Washington, D.C., February 1, 2007 -- The American Public Health Association (APHA) today released its annual congressional record, which measures how members of Congress voted on legislation that is important to public health.
APHA’s report was compiled by examining hundreds of individual votes and selecting key public health votes during the second session of the 109th Congress in 2006.
In the Senate, 35 out of 100 senators voted in support of APHA’s position on all five of the key issues for which their votes were recorded and received a 100 percent rating. Key Senate votes from 2006 included in this year’s record focused on issues such as funding for influenza planning and vaccine development, funding for health and education programs and parental notification for abortions.
In the House, 117 out of 435 representatives voted in support of APHA’s position on all five of the key issues for which their votes were recorded and received a 100 percent rating. Key House votes from 2006 focused on issues such as food labeling restrictions, funding for health and education programs, requirements for the reporting of toxic chemicals and parental notification for abortions.
“Tracking votes is a clear way to measure the support in Congress for the protection of the health of individuals in America,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, APHA executive director. “It also reminds our nation’s leaders that APHA and its members are watching to see who places a high priority on our nation’s health.”
The APHA congressional voting record only reflects the votes taken on selected pieces of legislation and does not reflect the number of legislative proposals a member introduces, leadership in committees, influence over other members or level of expertise. In addition, readers of the voting record are advised that votes on particular legislative provisions should be judged in the overall political context that surrounds such provisions as well as in the context of other related and unrelated legislative provisions contained in the same bill, resolution or amendment. Therefore, APHA asks readers not to judge a member of Congress' qualifications for office or overall level of support for public health and APHA's positions solely on the basis of this report.
The congressional record appears in the February 2007 issue of The Nation's Health, the official newspaper of the American Public Health Association. The voting record may be ordered by purchasing a single copy of the February 2007 issue for $5 by phone at (202) 777-2516, fax at (202) 777-2532 or e-mail at email@example.com. The Nation’s Health is accessible online at http://www.thenationshealth.org.
APHA members may access a PDF version of the vote tally from the APHA Web site at http://www.apha.org/advocacy/activities/2006aphavotingrecord.htm by using their member password. Members who need more information should call Donald Hoppert at (202) 777-2514 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Members who have forgotten their member password should e-mail email@example.com or call (202) 777-2400.