Congresswoman Lori Trahan Secures Appointment to Powerful Energy and Commerce Committee
The highly sought after Committee holds jurisdiction over healthcare, technology, telecommunications, and the environment
Washington, December 18, 2020
WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03) was nominated for an appointment to the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, making her the only Massachusetts member on the Committee in the 117th Congress. Considered one of the most important committees in the House because of its broad jurisdiction, a seat on the Energy and Commerce Committee will enable Trahan to further deliver on a wide range of priorities important to workers and families in the Third District and across the Commonwealth.
“The issues before the Energy and Commerce Committee impact the everyday lives of people across Massachusetts, including continuing our response to COVID-19 and the development and distribution of vaccines. As someone who grew up in a family that lived paycheck to paycheck, I understand the importance of access to quality, affordable health care and being able to afford lifesaving prescription medicine. Rooted in my lived experiences, these issues, along with our urgent need to clean up our environment and rein in the dominance of big tech, are top priorities for me on the Committee. Working in close coordination with the Biden administration, I will use this appointment to deliver for working families like the one I grew up in, for our health care heroes on the front lines, for scientists and researchers working to prevent the next pandemic, and for activists fighting for action on climate change,” said Congresswoman Trahan.
The Energy and Commerce Committee has the broadest jurisdiction of any committee in the House of Representatives. Members of the Committee are tasked with oversight and legislation of health care, insurance, biomedical research, environmental policy, climate change, electronic and telecommunications, the internet and digital marketplace, privacy, cybersecurity, data security, motor vehicle safety, and interstate and foreign commerce.
At a moment when representation on the Committee will prove especially critical in the fight against COVID-19, Trahan garnered unanimous support from the New England delegation to continue a long history of Massachusetts members on Energy and Commerce. Over the past 140 years, Massachusetts has had at least one representative seated on the Committee for all but 14 years, including most recently Congressman Joe Kennedy III for the past six years and then-Congressman Edward J. Markey for 35 years during his time in the House.
Trahan’s representation on the Committee will be key to Massachusetts workers. Over the past two decades, health care and scientific and business services have emerged as the leading industries for employment in the Commonwealth, employing more than 1.25 million workers before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. With direct jurisdiction over these industries and other key areas of importance to the Commonwealth, Trahan’s appointment was strongly supported by local, state, and regional leaders who know the importance of Massachusetts having a seat and a voice on the Committee.
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congresswoman Trahan has shown a deep understanding of the challenges frontline medical workers like those at Greater Lawrence Family Health Center are facing each day. Her appointment to the Energy and Commerce Committee means that nurses, doctors, and health professionals in Lawrence and throughout our region will have an advocate who knows what it takes to get the medical resources and tools necessary to continue educating clinicians in our Lawrence Family Medicine Residency program and saving the lives of our region’s most vulnerable patients,” said John M. Silva, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center.
“It is extremely important for Massachusetts to continue to have a voice on the Energy and Commerce Committee. Essentially all major public health legislation passes through that committee. Given the role of public health in our state and nation’s effort to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, the MNA and the frontline nurses we represent are gratified to have Congresswoman Trahan, a fierce advocate on these issues, as a member of this important body,” said Katie Murphy, RN, President of the Massachusetts Nurses Association.
“Congresswoman Trahan will do whatever she can to help American families. She listened to the painful story of how I lost my young son to addiction and tenderly asked ‘How can I help other families? How can I make a difference?’ She then introduced key legislation in Congress, and continues to work tirelessly with a caring heart and the courage to confront addiction and save lives. She will always be a hero to me,” said Dr. James L. Baker, M.D., M.P.H., founder of the Maxwell F. Baker Foundation for Addiction Recovery.
“The new Congress and Administration must work together on day one to address the existential threat of climate change. Any legislation that protects our environment and makes bold investments in clean energy will go through the Energy and Commerce Committee. It’s good to know that we’ll have a champion like Lori on the Committee fighting for us every step of the way,” said Elizabeth Turnbull Henry, President of the Environmental League of Massachusetts.
“Climate change is among the greatest challenges we face, and there is no more important committee in Congress responsible for tackling it than Energy and Commerce. Massachusetts has long been a global leader in clean energy technology and innovation, and has a history of powerful voices on the committee pushing for clean energy solutions. As a mission driven company focused on combating climate change with fusion energy technology, we know Lori will continue the tradition to advance ambitious legislation that leverages American competitiveness and unleashes bold solutions in our fight against climate change," said Bob Mumgaard, CEO of Commonwealth Fusion Systems.
“The ACLU believes that every member of Congress must understand the importance of protecting every person’s right to privacy. Congresswoman Trahan’s appointment to the Energy and Commerce Committee means that privacy and civil liberties advocates will have someone who will prioritize these human rights when considering a wide array of issues under their jurisdiction. We plan to work closely with Congresswoman Trahan to protect and strengthen Americans’ individual freedoms,” said Carol Rose, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.
“U.S. Rep. Trahan has been a champion for UMass Lowell, Lowell and the Merrimack Valley in Washington in many ways. Her advocacy for the university, its students and its faculty has provided new and important avenues for the pursuit of research to benefit our Commonwealth and our nation. The Congresswoman’s new role will provide an even greater opportunity to improve health outcomes, address climate change through renewable energy and energy efficiency, and increase access to information while protecting consumers. All of these areas hold great potential for further positive impact on research, as well as preparing UMass Lowell students and graduates for important roles in these key industries,” said UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney.
“As this pandemic has shown, Massachusetts’ medical device manufacturers will always step up to the plate to ensure the best possible care for patients. Lori stuck with us as we worked to rapidly develop our two COVID-19 tests and massively scale up production. And we’re excited that she will now be on the committee that has oversight of public health,” said Kevin Thornal, President of Hologic’s Diagnostic Solutions Division.
Once approved by the full Democratic Caucus, Trahan will assume her seat on the Energy and Commerce after she is sworn into the 117th Congress on January 3rd. Subcommittee memberships will be announced at a later date. Since the Energy and Commerce is an exclusive committee, Trahan will give up her seats on the House Education and Labor and Armed Services Committees.