PKD patients, family members and friends have a powerful voice with elected officials. Understanding who the key players are ensures that PKD advocates are keeping members of Congress informed about legislative issues that are important to the PKD community. Learn more about Congress and committees that directly influence health policy and find out if your elected officials serve on committees that have jurisdiction over health policy.
Floor leaders are elected to two year terms by a majority vote of all senators of their party. The majority and minority leaders serve as the spokespersons on the Senate floor for their parties. Visit the U.S. Senate online.
Senate Committees and Subcommittees
The Senate Appropriations Committee is the largest committee in the U.S. Senate. This Committee writes the legislation that allocates federal funds to government agencies, departments and organizations each year. Appropriations are limited to spending levels set by a Budget Resolution which is drafted by the Senate Budget Committee. There are 12 subcommittees that draft legislation allocating funds to agencies that are within their jurisdiction.
This committee has broad jurisdiction over our country’s health care, education, employment and retirement policies.
This committee has broad jurisdiction over health care, education, employment and retirement policies.
This subcommittee has jurisdiction over issues including: substance abuse and mental health, oral health, health care disparities.
The Senate Finance Committee concerns itself with matters relating to taxation and other revenue measures, including health programs under Medicare and Medicaid and health programs financed by a specific tax or trust fund.
The Health Care Subcommittee is one of six subcommittees that allow members of the Finance Committee to examine specific areas within the Committee’s jurisdiction. The Chairman and Ranking Member establish the subcommittees for each Congressional session and serve as ex officio members on all subcommittees.
U.S. House of Representatives
The Speaker acts as leader of the House of Representatives and is second in line to succeed the President, after the Vice President. The Speaker works to set the majority party’s legislative agenda. The House of Representatives elects party leaders in a closed-door caucus by secret ballot. Visit the House of Representatives online.
House Committees and Subcommittees
The United States House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations is responsible for passing all appropriation bills. The bills passed by the Appropriations Committee regulate all expenditures by the U.S. government. The House Appropriations Committee is a powerful committees, and members are seen as influential.
This subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee has jurisdiction over the budget for the United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and the Food and Drug Administration.
The Energy and Commerce Committee has the broadest jurisdiction of any congressional authorizing committee. Responsibilities include: telecommunications, consumer protection, food and drug safety, public health research, environmental quality, energy policy, and interstate and foreign commerce. This committee also oversees cabinet-level Departments and independent agencies including: the Departments of Energy, Health and Human Services, Commerce, and Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Communications Commission.
The U.S. is home to a constant stream of cutting-edge medical advancements, but these innovations can only benefit patients and spur our economy if the FDA regulatory process keeps pace. The Health Subcommittee has developed key reforms to promote this type of medical advancement, part of its broader efforts to support market-based improvements to our health care system and reject heavy-handed government control.
The Committee on Ways and Means is the oldest committee of the United States Congress. This committee is the chief tax writing committee in the House.
All bills and matters that are referred to Ways and Means that relate to programs providing payments for health care, health delivery systems or health research are under the Health Subcommittee’s jurisdiction.
A congressional caucus, officially called a Congressional Member Organization, is a group of members of elected officials that have a common legislative objective. There are various types of caucuses however, the most common caucus consists of members that are united due to a common interest. Caucuses are often bipartisan, meaning that both Democrats and Republicans serve on the same caucus.
The purpose of the caucus is to educate Congress and the public about the problem kidney disease poses for our society and to educate Congress and the public about the federal government’s singular role in providing access to life-sustaining treatment for those Americans with the severest form of chronic kidney disease (CKD), stage 5 CKD.
The Kidney Caucus provides a forum for the discussion of quality of care and life issues, acts as a resource on the scope and impact of kidney disease and serves as a source of information on public policy initiatives to aid individuals with CKD and irreversible kidney failure.
The Rare Disease Caucus provides a forum for members of Congress to voice constituent concerns, share ideas and build support for legislation that will improve the lives of people with rare diseases. The rare disease community is incredibly grateful for their leadership and support on rare disease issues, which has been critical for raising awareness and impacting change in Washington D.C.
Executive branch agency
- Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
- National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
You can research current and past federal legislation using the tools provided by congress.gov.