, February 2, 2009
– The American Public Health Association (APHA) today released its annual congressional voting 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 110th Congress in 2008.
In the Senate, 44 out of 100 senators voted in support of APHA’s position on all six of the key issues for which their votes were recorded and received a 100 percent rating. Key Senate votes from 2008 included in this year’s congressional record focused on issues such as farm and food policy, the federal budget resolution, climate change, Medicare improvement bill, global HIV/AIDS program and consumer product safety.
In the House, 205 out of 435 representatives voted in support of APHA’s position on all nine of the key issues for which their votes were recorded and received a 100 percent rating. This is a 17 positive vote increase from last year’s tally. Along with the same key issues voted on by the Senate, important House votes from 2008 also focused on children’s health insurance, Medicaid rules moratorium, FDA tobacco regulation and mental health/addiction parity.
“It is important to keep a careful eye on our congressional leaders, keeping them accountable for the legislative decisions that they make affecting everyday peoples’ lives,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA. “Tracking votes is an extremely valuable exercise, as it reminds them that APHA and its members are watching to see who places a high priority on our nation’s health.”
While the voting record is a helpful tool in helping assess a member’s support for public health, 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 2009 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 2009 issue for $6 by phone at 202-777-2516, fax at 202-777-2532 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com. Members who have forgotten their member password should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-777-2400.