Fitzpatrick sponsors bipartisan Knock Out Cancer Act

A bipartisan bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) would increase federal funding for cancer research so that it’s more in proportion to America’s mortality rates of cancer. 

“Current federal funding levels for cancer research do not match the rate at which people are suffering and dying from this lethal disease,” Rep. Fitzpatrick said. “We must not stop until we eradicate this disease forever and spare parents, children, and families the pains of cancer.”

Rep. Fitzpatrick on Dec. 23 introduced the Knock Out (KO) Cancer Act, H.R. 6342, with lead original cosponsor U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI). The bill would specifically increase cancer research funding allocated to the National Institutes of Health by 25 percent to reflect that cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the United States, according to a bill summary provided by the congressman.

The funding would be for each of fiscal years 2023 through 2027, according to the text of the bill.

“I am proud to introduce the bipartisan KO Cancer Act for all of the victims, survivors, families, and friends whose lives have been impacted by cancer,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick, co-chair of the Congressional Cancer Caucus. “As is the case for so many in America, this fight is personal to me.” 

The introduction date of H.R. 6342 fell on the 50th anniversary of the National Cancer Act of 1971, signed into law by President Richard Nixon. The law created the National Cancer Institute and established the National Cancer Program.

“In 1971, the National Cancer Act was signed into law and our nation declared war on cancer,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “Fifty years later, we have made significant headway in the fight for a cure, but there is so much more work to be done.”

During the current Congress, Rep. Fitzpatrick also authored the Fairness to Kids with Cancer Act of 2021, H.R. 2210, which he sponsored in March with lead original cosponsor U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and six other cosponsors, including U.S. Reps. Mike Kelly (R-PA), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), and Elise Stefanik (R-NY). 

If enacted, H.R. 2210 would require the share of federal funds for cancer research that is allocated to pediatric cancer research to equal the percentage of the U.S. population that is under the age of 18, ensuring that a fair percentage of federal cancer research funds are dedicated to pediatric cancer research, according to the text of the bill.