Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has agreed to serve as Co-Chair of the Congressional COPD Caucus. Durbin is the Senate Majority Whip, the second highest position in the Senate, and serves on the Committee on Appropriations, Committee on Foreign Relations, Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on Rules and Administration. The U.S. COPD Coalition is looking forward to working with Senator Durbin and is excited for the experience and dedication he will undoubtedly exhibit as Co-Chair.
“Approximately 24 million Americans—including 557,120 people in Illinois—are living with COPD,” says Senator Dick Durbin. “While there is no cure, the causes are largely preventable. Prevention starts with protecting the air we breathe and I have long been committed to that effort during my time in Congress. I look forward to pursuing that effort further as I join Senator Crapo as a Co-Chair of the Senate Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Caucus.”
Senator Durbin joins Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) as Senator Co-Chairs and Representative John Lewis (D-GA) and Representative Cliff Stearns (R-FL) as House Co-Chairs. In addition to the Co-Chairs, the Congressional Caucus is comprised of seven Senators and twenty-nine Representatives from both sides of the aisle.
The Congressional COPD Caucus was created in 2004 by Senator Mike Crapo to be a bi-partisan, bi-cameral caucus committed to creating awareness and raising the level of national concern about COPD. To address the needs of individuals living with COPD the Caucus has been successful in ushering federal regulations to ease air travel with supplemental oxygen, legislation to make pulmonary rehabilitation a permanent benefit for Medicare beneficiaries, and enhance data collection addressing COPD as a public health issue.
To help the U.S. COPD Coalition and Congressional COPD Caucus visit the COPD Action Center to send an email to your members asking them to join the Caucus or thank them for continued support as Caucus members. While there check out the many Action Alerts that feature COPD related legislation that is currently in Congress and ask your elected officials take action.