Nurturing Supporters and Creating Psychology Champions on Capitol Hill

Over the past several years the psychology community has begun to realize the importance of actively supporting Members of Congress who are working to gain greater federal support and funding for  psychology education and training through either the authorizing or appropriations process.  Attending Congressional receptions provide psychologists the opportunity to talk directly with Members of Congress about legislation of interest and vital concern to the psychology education/training community. A brief summary of current and past events follows.

2009

Congressman Gene Green (D-TX) To Be Honored  Congressman Gene Green (D-TX) was honored at a Association for Advancement of Psychology (AAP) PLAN dinner at the same time as the 2009 Education Leadership Conference in Washington DC for his leadership in securing bill language in the House Health Care Reform legislation for federal funding for psychology training as well as for introducing a bill, HR 2066, to explicitly authorize the GPE Program.

 

2008

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) Honored – Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) was honored at a Association for Advancement of Psychology (AAP) PLAN dinner at the same time as the International Counseling Psychology Conference in Chicago on March 8, 2008.  Senator Murray is a member of the Appropriations Committee, the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee and the Veterans Affairs Committee.  She is also Chair of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee and a member of the Military Construction-VA Appropriations Subcommittee, as well as the Labor-Health & Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee.

Senator Murray successfully offered an amendment to the Senate Military Construction VA Appropriations bill on the Senate Floor to allow the transfer in FY 2008 of up to $5 million to HRSA for the Graduate Psychology Education (GPE) Program for a focus on returning military personnel with PTSD, TBI or post-deployment readjustment problems.

Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) Honored – A special dinner honoring Congressman Tim Ryan was held by the Association for Advancement of Psychology (AAP) PLAN at the same time as the 2008 Education Leadership Conference.  Congressman Ryan is a member of the powerful House Committee on Appropriations where he serves on the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS), which has jurisdiction over many of the issues contained in the Education Directorate's legislative agenda, including the Graduate Psychology Education (GPE) Program.  Congressman Ryan has been a strong supporter of the Graduate Psychology Education (GPE) program.

2007

Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) Honored at ELCCongresswoman Nita Lowey was honored at an Association for Advancement of Psychology (AAP) PLAN dinner at the same time as the 2007 Education Leadership Conference.  As a senior and long-term member of the House Appropriations Labor Health and Human Services-Education Subcommittee, Rep. Lowey has enormous influence on Capitol Hill.  Rep. Lowey has been a longtime proponent for education and a champion of health care services for women, children, and the elderly, and recently a strong advocate for mental health care for returning veterans.  Rep. Lowey has also expressed strong support for the Graduate Psychology Education Program.

2006

Congressman Sam Farr (D-CA) Honored – In January the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP) held a reception honoring Congressman Sam Farr (D-17-CA), member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee.  The NCSPP reception provided an opportunity for NCSPP members, California constituents to speak directly to the Congressman about the importance of the Graduate Psychology Education (GPE) Program.  A dinner was held for Congressman Farr by the Association for Advancement of Psychology (AAP) PLAN at the same time as The NCSPP Conference.

Representative Rosa DeLauro Honored at ELC – Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) was honored at a Association for Advancement of Psychology (AAP) PLAN dinner at the same time as the 2006 Education leadership Conference for her support of the Graduate Psychology Education (GPE) Program and other legislative initiatives of interest to psychology. Rep. DeLauro stated that she is very proud to be strong supporter of GPE, emphasizing that the GPE funded Yale Child Study Program and other GPE Programs are providing critically needed services to underserved populations all across the country.  DeLauro assured everyone that she would fight hard for the GPE Program and pointed out that Congress also needs to pass Mental Health Parity legislation.

2005

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard Honored – The National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP) held a reception honoring Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, a member of the House Appropriations Labor-Health & Human Services-Education Subcommittee, during their January mid-winter meeting.  Cynthia Belar, PhD, Executive Director, Ms. Roybal-Allard, a strong supporter of mental and behavioral health services, as well as the education and training needs of psychologists, placed the GPE Program on her list of funding priorities for FY2005. A dinner was held for Congresswoman Roybal-Allard by the Association for Advancement of Psychology (AAP) PLAN at the same time as the NCSPP Conference.


Education Leadership Conference Honors Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. – Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL), member of the powerful House Appropriations Labor-Health & Human Services-Education Subcommittee, was honored at a reception held during the fourth-annual Education Leadership Conference. Mr. Jackson has been a longtime champion of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Minority Fellowship Program (which supports the APA Public Interest Directorate grant), as well as the Bureau of Health Professions GPE Program. Congressman Jackson spoke about his personal and professional experiences that have inspired his interest in public service and subsequent efforts to address the needs of underserved populations in the Chicago area and throughout the U.S. A dinner was held for Congressman Jackson by the Association for Advancement of Psychology (AAP) PLAN at the same time as Education Leadership Conference.

2004

NCSPP Mid-Winter Meeting Honors Congressman Sherrod Brown – In addition to a full day of advocacy training to prepare members for their congressional visits, The National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP) held a special reception in honor of Congressman Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ranking Member of the House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee.  Congressman Brown, a strong supporter of psychology, gave a very stirring speech and applauded NCSPP members for their involvement in advocacy and noted the important role that everyone can play in advocacy.  [It should be noted that Congressman Brown was elected to the Senate in 2006.] A dinner was held for Congressman Brown the Association for Advancement of Psychology (AAP) PLAN at the same time as the NCSPP conference.