GPE Authorizing Bills Introduced in Congress -- April 2009

For the first time in the eight year history of the Graduate Psychology Education (GPE) Program, legislation explicitly authorizing the GPE Program has been introduced in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.  The Senate Bill (S. 811) was introduced on April 2nd by Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and the House Bill (H.R. 2066) was introduced on April 23rd by Representatives Gene Green (D-TX) and Tim Murphy (R-PA).  The GPE Program has been funded since 2002 under a general authority out of the Health Resources & Services Administration’s Bureau of Health Professions.  Passage of S. 811 and H.R. 2066 would amend the Public Health Service Act and fully designate the GPE Program as a federal program.  Specifically, it would allow the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to award grants, cooperative agreements and contracts to accredited doctoral, internship and residency programs in psychology for the development and implementation of programs to provide interdisciplinary training primarily in integrated health care settings with a focus on the needs of underserved populations.  An explicit authorization would also facilitate funding the GPE Program during the annual appropriations process (i.e., GPE would have its own “line” in the federal budget).

Education GRO staff are working with the original sponsors to have “Dear Colleague” letters sent to all Members of Congress requesting that they sign-on to the bills becoming a co-sponsor. Once the “Dear Colleague” letters are sent, Education GRO staff will send an Action Alert to ALL APA members asking them to send emails to their delegations urging their Members of Congress to positively respond to the request to become a co-sponsor.