September 16, 2015

I’m Just a Bill

By Heather Roney

I'm Just a Bill

We’re off to a busy start this week, and in honor of our first solo hill visit I thought I’d talk about one of our goals for the externship – to meet with the Senators and Representatives from our home states.

I know it’s been a while, so if you don’t remember the 3 branches of government, or you enjoy a superfluous musical number, here’s a refresher!


The Legislative branch is made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives.




So there are 535 total members of Congress. Not-So-Fun Fact: only 104 of those are women. Which works well because only 20% of the population of the US is female, oh wait…



The great thing about this system is that all 535 members are elected, so, yes, your vote does matter! If you’re not sure who represents you, here’s a handy tool to help you find out.

Yesterday, Radhika and I met with a staffer from Senator Debbie Stabenow’s office. Senator Stabenow, along with Senator Gary Peters, represent the state of Michigan in the Senate. Senator Stabenow has been very supportive of the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Enhancement Act and we discussed the Higher Education Act as it applies to veterinarians.

We also had an opportunity to meet with Dr. Eric Deeble, a veterinarian (and former AVMA extern!) working for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. It is great to meet veterinarians using their education to make effect change in the world of policy. He shared his thoughts with us on how a diagnostic-approach to problem solving makes veterinarians effective staffers.

Lots of incredible veterinarians in DC to meet this week, stay tuned!