Rep. Payne, Jr. Creates Congressional Colorectal Cancer Caucus
Washington, D.C. — Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. formed the Congressional Colorectal Caucus today with Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL). The caucus will help to promote more awareness of colorectal cancer and caucus members will fight to pass legislation that improves treatments and survival rates from the deadly disease.
“I have been working to protect Americans from colorectal cancer since my first day in Congress,” said Rep. Payne, Jr. “We need to increase funding and awareness of it so more people can get screened, which will lead to more people being treated and surviving it. This is a great day for all of us who want to save lives in the fight against this deadly disease.”
Rep. Payne, Jr. wrote a letter to the Chair of the Committee on House Administration Rep. Zoe Lofgren to make the caucus official. The letter asked Rep. Lofgren to accept the formal submission to accept the caucus as a Congressional Member Organization for the 117th Congress.
Rep. Payne, Jr.’s creation of the caucus is one of several actions taken to support the fight against colorectal cancer. Recently, he asked for a presidential proclamation to declare March as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. It is a request he submits every year. Last year, Rep. Payne, Jr.’s bill to improve colorectal cancer screenings, the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act, was signed into public law. Now, Medicare recipients can get their colorectal cancer screenings and treatments during the screenings covered under the Medicare program. Before the bill, Medicare would cover screenings, but not treatments for the disease.
“As the husband of a colorectal cancer survivor I am proud to co-chair the Congressional Colorectal Cancer Caucus,” said U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis. “Fighting colorectal cancer and reducing its incidence is personal to me. At the age of 26 my wife was diagnosed with a genetic form of cancer, Lynch syndrome, that could affect our kids, and we’re fortunate that she was able to receive treatment that saved her life. Colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death among men and women combined in the U.S., and those deaths are preventable. This caucus will work to raise awareness and advocate for legislation to combat this horrible disease.”
Colorectal cancer is the second deadliest form of cancer and kills more than 50,000 Americans annually. But it has one of the highest survival rates if it is detected and treated early. Colorectal cancer has been one of the Congressman’s leading issues in Congress since his father, Congressman Donald Payne, Sr., died of the disease in 2012. The full letter is below:
February 22, 2021
Dear Chairperson Lofgren and Ranking Member Davis:
Please accept this formal submission to establish the Congressional Colorectal Cancer Caucus as a Congressional Member Organization (CMO) for the 117th Congress.
Colorectal cancer is a horrible and preventable disease that is estimated to kill approximately 53,000 Americans this year. When caught at an early stage, the five-year survival rate is 90 percent. Incidence of the disease has been on the rise, especially in younger and minority populations.
Increasing awareness of the disease and encouraging people to get screened are priorities of the caucus. Due to effective screening tools, colorectal cancer can be caught in its early stages or even before polyps develop into cancer, which saves lives. It is estimated that if every individual aged 50 or older had regular screening tests, approximately 60 percent of deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented.
Representatives Donald M. Payne, Jr. of New Jersey and Rodney Davis of Illinois will serve as cochairmen of the Congressional Colorectal Cancer Caucus. The staff members assigned to handle caucus-related issues are listed below.
We trust that the information provided meets the requirements for registration of a CMO in the 117th Congress. Thank you for your attention to this matter and please feel free to contact our offices with any questions or concerns.
DONALD M. PAYNE, JR. RODNEY DAVIS
Member of Congress Member of Congress