Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA-02), as part of his significantly expanded responsibilities in the 113thCongress, will be adding the oversight of spending on veterans' affairs and military construction as a senior member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee.
Fattah has been elected to serve on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies, effective immediately. Fattah's third Appropriations subcommittee assignment is a position with special relevance to Philadelphia's large community of veterans and the health care and educational institutions that serve them.
The election comes on the heels of another Fattah election this week as Chair of the Board of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, a nonprofit public policy and education organization that works to improve the life chances of African Americans.
Since the new Congress convened on Jan. 3, Fattah has been named Vice Chair of the HouseGun Violence Prevention Task Force and Co-Chair of the bipartisan House Science and National Labs Caucus.
"President Obama has outlined a bold agenda to create jobs, strengthen the middle class, and support our veterans, men and women in uniform, and their families," Fattah said. "I welcome these added responsibilities that will allow me to advocate for and advance key elements of the President's program."
Fattah's new subcommittee is charged with providing the nation's military with funding for the infrastructure needed to house, train, equip and support military personnel and their families, and to maintain a strong military base structure.
"Our veterans are the best, and they deserve the best, in Philadelphia and across the nation," Fattah said. "I'm especially pleased to have funding and oversight responsibilities for the veterans' medical center in West Philadelphia, which I recently introduced legislation to rename in tribute to Philadelphia's Medal of Honor hero Corporal Michael Crescenz."
Fattah said, "There are incredible opportunities for technology to dramatically improve the quality of life of our veterans injured in battle. I have seen such an example at Philadelphia's Einstein Medical Center, the clinical trial of "ReWalk' that is designed to give mobility back to veterans confronting paralysis.
"I look forward to supporting future research and development into these kinds of therapies and supports, and this new position gives me that chance," he said.
"In particular I will be working with our excellent hospitals, universities and research institutions in Philadelphia to make sure their facilities are fully engaged to assist in the health care and education of our veterans," Fattah said. "Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, the University of Pennsylvania, Temple and Saint Joseph's Universities, Lankenau Hospital and Thomas Jefferson University are all involved in this valuable work."
Fattah continues to serve as the Ranking Member (senior Democrat) on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, where he is the Democrats' lead Appropriator for scientific research, brain science, youth mentoring and manufacturing innovation. He is also a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development.