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Rep. Fattah's Action Week: He Will Honor Ex-Rep. Bill Gray, Take Testimony from Cabinet Officials, Meet with Bill Gates


WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA-02) will launch a week of interaction with three Cabinet members, other top Administration officials and a focus on his research-neuroscience agenda today by addressing a Capitol Hill tribute to his predecessor, former Congressman William H. Gray 3rd.

The tribute, organized by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), spotlights Historically Black Colleges and Universities in commemoration of Black History Month. Gray represented Pennsylvania's 2nd District, which Fattah now represents, from 1978 to 1991, serving as House Budget Committee Chairman and Majority Whip. Gray became President/CEO of the United Negro College Fund, guiding the organization to unprecedented growth.

Fattah's action week includes taking testimony from and questioning two Cabinet secretaries as well as other top Obama Administration officials in his role as a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee.

On Tuesday at 9 a.m., Fattah will participate as the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS), on which he is the leading Democrat, hears the testimony of U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. On Tuesday at 2 p.m., Fattah's other Appropriations Subcommittee, for Energy and Water Development, will hear the FY2013 Budget testimony of Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu.    

On Wednesday, Fattah's CJS Subcommittee will hear testimony from Dr. Jane Lubchenco, the McArthur "genius" fellow who is Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and from Dr. John P. Holdren, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Fattah is author of the initiative enacted last year that declares neuroscience research a national priority and directs the White House, through the OSTP, to coordinate federal neuroscience research efforts by various departments and agencies.

Also on Wednesday:

  • On Wednesday morning the congressman will join billionaire education champion Bill Gates and address representatives from academia, business, and government at the Advanced Research Projects Administration's Energy Innovation Summit (ARPA-E).  Congressman Fattah will speak to the leaders who come together to discuss cutting-edge energy issues on Energy Innovation.
  • As an outgrowth of Fattah's responsibilities for federally-sponsored scientific research, the Congressman will co-host and address a Congressional briefing to highlight a potential significant breakthrough in the treatment of Sickle Cell Disease.  The session is co-sponsored by the American Association of Medical Colleges and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and will feature a briefing by Dr. Alan Flake, a fetal surgeon at CHOP.

On Thursday, the CJS Subcommittee, including Fattah, which appropriates for the Commerce Department, will hear testimony from David Kappos, Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a key agency for federal support of innovation and manufacturing efforts.

Other highlights of Congressman Fattah's activities this week:

  • On Sunday, Fattah addressed graduates of the Montgomery County Literacy Network in ceremonies in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. About 30 men and women received their G.E.D. and English-as-Second Language degrees, joining the millions of Americans who have triumphed over functional illiteracy.
  • On Tuesday, Fattah participates in a ceremony to unveil the commemorative marker recognizing the Contributions of Enslaved African Americans to the Construction of the U.S. Capitol. The marker will be publicly accessible in Emancipation Hall of the new Congressional Visitors Center.
  • On Tuesday, Fattah addresses the American Association of Museums, which has provided grants large and small to numerous museums and historical organizations in the Philadelphia area and nationwide.
  • On Thursday, Fattah will co-host and participate in a briefing on Capitol Hill by The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges on Dependency Model Courts.
  • Also on Thursday, in connection with his neuroscience initiative, Fattah will speak at a press conference preceding the showing of Dr. Sanjay Gupta's "Big Hits, Broken Dreams" documentary as part of the Youth Sports Concussions panel. This is a leadoff event for Brain Injury Awareness Month that will be observed in March.
  • On Friday, Fattah will be the speaker at the White House Community Partnership Summit at the University of Pennsylvania Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.  He'll join ­­­­Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter as they work with Administration officials and community leaders to move beyond talk and create commitments that will develop new or expand projects, public-private partnerships and other action-oriented issues they choose to focus on.

(MEDIA ADVISORY INFORMATION - Coverage is invited for these public hearings and for Congressman Fattah's other public appearances throughout the week. For details, contact or

SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah

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