Congresswoman Barbara Lee has served California's 13th Congressional District since 1998. Rep. Lee is a senior member of the Appropriations Committee and serves on the influential Budget Committee. Additionally, Congresswoman Lee is Chair of the Majority Leader's Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity, as well as Chair of the Congressional Social Work Caucus, and past-Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus. She is the only African American woman serving in the House Democratic Leadership through her role as a co-chair of the Steering and Policy Committee.
In 2003, Congresswoman Lee, while serving on the Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee, worked with her colleagues to create the Affordable Housing Trust Fund which tripled the construction of affordable housing providing almost $5 billion from the Federal Housing Administration. Rep. Lee also worked to successfully roll back a provision of the 1996 "one strike and you're out" public housing policy that, outrageously, allowed eviction for the victims of domestic abuse for involvement in a crime. Rep. Lee believes housing is a human right and is a leader in fighting homelessness and advocating for affordable housing.
As a response to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2007, she co-founded the Out of Poverty Caucus, to raise awareness about the need to fight poverty, hunger, and homelessness in America. Congresswoman Lee has also taken an intersectional approach to this fight and made addressing institutionalized racism and racial wealth disparities a cornerstone of her approach. On the Appropriations Committee, she sits on the subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies and the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies, where she works to protect and expand proven anti-poverty programs like child care, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), WIC, job training, healthcare, and early education.
Congresswoman Lee has consistently been a progressive voice in Congress, dedicated to social and economic justice and is the author of the Renters Bill of Rights Resolution that reaffirms that all people deserve access to safe, affordable, and decent housing. The resolution supports expanded federal funding of affordable housing programs and affirms expansion of renters' rights because housing is a basic human right. Rep. Lee staunchly believes that Congress should do all it can to assist American families in seeking affordable housing.