115th Congress and Global Health: New Democrats for House State and Foreign Operations, Labor, Health and Human Services Subcommittees

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The 115th Congress began on January 3rd, 2017, bringing new members to House and Senate committees addressing global health policies and funding. Science Speaks introduces you to those members in this series.

Rep. Nita Lowey’s announcement of Democrat Appropriations subcommittee membership introduces two Democrats  to the House Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, and two to the Labor Health and Human Services and Education Subcommittee.

House Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee 

Rep. David Price

Rep. David Price (D-NC) – Rep. Price joins the House Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations after three decades of representing North Carolina’s Research Triangle in Congress, bringing a record of interest in international affairs and support for health and science. The Housing Opportunities Act passed by Congress in 2016 included an amendment co-sponsored by Rep. Price to update HUD’s Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS in accordance with recommendations urged by HIV and housing advocates. A co-founder in 2005 of the House Democracy Partnership that provides mentorship to emerging democracies, he has said he believes “that the United States has a responsibility to serve as a force for good in the world by living up to our values and supporting multilateral approaches to international problems,” has taken a stance against the “global gag rule” (banning funds from international nonprofits that provide counseling, referrals or services to terminate pregnancies) and  describes himself as a strong advocate for “meeting global challenges such as HIV-AIDS and climate change.”  Named a “Champion of Science” by the Science Coalition, he countered 2014 calls to ban travelers from Ebola-affected countries, saying “When it comes to serious matters of global health, I will defer to medical experts rather than politicians.”

Rep. Grace Meng

Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) – A former public interest attorney and New York State Assembly member, Rep. Meng has represented her Queens, NY district in Congress since 2013. Rep. Meng also serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee which has jurisdiction over foreign aid, the State Department and international organizations that include the United Nations, and serves on its Subcommittees on the Middle East and North Africa, and Asia and the Pacific. In January she introduced a bill to bar funding made available through Congress from being used to enforce President Trump’s immigration and refugee ban.

The full membership of the House Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee is here.

House Appropriations Labor Health and Human Services and Education Subcommittee

Rep. Katherine Clark

Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) – An attorney with a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Rep. Clark is former Massachusetts state senator, state representative, general counsel for the state’s Office of Child Care Services, and policy chief for the state attorney general. She won her Congressional seat representing a district that encompasses Harvard and MIT, in a 2013 special election (to replace the Rep. Ed Markey, upon his election to the U.S. Senate), she counts the opioid addiction epidemic as a priority issue on her House web site, as well as health care, which she also calls “a right, not a privilege.” As the spread and impacts of the Zika virus became apparent in February 2016 she led efforts to increase resources for family planning and reproductive health care, including with a letter to House and Senate Republican leaders calling a “robust and focused effort on expanding access to women’s health care services” imperative to global responses.

Rep. Mark Pocan

Rep. Mark Pocan (D – WI) – A former Wisconsin State Assembly member,  and printing company owner, Rep. Pocan has served in Congress since 2013. He serves as co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, Vice Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and is a member of the Congressional Pro-choice Caucus. In 2015, Rep. Pocan introduced the HIV Clinical Services Improvement Act, to strengthen the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program that provides medical care for people living with HIV/AIDS, without adequate health coverage.

The full membership of the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Subcommittee is here.

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