend lost his battle to this illness, and this tragedy continues to be a far too frequent occurrence for children across the nation.  That is why we need to move legislation like the STAR Act through Congress this year, and prevent the worst outcomes from becoming a reality.”

Senator Reed: “With far too many children’s lives tragically cut short by cancer, it’s critical that we do all we can to help the brave young people who are fighting these battles.  The Childhood Cancer STAR Act will bring needed assistance to children with cancer and their families by expanding opportunities for research on childhood cancer and providing new strategies to help survivors overcome late health effects, such as secondary cancers.  It is my hope that these efforts will lead to life-saving treatments for children and bring us closer to our ultimate goal of ending pediatric cancer once and for all.”

Congresswoman Speier: “Childhood cancer is a nightmare for children and their families. And for many of these children, the fight does not end with remission,” Rep. Speier said. “That is why I’m proud to reintroduce the STAR Act and fight for its immediate passage in order to address the care and quality of life of the population of childhood cancer survivors, which is expected to reach 500,000 by the year 2020. The joyful news of remission should never be ruined by the serious threat of financial and emotional turmoil due to the on-going medical needs of these incredibly brave survivors.”

Senator Capito: “We must continue making advancements that can help save the lives of those battling childhood cancers. The Childhood Cancer STAR Act will contribute to new developments in research and treatment, and has the potential to positively impact tens of thousands of lives. I’m proud to reintroduce this very important legislation for patients and families in West Virginia and across the country.”

Senator Van Hollen: “There are unique barriers to studying childhood cancer that are slowing and preventing the next big breakthrough in treatment.  We need a strategy to give every child with cancer the hope of a long and healthy life, and the STAR Act is a bipartisan approach to delivering that hope. By taking action to better study this disease and improve the quality of life for survivors, this bill will ultimately save lives and get us closer to the day that no child has to face the diagnosis of cancer.”

Congressman Kelly: “No parent should ever have to hear the words, ‘Your child has cancer.’ I am so grateful to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for coming together to introduce this crucial legislation to help make that dream a reality. The STAR Act will be a powerful tool in the fight to eradicate childhood cancer forever, and an ally to the survivors who have bravely fought and beat this disease.”

Senator Isakson: “It is extremely important that we increase research and treatment of the devastating effects of childhood cancer.  This critical legislation is a positive step forward to help find the right cures for our youngest patients.”

Background:

The STAR Act passed the U.S. House in the 114th Congress.

http://butterfield.house.gov

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Butterfield: Trump Voter Fraud Claim ‘Completely Unsubstantiated’

WASHINGTON, D.C. Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) today released the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s claim that up to 5 million votes were cast illegally in the 2016 presidential election:

“Donald Trump’s claim that millions of ‘illegal’ votes are what cost him the popular vote in the presidential election is completely unsubstantiated.

“If there really were millions of votes cast illegally like President Trump is suggesting, then it is hard to believe that every one of those votes were cast in support of Secretary Clinton.

“By calling into question the administration of this election, Donald Trump is also calling into question the legitimacy of his presidency.

“It’s time for President Trump to either show us his proof of this purported voter fraud or concede that most Americans who voted cast their ballot against his divisive rhetoric and regressive policy agenda.”

 

http://butterfield.house.gov

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Butterfield, Thompson Reintroduce Access to Inpatient Rehabilitation Therapy Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, U.S. Representatives G. K. Butterfield (D-NC) and Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) reintroduced legislation that would direct the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to cover physician-prescribed recreational therapy services.

H.R. 626, the Access to Inpatient Rehabilitation Therapy Act of 2017, would amend the Social Security Act to include recreational therapy among the therapy methods that can be considered part of an intensive rehabilitation therapy program in an inpatient rehabilitation hospital or unit.

This legislation would provide flexibility to CMS’ definition of “intensity of therapy” requirement. Essentially, the requirement helps CMS determine which beneficiaries are appropriate for treatment in an inpatient rehabilitation hospital or unit. Until 2010, physicians could prescribe, and CMS would cover, recreational therapy for patients who have brain injuries, those who have sustained strokes and amputations, individuals living with neurological disorders and a range of other conditions.

“When overcoming an injury or disability it is important to be able to access appropriate rehabilitation services,” Butterfield said. “I am proud to join Representative Thompson in supporting this bipartisan legislation to expand the rehabilitation services seniors on Medicare are eligible for. This important legislation will benefit North Carolinians and people across the country who suffer from health challenges like brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, or cardiovascular complications.”

“A patient’s health plan should be left to their physician and health professionals to determine what is medically necessary,” Thompson said. “Before coming to Congress, I worked as a certified therapeutic recreation specialist. There is no greater joy than to see your patient make progress after a debilitating event such as a stroke, spinal cord, or brain injury. I am pleased to reintroduce this common sense, bipartisan bill with Representative Butterfield, to ensure Medicare empowers physicians to prescribe the best care possible.”

“Inpatient hospital rehabilitation is so effective because of the intensive and diverse therapy programs offered in this setting. Passage of this important Medicare bill will ensure that patients are prescribed the right mix of therapies, including recreational therapy, that meet their individual needs,” said Dawn De Vries, the Past-President (2016-2017) of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA). “This is a very patient-centric Medicare bill.”

“We applaud Congressmen Thompson and Butterfield for reintroducing this important legislation to reinstate the discretion of physicians practicing in rehabilitation hospitals to choose the mix of therapies that are clinically appropriate for Medicare patients,” said Dr. Steve R. Geiringer, President of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPM&R). “This bill will free the hands of doctors to treat patients with injuries and disabilities according to their individual rehabilitation therapy needs, rather than following unnecessarily restrictive regulations. We urge Congress to pass this bipartisan bill at its earliest opportunity.”

THE ‘THREE HOUR RULE’

CMS has interpreted the intensity of therapy requirement through the metric it calls the “three hour rule.” This rule requires the patient to be able to participate in three hours of rehabilitation therapy per day, five days per week, or 15 hours of rehabilitation therapy over a one-week period.

Prior to 2010, CMS regulations explicitly stated that physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and/or orthotics and prosthetics were counted toward the “three hour rule” on an as-needed basis. In addition, CMS regulations stated that other therapeutic modalities that were determined by the physician and the rehabilitation team to be needed by the patient on a priority basis would satisfy the rule.

But on January 1, 2010, Medicare revised its “three hour rule” to include only the following therapies: physical, occupational, and speech therapy as well as orthotics and prosthetics. It removed the discretion of the physician and the rehabilitation team to count other therapeutic services needed by the patient toward satisfaction of the “three hour rule.” As a result, recreational therapy services are often not available to patients who require medically necessary recreational therapy as part of their plan of care.

H.R. 626 would restore all physician-prescribed therapies as part of a patient’s coverage.

SUPPORT FOR H.R. 626
National organizations that support this bill include:

American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association
American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists
American Therapeutic Recreation Association
Association of Rehabilitation Nurses
Brain Injury Association of America

CARF, International (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities)
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
Council on Brain Injury
United Spinal Association

 

Bill would direct Medicare to once again cover recreational therapy for patients 

 

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