Hadassah’s Impact in the 117th Congress (2021-2022)

February 1, 2023

Hadassah’s Impact in the 117th Congress (2021-2022)

Throughout the 117th Congress, Hadassah members made their voices heard and earned an impressive stack of legislative wins. Hadassah’s advocacy helped advance policies that will strengthen the US-Israel relationship, support women’s and public health and combat the alarming rise in antisemitism.

Hadassah Advocacy connects and empowers women to affect change locally and nationally. Members sent letters, met with members of Congress and more to earn bipartisan support for these essential initiatives, many of which are now signed into law. Any member can join the advocacy efforts for the 118th Congress by signing up today for advocacy emails.

Strengthening the US-Israel Relationship

Thanks to the efforts of Hadassah members across the country, several key measures supporting the US-Israel relationship and mutual security were included in authorization and funding bills during the 117th Congress.

Hadassah members helped secure:

  • Over $7.1 billion in security assistance for Israel between 2020 and 2022.
  • $2 billion in funding to replenish Israel’s defensive Iron Dome after the 11-day conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
  • $500 million to support new cooperative regional defense programs between the US, Israel and regional allies to counter threats from Iran and Iranian-backed militias through integrated air and missile defense capabilities.
  • $21 million in US-Israel Cooperative Programming to accelerate research, innovation and science between the US and Israel.
  • The Israel Relations Normalization Act, policy that directs the US Department of State to develop a strategy to expand and strengthen the Abraham Accords to encourage all participating countries to normalize relations with Israel.

Combating Antisemitism

Hadassah members were also crucial in the fight to combat alarming growth in antisemitism in the US and around the world. Hadassah advocates helped advance:

  • Increased funding for US State Department initiatives through the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism and the Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues. Each office received $1.5 million in funding this year, a 20% increase for the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism and a 50% increase for the Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues.
  • Additional support for the Peace and Tolerance in Palestinian Education Act, which would require a report on the curriculum of schools under the Palestinian Authority to ensure that the educational materials are consistent with the values of human rights, dignity and tolerance. Hadassah will continue to push for this policy during the 118th Congress.

Championing Women’s and Public Health

At the same time, Hadassah’s advocacy for women’s and public health came during a critical time. During the 117th Congress, our lives shifted with the COVID-19 pandemic, yet Hadassah advocates continued to push for important legislation. Some of the critical policies Hadassah members helped advance in Congress include:

  • The Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act of 2021, which provides grants to improve maternal health across the nation.
  • The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which prohibits discrimination in the workplace against employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.
  • The Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, which requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to award grants to hospitals, medical professional associations, and other health care entities for programs to promote mental health and resiliency among health care providers.
  • Increased investment in pandemic preparedness and key funding for medical research, which were included in the final consolidated spending bill passed in December.  
  • The Women’s Health Protection Act, which would provide federal rights to reproductive freedom. While this bill is not yet law, Hadassah members did help ensure House passage in 2021 and 2022.
  • The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the first significant piece of gun safety legislation to pass Congress in nearly thirty years.

Hadassah also led an important campaign to raise awareness for infertility during the 117th Congress. Hadassah worked with members of Congress to introduce a bipartisan resolution on infertility and brought together support from 20 advocacy groups. This is the first step in building traction for this important issue that continues to disproportionately impact the Jewish community.

Thank you to everyone who took action to support these important measures in the 117th Congress!

Visit our new, updated National Action Center for ways you can continue to advance critical legislation in the 118th Congress that supports the US-Israel alliance, fights the rising tide of antisemitism and advances women’s and public health.

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