Psychology PAC: Your psychology champions in Congress

Read about members of Congress who speak up for psychologists, psychology practice and mental health.

Nov. 6 is midterm election day and 34 U.S. senators and all members of the House of Representatives will be on the ballot. Psychologists have a few champions for the profession in the House of Representatives who are up for re-election: Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif, Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif., Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., and Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla.

Rep. Judy Chu

Rep. Judy ChuChu holds a doctorate in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. She served as a faculty member in the psychology department in the Los Angeles California Community College District for 20 years. Chu sits on the Small Business and Ways & Means committees, representing 421 APA members in her district. She is a member of the Subcommittees on Health and Human Resources, giving her oversight over healthcare reform and crucial safety net programs. She also serves on the House Small Business Committee and is a member of the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access.

Chu made history by being the first Chinese-American woman elected to Congress in 2009.

In February, Chu received the Outstanding Leadership Award in recognition of her efforts on behalf of patients and their right to quality mental health care during APA’s annual Practice Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C.

Rep. Alan Lowenthal

Rep. Alan LowenthalLowenthal holds a doctorate in psychology from Ohio State University. He taught community psychology at California State University, Long Beach until 1998. He began his political career at the local level and was first elected to Congress in 2012.

Lowenthal sits on the Natural Resources and Transportation and Infrastructure committees, representing 182 APA members in his district. He is the ranking member of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. As a member of the Natural Resources Committee, he also serves on the Subcommittee on Federal Lands. As a member of Transportation and Infrastructure, he serves on the Highways and Transit, the Water Resources and Environment, and the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation subcommittees.

Representing one of the most ethnically diverse districts in the nation, Lowenthal has championed human rights in Congress, not just at home, but throughout the world. He has also brought his strong support for LGBT rights to Washington, where he became the first member of Congress to permanently fly the “Pride” flag outside his office. In addition, he has continued his long history of fighting for environmental protections, with a new mission to bring the issue of climate change to the front in Congress as chair of the more than 60-member Safe Climate Caucus.

Rep. Jason Smith

Rep. Jason SmithSmith holds degrees in agricultural economics and business administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia. After graduation he attended law school at Oklahoma City University. He was elected to Congress in a special election in 2013.  

Smith sits on Ways and Means Committee and the Budget Committee, representing 61 APA members. Says Smith, “Healthcare is personal. I believe you should have healthcare freedom and plenty of choices when making these very personal decisions for you and your family. Bottom line: The government should not be sitting in the exam room with you and your doctor.”

Smith has been supportive of increasing Medicare beneficiary access to psychologists’ services, ensuring psychologists’ independent practice authority within all Medicare settings. He also shares APA’s concerns about declines in Medicare payment rates for psychological treatment and testing.

Rep. Markwayne Mullin

Rep. Markwayne MullinMullin attended Missouri Valley College in 1996; however, he left at the age of 20 to run his family business. He received a degree in applied science in construction technology from Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology in 2010.  He was first elected to Congress in 2013.

Mullin serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, representing 52 APA members in his district. He also sits on three subcommittees: Subcommittee on Energy, the Subcommittee on Health, and the Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection.

Mullen is supportive of extending incentive payments to psychologists to adopt electronic health records. He has also been a strong voice for business owners, bringing their perspective into the national debate on many issues that directly impact the business community. As one of only two Native Americans currently serving in the House, Mullin brings a firsthand knowledge of Native American issues to Washington, D.C.