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House Lyme Disease Caucus 2020

The House Lyme Disease Caucus is a bi-partisan group working together in Congress to take action on Lyme & tick-borne diseases. Under the leadership of Congressmen Chris Smith (NJ) and co-chair Colin Peterson (MN), it has initiated letters and actions to benefit Lyme patients, such as the inclusion of the monies for Lyme & tick-borne diseases into the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) and language and Lyme monies into Appropriations over the years and initiated favorable legislation. Additionally, it has queried government agencies over policies not favorable to patients. This has reminded the agencies that someone is looking over their shoulder. Many meetings have been held and educational sessions in DC for Congress.

If Representatives are interested in signing up they can contact the offices of Congressman Christopher Smith (NJ) or Colin Peterson (MN).

Rep. Chris Smith, Pat Smith, Rich Smith discussing actions to take for House Lyme Caucus
Pat Smith, President & Rich Smith, Vice President of the LDA met in Wall, NJ, with Congressman Chris Smith, Co-Chair of the House Lyme Caucus, to discuss what actions can be taken in DC to help those with Lyme and to stop the spread of Lyme & other tick-borne diseases, 4/19/2017

List of Current House Lyme Disease Caucus

Smith, Christopher H. (R-NJ-04), Co-chair
Peterson, Collin C. (D-MN-7), Co-chair
Cohen, Steve (D-TN-9)
Connolly, Gerald E. (D-VA-11)
Courtney, Joe (D-CT-2)
DeGette, Diana (D-CO-1)
Delgado, Antonio (D-NY-19)
Hartzler, Vicky (R-MO-04)
Higgins, Brian (D-NY-26)
Holmes Norton, Eleanor (D-DC)
Keating, William R. (D-MA-9)
Kennedy, Joseph P. (D-MA-4)
King, Pete (R-NY-02)
Krishnamoorthi, Raja (D-IL-08)
Langevin, James R. (D- RI-02)
Lofgren, Zoe (D-CA-19)
Maloney, Sean Patrick (D-NY-18)
McGovern, James P. (D-MA-02)
Moulton, Seth (D-MA-06)
Peters, Scott (D-CA-52)
Pingree, Chellie (D-ME-01)
Pocan, Mark (D-WI-02)
Posey, Bill (R-FL-8)
Reed, Tom (R-NY)
Rose, Max (D-NY-11)
Stefanik, Elise (R-NY-21)
Steil, Bryan (R-WI-01)
Thompson, Glenn (R-PA-15)
Tonko, Paul (D-NY-20)
Wexton, Jennifer (R-VA-10)
Wittman, Robert J. (R-VA-01)


More about the Caucus

The bipartisan Congressional Lyme Disease Task Force, co-chaired by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), is dedicated to educating Members of Congress and staff about Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, as well as advancing initiatives that are designed to help the estimated 400,000 Americans who develop Lyme disease each year and all of those living with the disease.

As co-chairs of the bipartisan Task Force, Rep. Smith and Rep. Peterson lead annual appropriations requests in support of Lyme disease research through the Department of Health and Human Services and for research funding at the Department of Defense. In 2015, the caucus secured for the first time ever, $5 million in funding in the House Appropriations Committee annual military spending legislation, which was adopted in the Fiscal Year 2016 funding bill which was signed into law, and will provide resources for Lyme disease research through DOD’s innovative, high-risk, high-reward program. Subsequently, the CDMRP continued to be funded, and $7 million was secured for 2020. 

The caucus helped advocates secure another major win for Lyme disease. In December of 2016, the United States House of Representatives passed, and former-President Obama signed, the 21st Century Cures Act. The Cures Act included language – similar to a bill that Rep. Smith introduced previously – which created the interagency Tick-Borne Disease Working Group. Specifically, the Working Group (WG) under the auspices of HHS, is comprised of federal and non-federal members tasked with reporting to Congress on scientific advances, research questions, surveillance activities and emerging strains in species of pathogenic organisms. Patients, advocates and treating physicians sit at the same table with government officials. In 2018, the WG sent a report to Congress with recommendations on Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.