It’s clear that the November 6th midterm elections were a successful day for the nursing profession and health care more broadly. The American Nurses Association Political Action Committee (ANA-PAC) paid dividends for its members and the profession by spending more than $422,000 to help elect longstanding champions of nursing like Reps. David Joyce (R-OH-14) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ-6), as well as Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Tom Carper (D-DE) while helping usher in fresh faces for the 116th Congress like Rep. Elects Joe Morelle (D-NY-25) and Dusty Johnson (R-SD-At-Large).
Rep. Elect Morelle has collaborated with the American Nurses Association-New York during his time in the state assembly and consistently helped secure legislative victories to advance the nursing profession, including passage of a bill that strengthens education requirements for future nurses and establishing a commission to evaluate and report on barriers to entry into the nursing profession in New York while Rep. Elect Johnson was responsible for overseeing the South Dakota State Employee Health Care Plan in his capacity as chief of staff to Governor Dennis Daugaard, where he heard and implemented input from health care professionals across the state, including nurses. He is dedicated to bringing stability to a health care market that has experienced a great deal of uncertainty in the past year and a half.
On a particularly great note, registered nurse Lauren Underwood achieved victory as the next Member of Congress representing the Illinois 14th congressional district. Besides being a fellow nurse, she also earned the distinct honor of being elected the first congresswoman from her district. Lauren will join registered nurses Reps. Karen Bass (D-CA-37) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30) in the 116th Congress.
If there was ever any proof ANA knows how to support the correct candidates it’s this: of the more than 120 candidates for federal office supported by ANA-PAC, an impressive 94% have won their election. A total of 96% of incumbents, 91% of those running in open seats and 90% of candidates running against a sitting federal lawmaker won their elections while 93% of those candidates the PAC endorsed were elected. This showcases ANA staff’s ability to identify candidates who are both invested in moving nurses forward and are likely to run successful campaigns that are responsive to their voters’ broader interests, including the need for increased access to affordable health care.
Not surprisingly, ANA staff are already evaluating the political landscape on Capitol Hill and strategizing for the 116th Congress. A Republican-controlled Senate and a Democratic-controlled House is just one of the many factors being considered in terms of how best to advance ANA’s legislative and regulatory agendas. Whether the issue is safe staffing, nursing scope of practice or safe patient handling, staff are determined to find new ways to build and enhance bipartisan support of our issues.
This cycle, ANA’s members helped the ANA-PAC achieve and exceed its fundraising goal by raising more than $500,000 since January 1, 2017 (remember: no ANA dues money is ever used to support political candidates). Staff, along with the ANA-PAC Board of Trustees, will be utilizing these contributions to continue cultivating relationships on both sides of the political aisle, and maintaining our non-partisan presence on Capitol Hill. Stay tuned to Capitol Beat for more updates as the legislative agenda for the 116th Congress develops.
To learn more about ANA-PAC, check out of FAQs and see who the PAC supported in your state please check out the ANA-PAC website.