The subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that oversees international health issues, including infectious disease, maternal and child health and global health programs and population programs, as well as human rights issues and agencies, has six new members. Today Science Speaks profiles the four new Republicans to join the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations.
Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) returned to Congress in January after 16 years between his first and current terms in the House, and with a reputation for idiosyncratic stances. In his first term, between 1995 and 1997, his call for an investigation in the 50-year-old Kinsey Report on sexual behavior was among the acts that drew attention. This time, in addition to calling for President Obama’s impeachment, he was the sole Republican House member to show his opposition to House Speaker John Boehner by responding “Present” during roll call on the question of whether to keep the Republican lawmaker as Speaker of the House, explaining, the Congressman had “signed our country on to a fiscal suicide pact.” After losing his seat in 1997, Stockman served as vice president of a bank and “national and international political consultant for a variety of government and political entities,” according to his government biography.
Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA), takes his seat on this Foreign Affairs Subcommittee after one term in Congress. After taking office in 2011, he travelled to Liberia and Ghana on a learning tour with the nonprofit CARE, and responded to constituents who questioned the value of foreign aid, saying, “We’re the United States of America, we can do it. We cannot walk away from helping people who are much less fortunate than we are.” An attorney, who completed his education in his 30s, according to his House biography, he served as District Attorney of Lycoming County for two terms.
Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) succeeds retiring Rep. Ron Paul, who held the seat for their district for 13 terms. Elected in November, Weber served for four years in the Texas State legislature and a career as a small business owner. According to his House biography, he has “lived in a 20-mile radius for over 59 years.” He authored legislation to combat human trafficking as a Texas State Representative, according to the biography. While the list of issues on his campaign website did not include foreign affairs, the description of his stance on “Restoring National Pride” includes: “Attempts to relinquish our American sovereignty to international organizations that constantly work against us must be stopped.”