Congressman Chaka Fattah is serving in his 10th term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is a Member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. This committee is responsible for setting spending priorities of over $1 trillion in annual discretionary funds. Congressman Fattah serves as Ranking Member on the Subcommittee of the Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies (CJS). The subcommittee on CJS oversees close to $70 billion in discretionary spending. Representative Fattah is also Chairman of the Congressional Urban Caucus a bipartisan group of Members representing America's metropolitan centers. These Members work collaboratively with other stakeholders to address the unique challenges facing America's urban communities.
In the 113th Congress, Representative Fattah is focused on five legislative priorities: Neuroscience and Scientific Research, Manufacturing, Youth Mentoring, Cooperatives, and GEAR UP.
The Fattah Neuroscience Initiative (FNI) is an innovative policy initiative that aims to coordinate Federal research across agencies and draw upon public-private partnerships and the world of academia. The initiative promotes research and discovery across brain cognition, development, disease and injury.
Fattah has been the principal sponsor for federal seed money and technical support for manufacturing innovation. He continues to work to add more to the $300 million he has already secured for various programs to expand research and development, and grow the manufacturing base through the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the National Innovation Marketplace, Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia and the Advanced Manufacturing Initiative.
A Congressional champion for mentoring, Fattah has fought for and won millions of dollars for crime-fighting programs administered by the Department of Justice that support mentoring for at-risk youth. In the 113th Congress, Fattah will seek greater collaboration between the federal government and youth mentoring organizations and advocate for funding for programs that employ evidence-based practices. In 2012, he forged a groundbreaking agreement to launch a national mentoring program – the American Innovation and Mentorship Agreement (AIM) in robotics through the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. The agreement will provide robotics-based mentoring programming at 3,000 Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide by 2015.
Congressman Fattah has been working to more than double the national capacity for co-op development and establish the National Cooperative Development Center that will: award grants to nonprofit organizations to provide technical assistance for groups attempting to form cooperatives, provide guidance and technical assistance to communities seeking to establish cooperatives, and create a revolving loan fund to provide seed capital.
The Department of Education is building on the success of GEAR UP -- Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs -- with its College Savings Account Research Demonstration Project.
Designed to help low-income students and their parents save for college, the test project will allot more than $8.5 million to establish and fund college savings accounts for 10,000 GEAR UP students to determine if dedicated savings will increase a student’s likelihood of college attendance. The important role GEAR UP has in the new venture is due to Fattah – architect of the program – and his long held belief in the importance of innovative programs and projects designed to ensure students achieve academic success. Fattah understands the economic future of the country rests in the minds of American students many of whom are attending high- poverty middle and high schools.
A father of four, Congressman Fattah is married to Renee Chenault-Fattah.