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.
Congressman Engel serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee including the Subcommittee on Health, and the Subcommittee on Energy and Power. He also serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee and is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, as well as serving on the Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia. 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 the Commission on Human Rights.
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.
Engel 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 also promoting a 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 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.
Sponsored Communist Party "Jobs Bill"
H.R. 950, the Job Creation and Infrastructure Restoration Act of 1997 was introduced in the 105th Congress on March 5, 1997 by Congressman Matthew Martinez of California. It had 33 original co-sponsors, including Eliot Engel. The primary purpose of this emergency federal jobs legislation was to provide much needed jobs at union wages to crisis ridden cities by putting the unemployed to work rebuilding our nation's infrastructure (schools, housing, hospitals, libraries, public transportation, highways, parks, environmental improvements, etc. $250 billion is authorized for emergency public works jobs over a five year period.
Congressman Martinez had previously introduced this bill in the last Congress (as HR 1591) at the the request of over 50 prominent Labor leaders who formed the Los Angeles Labor Coalition for Public Works Jobs, which is why it is often referred to as the "Martinez Public Works Jobs Bill."
- This is the most significant jobs legislation introduced in Congress since Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal established the Works Progress Administration (WPA). This bill is the WPA-type program for today. It has strong provisions which will put hundreds of thousands of unemployed building trades workers to work as well as provide jobs for victims of plant closures, welfare recipients who are parents, youth, and the long term unemployed. The public works projects which will be established under this bill will be built in communities with the highest levels of unemployment and with the greatest needs.
- The goal of the New York Coalition for Public Works Jobs is to build the movement to pass the Martinez Jobs bill as part of the National Labor Coalition for Public Works Jobs. You can help by asking your union, community organization, or local government body to to join those who have already passed resolutions to endorse the bill. Such a resolution has been introduced in the New York City Council. Calling on additional Congressional Representatives to co-sponsor the bill is very important. We will be organizing petition campaigns, visits to elected officials, and demonstrations and other actions for a public works jobs program.
Los Angeles , National Labor Coalition For Public Works Jobs