Congressman Engel is the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Before becoming Ranking Member, Mr. Engel served as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. He also sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee. He is the founder and Co-Chair of the House Oil and National Security Caucus, which is seeking clean, energy efficient alternatives to America's over-reliance on oil. He is also a member of the Democratic Task Force on Health and serves on Commission on Human Rights.
During his political career, Congressman Engel has championed energy independence, affordable housing, real healthcare reform and education for all Americans. To address the problem of American dependence on imported oil, Rep. Engel created the Dependence Reduction through Innovation in Vehicles and Energy (DRIVE) Act, of which many provisions were successfully included in the energy bill that was signed into law on December 19, 2007. He was a leader in passing legislation to protect the Highlands, millions of acres running through New York, including large portions of Rockland and Westchester Counties. Congressman Engel has called for balancing the budget by rolling back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and reforming the Alternative Minimum Tax that is hurting so many middle class New York families.
Congressman Engel has made significant achievements in improving our nation's healthcare. He authored the ALS Registry Act (P.L. 110-373) which established a national registry for the collection and storage of data on those suffering from ALS. Rep. Engel also wrote the Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Act (P.L. 110-361) which promoted research at Centers of Excellence for Muscular Dystrophy. Finally, in the "Public and Teaching Hospital Preservation Act" (P.L. 110-252,) he blocked several Bush Administration Medicaid regulations which would have harmed our hospitals' ability to provide care.
Rep. Engel has also been a leader in global health, promoting an improved reauthorization of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Assistance (PEPFAR.) Within the PEPFAR bill (P.L. 110-293,) Rep. Engel successfully included his bill, the Stop Tuberculosis Now Act. This measure provides increased U.S. support for international TB control activities and promotes research to develop new drugs, diagnostics and vaccines.
Congressman Engel is the author of the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003, which successfully sparked international pressure on Syria to withdraw from Lebanon, and sponsored a key resolution recognizing Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. He is the leader in the House of Representatives on U.S. policy toward Latin American and the Caribbean. In addition, he has written important laws relating to Albania and Kosova, Cyprus, Irish affairs, and is co-author of the Harkin-Engel Protocol, which addresses the child slave labor in the cocoa fields of Africa.
Congressman Engel was born in the Bronx on February 18, 1947. He grew up in a city housing project and attended New York City public schools. In 1969, he graduated from Hunter-Lehman College with a B.A. in History and received a Master's Degree in Guidance and Counseling in 1973 from Herbert H. Lehman College of the City University of New York. In 1987, he received a law degree from New York Law School.
For twelve years prior to his election to Congress, Mr. Engel served in the New York State Assembly (1977-1988), where he chaired the Committee on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, as well as the Subcommittee on Mitchell-Lama Housing. Prior to that, he was a teacher and guidance counselor in the New York City public school system.
A lifelong resident of the Bronx, Congressman Engel is married to Pat Engel. They have three children.