American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Frequently Asked Questions About ASHA-PAC

What is the purpose of ASHA-PAC?

ASHA-PAC seeks to support and represent the interests of speech language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language and hearing researchers on Capitol Hill through political and financial means. ASHA-PAC also seeks to increase the political awareness of our members through our Let Your Voice Be Heard, Vote! Get Out the Vote campaign.

How long has ASHA-PAC been in existence?

ASHA-PAC was started in 1986 in response to a need for ASHA to become more politically active within the health care and education communities.

How is ASHA-PAC funded?

Federal law prohibits the use of ASHA membership dues to support political candidates. Therefore, the PAC is funded through voluntary individual contributions from ASHA members only. Those contributions are collected through a number of fundraising campaigns including the annual ASHA Dues Invoice campaign.

Why should I give to ASHA-PAC?

Strength in numbers

One person can contribute up to $2,400 to a political candidate per election. A PAC, representing a number of individuals, can contribute up to $5,000 per candidate per election. ASHA-PAC represents ASHA members coming together as one.

Support for your association

Contributing to ASHA-PAC shows your support for your professional association and the advocacy efforts of ASHA members and staff.

Support your profession

ASHA-PAC works on behalf of both audiologists and speech-language pathologists. By contributing to ASHA-PAC, you support your colleagues in the field and the clients you serve.

Who receives contributions from ASHA-PAC?

ASHA-PAC contributes to Congressional candidates who support the work of audiologists; speech-language pathologists and speech-language and hearing researchers. The PAC supports incumbents, challengers and those running in open-seat Congressional races.

How does ASHA-PAC decide which candidates to support?

Each year, the ASHA-PAC Board of Directors approves Operational Guidelines that direct overall PAC spending to candidates for Congress. ASHA's Federal Advocacy team then identifies specific candidates that have supported ASHA's public policy agenda and are in a position to further specific policy initiatives. Finally, the PAC Board approves the final list of recommended candidates. All candidates must meet the standards set forth in ASHA-PAC's Candidate Contribution Criteria and generally serve on key committees or leadership teams within the House of Representatives or Senate. ASHA-PAC also welcomes member input regarding specific candidates worthy of PAC support.

Will ASHA-PAC endorse one of the presidential candidates?

No. ASHA is a nonpartisan organization and therefore does not endorse any of the presidential candidates. Our Political Action Committee works to support candidates to the U.S. Congress who currently serve on committees with jurisdiction over health care and education issues, hold positions of leadership in the House of Representatives and Senate, and/or have previously supported issues identified in ASHA's public policy agenda. ASHA-PAC contributions are split evenly among Democrat and Republican congressional candidates.

Why does ASHA need ASHA-PAC?

Federal law prohibits ASHA from directly contributing to federal candidate campaigns. ASHA may not use membership dues or other ASHA revenue to help support quality candidates. ASHA-PAC is our only opportunity to help elect lawmakers to Congress that will make fair and reasonable policies.

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