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Congress forms a chemistry club

New congressional caucus focuses on benefits of the central science

by Jessica Morrison
April 29, 2016

Photo of American Chemical Society CEO Thomas M. Connelly Jr. standing between Congressmen Daniel Lipinski and John Moolenaar.
Credit: Peter Cutts
Reps.Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.) (left) and John Moolenaar (R-Mich.) (right), cochairs of the newly formed Congressional Chemistry Caucus, met with Thomas M. Connelly Jr. (middle), CEO of the American Chemical Society, and other supporters during the caucus’ launch on April 27.

Capitol Hill now has its own chemistry club—the Congressional Chemistry Caucus.

Members of the Congressional Chemistry Caucus

Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.)
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.)
Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.)
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.)
Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.)
Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.)
Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.)
Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.)
Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.)
Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.)
Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Mich.)
Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.)
Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.)
Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.)

Kicked off on April 27, the new organization joins the ranks of more than 400 other Capitol Hill caucuses—groups created by members of Congress who support common legislative goals.

The chemistry caucus, chaired by Reps. John Moolenaar (R-Mich.) and Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.), is intended “to educate members of Congress and the public about the benefits of chemistry in today’s society and the importance of sound science in public policy,” according to a statement from Moolenaar.

Moolenaar, who once worked as a chemist for Dow Chemical, says, “All of us are excited by the opportunity to make chemistry accessible, to inspire the next generation of people going into STEM education.”

The new group, initially consisting of 14 legislators, both Democrats and Republicans, will work to grow its membership this year before introducing legislation, says Anthony Pitagno, director of advocacy for the American Chemical Society (ACS). The society worked with two industry groups—the American Chemistry Council and National Association of Chemical Distributors—and with Moolenaar and Lipinski to establish the caucus.

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