Congressional Spotlight: Barbara Lee


WASHINGTON, D.C. — California Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee is a prominent leader in the fight against global poverty. Her success as a political figure began when she was elected into office in 1990. During her tenure as a Congresswoman, Lee has authored 67 bills, all of which have passed.

She is currently a member of the Budget Committee and the powerful Appropriations Committee, as well as subcommittees on State and Foreign Operations, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. Beyond these committees, her legislative work to end global poverty goes much further.

In collaboration with other U.S. leaders, in 2015 Lee worked with Representative David Reichert on the Reach Every Mother and Child Act and several Californian and New York representatives on the Global Partnership for Education.

The Reach Every Mother and Child Act is a bipartisan bill helping mothers worldwide receive the proper resources necessary to promote maternal health, and as Reichert’s government website states, “accelerate the reduction of preventable maternal, newborn and childhood deaths worldwide.” Through new technology, costly strategies and other coordination, this act is projected to, as Congresswomen Lee states, “save lives while creating a better world for millions.”

The Act’s projected success will only further the global community’s impact. As Lee stated, “in the past fifteen years, the international community has halved the maternal and child mortality rate.”

The Reach Every Mother and Child Act’s goal coincides with The Borgen Project; it helps to reduce global poverty. As World Vision CEO Rich Stearns stated, “This legislation will ensure that proven cost-effective and life-saving health interventions will be scaled up in the developing world.” Lee’s progress and support for this Act will help make the world a better and healthier place for all women and children.

Besides her work with women and children, Lee also works with Nita Lowey, Joseph Crowley, Ted Lieu and Judy Chu to increase global education. These California and New York representatives have received a grant from the U.S. for $45 million for the Global Partnership for Education in 2015. The partnership has been, and will continue to be used to, as the Global Citizen website stated, “ensuring that all children have the opportunity to receive an education.”

More specifically, Lee has been involved in advancing the importance of human rights in order to reduce instability and global poverty.

Supporting respect for human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia is one of her most recent resolutions. Through this bill, Lee condemns the suppression of freedom of speech, protests and use of violence.
Lee calls on Congress to investigate the violence used against Ethiopians in order to strategize ways to improve democracy in the country.

Similarly, Lee supports the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act which, as her government website states, “prohibits funds from being made available to Honduras for the police and military.” In doing this, Lee is reducing the violence and instability that is tearing the country apart.

These four bills are just a few of Lee’s most recent works. Each resolution and act portrays her dedication to improving the lives of many.

The Borgen Project admires her dedication to reducing global poverty through all available facets: education, government and health, and looks forward to her future resolutions to reduce global poverty.

Kristen Guyler

Photo: Flickr


About Author

Kristen Guyler

Kristen comes from in Marlboro, NJ but is currently writing for The Borgen Project from Winston-Salem, NC. Her academic interests include Sociology, Spanish and Journalism. Kristen is extremely passionate about human rights and wants to bring justice where justice is deserved. Kristen has travelled to five continents and participated in community service projects in four.

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