Getting to know the Vet Med Caucus: Rep. David Joyce

By: Valerie Goddard, staff assistant, Governmental Relations Division

U.S. Rep. David JoyceCongressman David Joyce (R-Ohio) is midway through his first term in Congress and serves on the House Committee on Appropriations. He is a cosponsor of the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act and the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act, which AVMA is actively working to see passed, and most recently supported the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, which passed in the Farm Bill.

Q: What appealed to you about joining the veterinary caucus?

Joyce: I grew up with pets, so animal welfare issues have always been important to me. Veterinarians are often small business owners and employers, and it’s important that we’re doing what we can to help them not only care for animals, but to also succeed as businesses.

On the Veterinary Caucus, we’re focused on increasing the awareness of the importance of veterinary medicine with regard to how it impacts public health, animal health and welfare, food safety, and our overall economy.

Q: Do you see any cross-over between your work on the House Committee on Appropriations and your work in the Veterinary Caucus?

Joyce: Through my position on the Appropriations committee, I have input on the budget levels of many of the programs that touch veterinarians and am able to help allocate resources where they will best help veterinarians and enforce the humane treatment of animals.

Q: Are there topics or areas in which you would like to see the Veterinary Caucus become more involved?

Joyce: As a member of the Congressional Horse Caucus and Veterinary Medicine Caucus, I believe that the humane treatment of animals should be a priority issue. I’ve cosponsored a bill that will ensure that veterinarians are able to meet the health and welfare needs of the animals they treat by allowing them to use vital medications for pain management, anesthesia, and euthanasia on farms, in house calls, in veterinary clinics, or ambulatory response situations. Such veterinary measures serve to improve animal care and bolster veterinarians’ small businesses. Hopefully, we may continue to see progress that benefits both animals and veterinarians.

Q: What are some major issues facing your state and what are you doing on a federal level to address these issues? 

Joyce: It’s still a tough environment for jobs out there, so I’ve made growing our economy and creating jobs my number one focus. In northeast Ohio, one of our biggest sources of jobs is the Great Lakes. I’ve introduced a bill that will protect the health of the Great Lakes and ensure they remain an economic powerhouse.

Q: You were a county prosecutor before you became a Member of Congress.  In what ways has that background helped you in your role as a representative?

Joyce: I was a prosecutor for 25 years before coming to Congress, and knowledge of the law is always helpful with this job. What you may not know is that I was an accounting major in college, so being able to crunch numbers and understand budgets has been extremely important to me. Washington is on a budget for the first time in four years, and I believe budgeting is the best way to control spending.

Q: Why did you decide to run for Congress?

Joyce: I have three kids in college and I want them to have the same opportunities I did growing up. I’m worried about the direction of the country and want to help be part of the solution to ensuring our kids inherit a strong and prosperous America.

Q: Do you have any pets?

Joyce: My wife, Kelly, and I have a 7 year-old golden retriever and have owned three goldens over our 23 years together. We find goldens to be gentle and loyal and, other than the shedding, a perfect addition to our family.

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