Congressional Lyme Caucus 2021

The Congressional Lyme Disease Caucus is a bi-partisan group working together in the U.S. House of Representatives to take action on Lyme & tick-borne diseases. Under the continued leadership of Congressmen Chris Smith (NJ) and now with the new 2021 co-chair, Henry Cuellar (TX), the Caucus will help the Lyme Community by focusing on Lyme & TBD issues in Congress.

Any interested Representative can contact the office of Congressman Christopher Smith (NJ) for more details or to sign onto the Caucus. Check the list to see if your Congress Member has signed on.

Rep. Chris Smith, Pat Smith, Rich Smith discussing actions to take for House Lyme Caucus
Lyme Disease Association’s President, Pat Smith, and Vice President, Richard Smith, met  with House Lyme Caucus  Co-Chair Cong. Chris Smith,  to discuss actions to take in DC to help those with Lyme and to stop the spread of Lyme & TBD.

List of Current House Lyme Disease Caucus as of 6/16/21
Smith, Christopher H. (R-NJ-04), Co-chair
Cuellar, Henry. (D-TX-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)
Deutch, Ted (D-FL-22)
Fitzpatrick, Brian (R-PA)
Gottheimer, Josh (D-NJ-5)
Hartzler, Vicky (R-MO-04)
Higgins, Brian (D-NY-26)
Holmes Norton, Eleanor (D-DC)
Keating, William R. (D-MA-9)
Krishnamoorthi, Raja (D-IL-08)
Langevin, James R. (D- RI-02)
Lofgren, Zoe (D-CA-19)
Malinowski, Tom (D-NJ-7)
Maloney, Sean Patrick (D-NY-18)
McCaul, Michael (R-TX)
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)
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)
Wild, Susan (D-PA)
Wittman, Robert J. (R-VA-01)

More about the Caucus
The bipartisan Congressional Lyme Disease Caucus 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 476,000 Americans who develop Lyme disease each year and all of those individuals living with the disease long term.

The Caucus co-chairs have led annual appropriations requests in support of Lyme disease research through the Labor-HHS Appropriations Act and also the Defense Appropriations Act. In 2015, the Caucus secured for the first time ever, inclusion of tick-borne diseases (TBD) into the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program,  (CDMRP).  $5 million from the Department of Defense (DoD) budget  was included through the Defense Appropriations Act for Lyme disease research through the  CDMRP.  Subsequently, the TBD CDMRP continued to be funded each year at that level, and then $7 million was secured for the program in 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 HHS Tick-Borne Disease Working Group (TBDWG). Specifically, the TBDWG under the auspices of HHS, is comprised of federal and non-federal members tasked with reporting to Congress every two years for 6 years 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. The 2020 Working Group report was submitted early in 2021 with its recommendations.

See 2018 WG Report

See 2020 WG Report