California Democrat Anna G. Eshu announced on Tuesday that he intends to end his 30-year career in Congress at the end of this term.
Eshu, 80, has long been a power player in the Democratic Party, particularly when it comes to health care and technology policy, and is a close ally of former Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The Silicon Valley mogul’s hometown paper, the San Jose Spotlight, first reported his retirement.
“As the first woman and the first Democrat ever to represent our district, I am very proud of the bipartisan work I have been able to accomplish on your behalf in Congress,” Eshu said in a video announcement, noting that 66 of the bills she proposed have been signed into law by five presidents. :
News of his retirement comes shortly after another prominent California Democrat, Tony Cardenas, announced he would not return to Congress after his term ends. Counting Eshu, 31 lawmakers (21 Democrats and 10 Republicans) have announced plans to leave office, either to retire or seek other office.
Both Eshu and Cárdenas represent seats in solidly Democratic districts. But Esho’s retirement will also spark a race to replace him as head of the Health Subcommittee on Energy and Commerce. Reps. John Sarbanes, D-Md. and Cardenas were next, and both are retiring.
Eshu took the helm of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health in 2019 and played a key role in Democrats’ efforts to address prescription drug prices, expand access to health insurance and public health infrastructure during the COVID-19 pandemic. He was a big supporter of the Democratic effort to force Medicare to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs, which was passed as part of the 2022 reconciliation bill.
He has been very involved in advancing biomedical research and has called for more funding for the National Institutes of Health. Recently, he helped create a new agency to advance research and development; The Advanced Research Projects Agency for Healthcare, often referred to as ARPA-H. Eshu was also heavily involved in the passage of a 2016 law related to biomedical research and President Barack Obama’s “cancer moon shot.”
Eshu also led the passage of the Pandemic Preparedness Basic Law in 2006 and its subsequent reenactments.
But with his roots in Silicon Valley, much of Esho’s career has been in tech policy. During his time in Congress, he also spent six years as the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.
Eshaw has been a leading voice on open internet issues and criticized the spread of misinformation online. Pelosi called Echo the “godmother” of net neutrality, the movement to keep Internet service providers from favoring one type of content over another.
He also teamed with then-Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone Jr., DN.J., in proposing to amend the 1996 law, commonly known as Section 230, that protects websites and online platforms from third-party liability. in terms of content, but the legislation, in the end, did not move forward.
He also advocated for broadband access, teaming up with Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward J. With Marche on bicameral legislation to direct the Federal Communications Commission to update the National Broadband Plan and analyze the impact of the pandemic on broadband policy.
He married his two interests during the COVID-19 pandemic, when he rallied against social media companies for failing to stop the spread of medical misinformation.
Even as he announced his plans Tuesday, several health-care authorizations from the Energy and Commerce Committee remain in limbo, including reauthorization of the pandemic preparedness bill, reauthorization of the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education Program and bipartisan legislation aimed at global outreach. HIV/AIDS.
“As my last year in Congress approaches, I will continue my work with vigor and unwavering commitment to you,” Eshu said in his retirement video.
Sandhya Raman and Jesse Helman contributed to this report.
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