WASHINGTON--In a rare campaign gesture supporting basic research, the White House is setting aside $30 million in new money for studies of breast cancer genetics in 1997. President Clinton, surrounded by research managers and breast cancer activists, made the announcement at a photo-op session on 27 October in the Rose Garden. The President also unveiled a new government home page on the World Wide Web for information on breast cancer.
Earlier this fall, Congress had earmarked $100 million for peer-reviewed breast cancer research at the Department of Defense (DOD). The White House is essentially one-upping Congress by earmarking the earmark at DOD, tagging $20 million for genetics studies and tagging another $10 million at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the same purpose. These increases will set the total allocation for breast cancer research at the two agencies in 1997 at about $542 million.
Fran Visco, president of the National Breast Cancer Coalition, attended the Rose Garden ceremony and endorsed the targeted set-aside. She said the goal is to "build upon the genetic discoveries of the past couple of years. There's a recognition that the science is now there ... and we want to make certain that the programs at NIH and DOD focus on [genetics]."