You can Take Action for Digestive Health

14capitaldomeWith the start of the 116th Congress, the Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act was reintroduced by Representatives James F. Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-WI-5) and Gwen Moore (D-WI-4).

This landmark legislation needs your action to obtain Congressional support. It is vitally important to legislators that they support the needs of the constituents they represent. Before taking action to advocate for policies and priorities important to you, ensure that you are familiar with the Representative and Senators who are your voice on Capitol Hill. Although the tips and guidelines discussed below are written in support of the Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act (H.R. 3396), you can substitute the content with other priorities you would like to advocate for.

Familiarize yourself on the Legislation.

Always review the material you would like to discuss before contacting your Legislator about the issue. Be prepared that you may be the first constituent to bring a particular issue or piece of legislation to their attention. It is beneficial to familiarize yourself with the bill number and key points of the legislation. To find the number and full text for legislation go to www.congress.gov. This page also provides a brief summary of key points. Be sure to check the Cosponsor tab to ensure that your Member of Congress is not already supporting this legislation. If they are already a Cosponsor, you may contact them to thank them for support and share your personal story to validate the importance of their support.

Read the bill text here: The Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act (H.R. 3396)

Contact your House Member.

First, ensure you are familiar with your Representative. You can identify and find the contact information for your Representative by going to www.house.gov. Simply enter your zip code in the top right corner of the page. Many zip codes may fall within district for multiple Representatives. If this is the case for you, you will be prompted to enter your entire address to validate which district you reside in. Once this is established, click on your Representative’s name to be sent to their website.

Secondly, you may call or send an email to your Representative’s office. On most Congressional websites you can find a menu bar at the top with contact information as well as phone numbers and locations for their local and Washington D.C. offices. At the beginning of your call or email, it is important to Identify yourself as a constituent. Provide your name and full address – City, state, zip.

Once you have established yourself as a constituent, ask your Representative to introduce the budget-neutral Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act (H.R. 3396). If you are contacting your Representative to discuss another legislation or policy issue, mention that in addition to, or instead of, H.R. 3396.

Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act (H.R. 3396)

Quick Facts

• Functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders affect 1 in 4 people in the U.S. – men, women, and children.
• The conditions are a serious issue for many military veterans – part of Gulf War Illness.
• The conditions involve improper functioning of the nerves, muscles, and related mechanisms of the digestive tract.
• Many are chronic and some can be fatal.
• These conditions are often misdiagnosed or mistreated.
• Currently, treatment options are extremely limited, not always effective, and focus on symptoms management – no cures are known.

Six Tips for Talking by Phone to your Congressional Office

  1. Identify yourself as a constituent and ask to speak with the healthcare staffer for your Representative. If they are unavailable, you can leave a voicemail or leave your contact information with the staff member who answered the phone.
  2. Ask that your Member of Congress Cosponsor the Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act.
  3. Provide a short explanation of functional GI and motility disorders. Refer to the Quick Facts above.
  4. Briefly share your personal story of how one of these disorders has affected your life, or that of someone you know.
  5. Explain that the bill will significantly improve our scientific understanding of functional GI and motility disorders and improve diagnosis and treatments.
  6. Thank the staff member for their time and attention.

Give the aide your contact information and ask to be informed about the actions of your Representative on this key issue.

Finally, to help with tracking our progress, we’d appreciate it if you would contact usdocument.getElementById(‘cloak97ef766c559800bc5700ed7faf0499cb’).innerHTML = ”;var prefix = ‘ma’ + ‘il’ + ‘to’;var path = ‘hr’ + ‘ef’ + ‘=’;var addy97ef766c559800bc5700ed7faf0499cb = ‘iffgd’ + ‘@’;addy97ef766c559800bc5700ed7faf0499cb = addy97ef766c559800bc5700ed7faf0499cb + ‘iffgd’ + ‘.’ + ‘org?subject=Support%20for%20HR%201187’;var addy_text97ef766c559800bc5700ed7faf0499cb = ‘ contact us’;document.getElementById(‘cloak97ef766c559800bc5700ed7faf0499cb’).innerHTML += ‘‘+addy_text97ef766c559800bc5700ed7faf0499cb+’‘; to let us know that you contacted your Member of Congress, and let us know the name of your Representative. (We will keep your name and contact information confidential.) Our goal is to continue to work with Representatives to advance this critical legislation in Congress on behalf of the digestive health community.

Thank you.

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IFFGD is a nonprofit education and research organization. Our mission is to inform, assist, and support people affected by gastrointestinal disorders.

Our original content is authored specifically for IFFGD readers, in response to your questions and concerns.

If you found this article helpful, please consider supporting IFFGD with a small tax-deductible donation.

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