114th Congress and Global Health: Subcommittees with bilateral, multilateral oversight get new members

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The November 2014 election saw Republicans gain the majority in the Senate, putting both houses of Congress under GOP control for the first time since 2006, and giving the party control over hearings and legislative action with leadership of all committees and subcommittees. As the new Senate majority and continuing House majority set the legislative agenda for the coming session, Science Speaks 114th Congress series this week will look at changes to committees pivotal to global health concerns, including new leaders, new faces, and new subcommittees, with newly defined jurisdictions. You can also check out the IDSA Center for Global Health Policy listing of relevant House and Senate committee and subcommittee membership at the link below.

Senate Appropriations State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee

This  committee, which oversees annual funding decisions for the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the Global Fund and the USAID TB program, gets three new Republican members — two who are new to the Senate, and one new Democrat

Sen. Jerry MoranSen. Jerry Moran (R-Ks)  is new to this subcommittee. Sen. Moran, who during the 113th Congress served as Ranking Member of the Labor, Health and Human Services Subcommittee, now chairs that committee.

????????????????????Sen. James Lankford (R-Ok) is new to the Senate, after serving four years in the House of Representatives. Issues listed on his campaign web site include: “Doing it right” (citing “a conservative free market solution to every problem”), “Poverty Solutions” (“The most effective programs are local charities, state, county and local governments”), and “Life and Marriage” (“We can encourage a culture that respects natural marriage, life for children”).

DainesSen. Steve Daines (R – Mt) – also new to the Senate, Sen. Daines served one term in the House of Representatives from 2013 to 2014. His web site cites international experience during  a 13-year career at Proctor and Gamble, according to his campaign web site, he “focused on selling American products overseas,” a response to Democratic charges during the campaign that he outsourced American jobs to China, but makes no mention of global health issues.

My Approved PortraitsSen. Jeff Merkley (D-Or.) has served in the U.S. Senate since 2009. Previously a five-term member of the Oregon Legislative Assembly, Sen. Merkley counts among the highlights of his time there the passage of a civil rights law to protect LGBT Oregonians from discrimination. In December he announced plans to push for a similar federal law. Sen. Merkley also serves on the Senate Budget Committee.

Subcommittee on Multilateral International Development, Multilateral Institutions, and International Economic, Energy, and Environmental Policy

offical112Cory Gardner (R-CO) – The junior Senator from Colorado is a new member of the Foreign Relations Committee and and this subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria. Gardner served as legislative director to Senator Wayne Allard of Colorado before being elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 2005 and the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. As a member of the House, Gardner took an interest in the Ebola epidemic last year. During his bid for the Senate, Gardner called for a travel ban on flights to and from Ebola-effected countries in West Africa, something CDC Director Tom Frieden said “is not the right answer” for dealing with the Ebola outbreak in an op-ed foxnews.com. Gardner also took a break during campaigning to attend a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on the Ebola crisis. As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Gardner introduced a bill that would expand abstinence only sex education. The $110 million program focused on “teaching the skills and benefits of sexual abstinence as the optimal sexual health behavior for youth; and teaching the benefits of refraining from non-marital sexual activity, the advantage of reserving sexual activity for marriage, and the foundational components of a healthy relationship.”

Sen. David Perdue also is new to this subcommittee and, new to the Senate, also is chairman of the new Subcommittee on State Department and USAID Management, International Operations, and Bilateral International Development, which oversees PEPFAR and USAID funding.

See the IDSA Center for Global Health Policy Guide to the 114th Congress here.

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