5:00 PM EDT

Tammy Baldwin, D-WI 2nd

Ms. BALDWIN. Madam Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 182) recognizing the need to pursue research into the causes, a treatment, and an eventual cure for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, supporting the goals and ideals of National Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Week, and for other purposes.

The Clerk read the title of the concurrent resolution.

The text of the concurrent resolution is as follows:

H. Con. Res. 182

Whereas idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a serious lung disorder causing progressive, incurable lung scarring;

Whereas idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is one of about 200 disorders called interstitial lung diseases;

Whereas idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is the most common form of interstitial lung disease;

Whereas idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a debilitating and generally fatal disease marked by progressive scarring of the lungs, causing an irreversible loss of the lung tissue's ability to transport oxygen;

Whereas idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis progresses quickly, often causing disability or death within a few short years;

Whereas there is no proven cause of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis;

Whereas more than 128,000 United States citizens have idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and more than 48,000 new cases are diagnosed each year representing a 156-percent increase in mortality since 2001;

Whereas idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is often misdiagnosed or under diagnosed;

Whereas the median survival rate for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients is 2 to 3 years; about two-thirds of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients die within 5 years; and approximately 40,000 patients die each year; and

Whereas a need has been identified to increase awareness and detection of this misdiagnosed and under diagnosed disorder as well as all incarnations of pulmonary fibrosis: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That the Congress--

(1) recognizes the need to pursue research into the causes, a treatment, and an eventual cure for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis;

(2) supports the work of advocates and organizations in educating, supporting, and providing hope for individuals who suffer from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, including efforts to organize a National Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Week;

(3) supports the designation of an appropriate week as National Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Week;

(4) welcomes the issuance of a proclamation designating a National Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Week;

(5) congratulates advocates and organizations for their efforts to educate the public about idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, while funding research to help find a cure for this disorder; and

(6) supports the goals and ideals of National Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Week.

5:00 PM EDT

Tammy Baldwin, D-WI 2nd

Ms. BALDWIN. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and exclude extraneous material on the concurrent resolution under consideration.

5:01 PM EDT

Tammy Baldwin, D-WI 2nd

Ms. BALDWIN. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of H. Con. Res. 182, recognizing the need to pursue research into the causes, treatment and eventual cure for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, IPF, supporting the goals and ideals of National Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Week, and for other purposes.

IPF is a debilitating and generally fatal disease which afflicts more than 128,000 Americans, with more than 48,000 new cases diagnosed each year. IPF is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed and is a disease marked by progressive scarring of the lungs, causing an irreversible loss of the lung tissue's ability to transport oxygen.

The legislation before us today recognizes the need to pursue research into the causes of IPF. H. Con. Res. 182 expresses support for the work of advocates and organizations in educating, supporting and providing hope for individuals who suffer from the disease and supports the designation of National Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Week.

This is an important piece of legislation, and I would like to commend my colleague and friend Mr. Deal for all of his hard work on this issue. I urge my colleagues to join me in support of this resolution.

Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

5:02 PM EDT

Vito Fossella, R-NY 13th

Mr. FOSSELLA. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Madam Speaker, I join my colleague from Wisconsin in urging the support of H. Con. Res. 182 and at the outset commend our colleague Mr. Deal from Georgia for introducing the resolution.

We all knew and remember Charlie Norwood who served in this House with honor and distinction, and those who knew Charlie Norwood well knew he was a fighter, passionate about his constituents, his belief, and passionate about this country, and many fights he won. But the fight he did not win was when he was diagnosed with a serious lung disorder in 1998 called, shortly, IPF.

He received a single lung transplant but passed away in February of this year and for that we miss him.

IPF is a progressive and generally fatal lung disease. It's marked by debilitating scarring of delicate lung tissue and hinders the lungs' ability to transport oxygen to vital organs. 40,000 people, 40,000 Americans will die this year from IPF, and there's no cure or treatment for this debilitating irreversible disease. Far too many of those with IPF face severe disability or death within a few short years, and we saw that progression here with our colleague Mr. Norwood.

The purpose of this resolution is to bring awareness to the severity of this devastating disease. Additionally, the resolution will support the goals of the National Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Week and encourage the work being done by the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis and partner organizations in educating the public about IPF.

40,000 people die in a year, Madam Speaker. We should do what we can to bring attention and education and awareness to ensure it doesn't happen.

Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

5:04 PM EDT

Brian Baird, D-WA 3rd

Mr. BAIRD. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentlelady, and I thank my colleague from New York as well.

My colleague from New York did a very nice job of honoring our dear friend Charlie Norwood who perished of this disease. My interest comes from the fact that my father died of the disease, and I want to also talk about Mike Castle who has been a strong supporter of this legislation. Mike lost a sister and a brother to this disease.

What I would share with people is imagine getting a diagnosis for a disease you may never have heard of, for which there is no known cause and no known treatment, but it will be fatal. That's IPF, and as the gentleman from New York pointed out, it is estimated that the deaths, at least by some sources, that the deaths caused by IPF on an annual basis exceed the number of breast cancer deaths in this country. But my understanding is NIH currently allocates about $14 million total to research on

IPF.

So we have a disease that is growing in prevalence, that is fatal, that we have no known cause and no known cure of, and it has claimed the life of one of our dear colleagues here and the family members of Members of the Congress. That's why we've introduced this resolution.

I want to commend families and friends from the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis who were here a couple of weeks ago on Capitol Hill lobbying in support of this legislation. I'm pleased to see our leadership bring this up.

We would hope that this is a first step. Our hope is that by increasing the awareness of our colleagues here in Congress and of the American public that we can not only increase awareness of the disease but begin to work towards actual dedicated funding for this.

This is a cruel illness. Anyone who has seen a family member suffer from it has seen the actually rather desperate effort to try to simply breathe, and that's what happens when your lungs scar up and one goes from a stage of diagnosis where you have a little shortness of breath. Then you begin to need oxygen, to then you flat just cannot breathe and you die of this thing. There are a host of other complications that happen along the way that are not particularly pleasant, to say the least.

So I want to urge my colleagues to support this resolution, and I would urge them to look forward to ways that we can actually do more to actually identify the causes. There is believed to be some genetic component. I know of one woman who has had five family members die of the same illness. We don't know whether that is the cause of all cases. We don't know how it's passed on.

But this is the kind of illness that is killing a number of our friends, now one of our colleagues and many family members of Members of Congress right here. So I urge my colleagues to support the resolution.

I thank the gentleman from New York. I thank the gentlelady from Wisconsin, and I particularly want to commend Nathan Deal who was one of Charlie Norwood's closest friends. It's very personal for Nathan. Obviously, it's personal for myself and Mike Castle. I would urge passage, and I thank the gentlelady.

5:07 PM EDT

Vito Fossella, R-NY 13th

Mr. FOSSELLA. Madam Speaker, let me just in closing commend Mr. Baird for his advocacy. I can only imagine what it meant to him and his family in seeing the passing of his dad from this dreaded illness.

So in his honor and that of Mr. Castle, Mr. Norwood and especially practically 40,000 fellow Americans, it's so important to solve the problem, to acknowledge it exists, and become aware and educated on how to solve it.

Let's not just acknowledge and become more aware, but give the resources and funding and support those who ultimately want to find a cure.

Madam Speaker, with that, I yield back the balance of my time.

5:08 PM EDT

Tammy Baldwin, D-WI 2nd

Ms. BALDWIN. Madam Speaker, in closing, I think my colleagues have most eloquently made the case for support of this resolution.

IPF is a debilitating disease and increased awareness will certainly move us closer to finding the answers to the many unanswered questions surrounding IPF.

Again, I commend my colleague Mr. Deal for his authorship and urge passage of this resolution.

Madam Speaker, I yield back the remainder of my time.