Washington, D.C., February 1, 2008
– 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 first session of the 110th Congress in 2007.
In the Senate, 46 out of 100 senators voted in support of APHA’s position on all eight of the key issues for which their votes were recorded and received a 100 percent rating. Key Senate votes from 2007 included in this year’s congressional record focused on issues such as a minimum wage increase, stem cell research, rights of workers to unionize, global family planning, farm and food policy and children’s health insurance.
In the House, 188 out of 435 representatives voted in support of APHA’s position on all 11 of the key issues for which their votes were recorded and received a 100 percent rating. Along with the same key issues voted on by the Senate, important House votes from 2007 also focused on Medicare prescription drugs, health and education funding, and the Budget Resolution Conference Report.
“Tracking votes is an important way to measure the support in Congress for the protection and advancement of our nation’s health,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA. “It also holds our leaders accountable and reminds them 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 public health-related 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 2008 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 2008 issue for $6 by phone at (202) 777-2516, fax at (202) 777-2532 or e-mail at email@example.com.
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.