WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced the Cardiovascular Advances in Research and Opportunities Legacy Act (CAROL Act) today, a piece of companion legislation to Kentucky Congressman Andy Barr's CAROL Act in the House of Representatives.

What You Need To Know

  • Mitch McConnell, along with Kyrsten Sinema, introduced the CAROL Act in the U.S. Senate Thursday

  • The bill is a companion to Rep. Andy Barr's legislation in the House

  • Barr lost his wife, Carol Leavell Barr, suddenly and unexpectedly last year to valvular heart disease

  • The measure has received bipartisan support so far

Earlier this year, Barr introduced the legislation in the House to honor his wife, Carol Leavell Barr, who died suddenly and unexpectedly in June 2020 from an underlying valvular heart disease condition. 

Carol Leavell Barr (left) passed away in June 2020 from an underlying valvular heart disease condition.

The CAROL Act would direct the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to create grants or contracts for research on valvular heart disease and instruct the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to raise public awareness of valvular heart disease. Each year, approximately 25,000 Americans, lose their lives from valvular heart disease. 

“The CAROL Act is a fitting tribute to a wonderful Kentuckian. It embodies Carol Barr’s lifetime of service to others," McConnell said. "Today, I’m proud to introduce this important legislation with Senator Sinema to help prevent more families from enduring this tragedy. I’d like to applaud Congressman Barr for channeling his wife’s selfless spirit into action, and I look forward to its passage.”

The bill has support from both parties, as New Mexico Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) cosponsored the measure.

“I’m proud to partner with Republican Leader McConnell to fuel medical research and improve diagnostic and treatment options for Arizonans living with valvular heart disease," Sinema said.

Barr said the bipartisan support from members of both the House and Senate has been inspiring.

“The CAROL Act doesn’t just honor the memory of my extraordinary wife Carol, it gives millions of Americans who suffer from valvular heart disease hope. I want to thank Leader McConnell and Senator Sinema for joining me in my cause and introducing this important legislation in the U.S. Senate,” Barr said. “With over 125 cosponsors in the House in less than two months, the CAROL Act is picking up steam in both chambers. With targeted investments to help identify patients at high risk of serious outcome and develop treatment plans for them, I am confident we will reduce this tragic number.”

The CAROL Act is supported by the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, The National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP) and WomenHeart.


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