Crowley Calls on Senate to Immediately Confirm Surgeon General

Oct 17, 2014 Issues: Health Care, In the Community

Crowley: “A Public Health Crisis Requires a Public Health Leader”

(Queens, NY) - Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus and Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans, issued the statement below calling on the U.S. Senate to confirm Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy as surgeon general. President Obama nominated Dr. Murthy for the position in November 2013, yet his nomination has been blocked for partisan political purposes.

“For over 200 years, the position of the Surgeon General has been the nation’s top doctor – a qualified, medical professional who puts the health of the American people first, who can explain complex issues, and who can represent the government response in the midst of a scare or crisis. It’s absurd that the office of the U.S. Surgeon General has remained vacant for this long – especially now, as our country is addressing very serious public health issues, including combatting the Ebola virus.

“There is no excuse for any delay. Unfortunately, in what’s become a consistent pattern from Republicans, they are exploiting a real emergency as an opportunity to attack anyone and anything supported by this President. The health of Americans rises above politics, above partisanship. A public health crisis requires a public health leader, and it is time for the Senate to confirm Dr. Murthy.”

The U.S. Surgeon General is the nation’s leading official and spokesperson on matters of public health. Crowley supported President Obama’s nomination of Dr. Murthy for Surgeon General in November 2013, citing his commitment to improving the health of the American people. If confirmed, Dr. Murthy would be the first Indian-American to serve in the position.

Congressman Crowley is the eight-term representative from the 14th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and serves as Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives.