WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) today announced a series of staff changes for the committee, including welcoming a new Chief Counsel for the Health Subcommittee after the departure of longtime aide Clay Alspach. Paul Edattel, who recently returned to the Energy and Commerce Committee after a brief stint with Speaker John Boehner, will assume the chief counsel position.
“Clay Alspach’s a pro – he’s been a fierce advocate, and it’s bittersweet to see him go as he’s been a part of the team since day one,” said Chairman Upton. “We put a lot of points on the board under Clay’s tenure. Dozens of public health laws on the books, SGR finally conquered, and 21st Century Cures went from an idea to overwhelmingly passing the House. Quite a record of success. I wish Clay, his wife Sarah, and their three kids continued good fortune in this new chapter.”
Upton continued, “It’s going to be a seamless transition for sure. Paul is one of the brightest health policy minds on the Hill – a trait former Speaker Boehner recognized when he recruited Paul away from the committee. Subcommittee Chairman Pitts and I are delighted he’s back in the foxhole with us. A lifelong Buffalo Bills fan, he’s somehow managed to maintain his good humor and enthusiasm. There’s much work left to do, especially getting 21st Century Cures across the finish line and passing mental health reform, and we’ve got the team that will deliver in 2016.”
Upton today also announced the recent promotion of two of the committee’s staff members who are taking on additional leadership responsibilities. Josh Trent has been named Deputy Chief Counsel for the Health Subcommittee and Tim Pataki has been named Director of Member Services. Finally, Upton welcomed to the Health Subcommittee a new Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Fellow, Dr. Robert Mabry. Mabry is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army and emergency medicine physician. Prior to becoming a physician he served as an enlisted U.S. Army Ranger and Special Forces (Green Beret) medical sergeant. Mabry served in Mogadishu, Somalia, during the “Blackhawk Down” battle and has also served in Afghanistan on several occasions.
“It’s the staff behind the scenes that are the lifeblood of congressional committees, and this is certainly true of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Josh Trent’s knowledge, expertise, and work ethic has been critical to our success in the health sphere, and we have been well served since the day Josh decided to depart the Senate and cross the rotunda to join our team,” said Upton. “Tim Pataki has been a critical conduit between the committee, our members, and House leadership – he’s an all-star utility player, and this promotion is well deserved. We are also delighted to welcome Dr. Robert Mabry, whose record of service as a Green Beret in the military is beyond remarkable – from Mogadishu during ‘Black Hawk Down’ to several tours in Afghanistan, we are lucky to have a true hero on the team. We’ve got a great staff that has us well positioned to build upon our bipartisan record of success in 2016.”