Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, today announced changes to the committee's health staff for the 113th Congress, congratulating departing staff on new opportunities and highlighting the experienced staff leadership that will continue going forward. Clay Alspach will serve as the new Subcommittee on Health Chief Counsel and Julie Goon, as Deputy Health Policy Director, will continue working at the full committee level to provide strategic counsel and management on health care policy, oversight, and outreach. Outgoing subcommittee chief counsel Ryan Long, who has held the position since July 2006, is leaving after nearly 15 years of service on Capitol Hill. Full Committee Chief Health Counsel Howard Cohen left in December after two years with the committee.
Upton praised Long's dedicated service to the committee, stating, "Ryan has been a fixture of the Energy and Commerce team for nearly a decade. He has been a valuable asset, especially during his tenure as the Health Subcommittee Chief Counsel dating back to mid 2006. I greatly appreciated his staying as a member of my team when I became chairman, and I especially want to thank him for his tireless efforts as the House fought Obamacare the last two years. His contributions over the years are numerous in the ongoing effort to improve the quality of our nation's health care system."
Upton also thanked outgoing Full Committee Chief Health Counsel Cohen for his service, stating, "After a decade of public service in the 1990s, I was happy to welcome Howard Cohen back to the Hill when I became chairman. Howard is one of the brightest health minds, and I appreciated his wise counsel and wisdom over the last two years, especially during the Super Committee proceedings. Although Howard has left the Hill, I know he will continue to be at the forefront of health policy."
Newly promoted Clay Alspach has served on the Energy and Commerce Committee since 2008, most recently as Health Counsel. He also previously worked for the committee as a legislative clerk under Chairman Bliley. In the 112th Congress, Alspach handled issues concerning the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, Public Health Service Act and Controlled Substances Act. In addition to his Hill experience, Alspach clerked for the Honorable Ronald L. Buckwalter of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and worked in private law practice. Alspach received his BA from the University of Richmond and JD from the University of Texas.
"We have a tremendous health team, and I am delighted that Clay Alspach will serve as Chief Counsel for the Health Subcommittee and Julie Goon will continue providing strategic counsel as we prepare for the new Congress," said Upton. "Clay played an integral role in many of our health successes last Congress, most notably the bipartisan passage of our landmark FDA reform package. Julie has been and will continue to be a critical voice, especially given her White House experience, as we examine the fiscal challenges facing Medicare and Medicaid and we continue scrutinizing the administration's efforts to implement the health care law. We look forward to an aggressive health agenda in the 113th Congress as we continue working to improve the quality and affordability of health care for Americans."