Congress

Caption: Members of the Global Network deliver a petition to Congress.

Congress’ responsibility in setting the federal budget plays an important role in determining the United States’ global health priorities, including the fight against NTDs.

Budget

Congress first allocated funding specifically for NTD control and elimination efforts in fiscal year (FY) 2006, with an initial investment of $15 million in the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) new NTD program. Since then, Congress has continued to demonstrate leadership on the issue by steadily increasing funding for NTDs. In FY 2014, Congress ramped up U.S. NTD funding from $85.5 million ($89 million less five percent for sequestration) the year before to $100 million, despite the fact that overall funding for U.S. foreign programs was cut by $4.3 billion.

Despite the strong evidence of the success of USAID’s NTD Program, President Obama’s FY15 budget request recommended cutting NTD funding by more than 13 percent, down to just $86.5 million. In answer, the Global Network rallied its grassroots supporters to sign a petition to Chairwoman Kay Granger and Ranking Member Nita Lowey of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, to protect funding for NTD treatment.

Ongoing Congressional support for USAID’s NTD Program is evidence of lawmakers’ strong belief in the value and impact of U.S. NTD and global health programs. The Global Network works to ensure that lawmakers are kept up-to-date on advances in NTD control and elimination, share NTD success stories and encourage the U.S. to maintain its position as a key leader in the global fight against NTDs.

Legislation

On June 11, 2014, Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) introduced a bipartisan bill in the House of Representatives to support the control and elimination of NTDs in the United States and abroad. Original co-sponsors of the bill include Representatives Hank Johnson (D-GA), Gregory Meeks (D-NY) and Matt Salmon (R-AZ).

H.R. 4847, the “End Neglected Tropical Diseases Act,” takes a broad approach to supporting the control and elimination of NTDs, both in the U.S. and abroad. The legislation calls for the expansion of USAID’s NTD program; increased U.S. Government advocacy for NTDs among international development and financing institutions; reporting from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on NTDs in the United States; the creation of one or more NTD centers of excellence to increase research and development; and the establishment of a panel on intestinal worm infections.

The End Neglected Diseases Act was sparked by last year’s Subcommittee hearing on “Addressing the Neglected Diseases Treatment Gap” conducted by Chairman Smith, which included testimony from Dr. Peter Hotez, president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, and other NTD experts.

Please click here to read more about H.R. 4847, including reactions from experts at the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Global Network.

Caucuses and Working Groups

In both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, groups of legislators with an interest in pursuing legislative action regarding particular topics often form into caucuses, working groups or task forces. There are currently groups in both the House and the Senate working on NTD-related issues.

The Senate Caucus on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases and the Congressional Caucus on Malaria and NTDs are bipartisan efforts to raise awareness of the United States’ and the international community’s fight against malaria and NTDs. The Congressional Caucus expanded in 2009 to address NTDs as well as malaria, while the Senate Caucus expanded to include NTDs in 2012.  

Members of the Senate Caucus on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases – 113th Congress

 

Co-Chairs: Sen. Christopher Coons (D-DE) and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS)

Members:

Members of the Congressional Caucus on Malaria and NTDs – 113th Congress

  

Co-Chairs: Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R‐FL) and Rep. Gregory Meeks (D‐NY)  

Members:

Rep. Sanford D. Bishop Jr. (D-GA)

Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL)

Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA)

Rep. John Carter (R-TX)

Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH)

Rep. Donna Christensen (D-VI)

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO)

Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC),

Rep. Steven Cohen (D-TN)

Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-MI)

Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY)

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY)

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ)

Rep. Gene Green (D-TX)

Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR)

Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX)

Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL)

Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT)

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX)

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA)

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA)

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)

Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT)

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX)

Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-WA)

Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA)

Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL)

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA)

Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI)

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY)

Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA)

Rep.  Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL)

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY)

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA)

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC)

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA)

Key Resources