Congressional Vision Caucus
The Congressional Vision Caucus (CVC) is a bipartisan and bicameral coalition of Congressional Members dedicated to strengthening and stimulating a national dialogue and policy on vision-related problems and disabilities. Prevent Blindness was instrumental in the initial formation of the caucus and works closely with its members today. Lions Vision Services supports Prevent Blindness by advocating for all members of our Congressional Delegation to join the CVC and make vision and eye health a priority for all South Carolinians.
The CVC, chaired by Rep. Gus Bilirakis, has three priority areas of focus: research, prevention/public health, and access to treatment and rehabilitation.
The mission of the CVC is:
- To set forth a national vision strategy to raise awareness about the increasing number of Americans at risk for age-related diseases.
- Provide better understanding of the personal risk of vision loss and stress the importance of necessary steps to preserve and protect eyesight.
- Inform communities so that they may prepare the treatment and rehabilitation services that will be needed.
- Educate Members of Congress so they comprehend the scope of eye problems in our country.
- Ensure adequate resources are directed towards the research, prevention and treatment of eye disease.
South Carolina’s Congressional Delegation
Senator Lindsey Graham
Status: LVS has tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to speak with Senator Graham or a member of his staff about the CVC. Efforts are currently stalled.
Representative Nancy Mace
1st Congressional District
Status: LVS has tried repeatedly to contact Rep. Mace through her website and by speaking with her staff, but have been unable to meet or discuss the CVC. Calls and inquiries are currently unanswered.
Representative Joe Wilson
2nd Congressional District
Status: LVS has tried repeatedly to contact Rep. Wilson and his staff through a variety of channels without success. Inquiries to Wilson’s office are currently unanswered.
Representative William Timmons
4th Congressional District
Status: LVS had a positive meeting with Rep. Timmons and his staff in Greer, SC. No commitment was made to join the CVC as further internal discussions were needed. Follow up with Timmons’ staff was not positive and indicates a decline to join the CVC.
Representative Ralph Norman
5th Congressional District
Status: LVS had a positive meeting with Rep. Norman’s staff, after which it was confirmed Rep. Norman will join the CVC! This makes Rep. Norman the first member of SC’s Congressional Delegation to join the CVC. Thank you, Rep. Norman!
Representative Jim Clyburn
6th Congressional District
Status: LVS has attempted to contact Rep. Clyburn’s office through a number of channels. After much outreach LVS met with Rep. Clyburn’s staff in Columbia. LVS was told that the request would be passed to Clyburn’s DC office. Follow up has been unsuccessful in determining Rep. Clyburn’s decision.
Representative Russell Fry
7th Congressional District
Status: LVS attempted to contact Rep. Fry’s predecessor, Rep. Tom Rice, multiple times without success. LVS has not yet contacted Rep. Fry since he was elected, but looks forward to discussing the CVC with him soon.
You can help us by contacting your Congressional representative today! Thank those who have already stepped up and ask those who have not to join the CVC today. Any member of Congress can contact Rep. Gus Bilirakis and his staff to join the coalition.
CVC Activities and Accomplishments
- 2022 – Congressman Gus Bilirakis delivers remarks on importance of vision and eye health on World Sight Day 2022
- 2022 – CVC leads Dear Colleague letter urging FY23 appropriations to CDC’s Vision Health Initiative
- 2021 – Dear Colleague letter inviting Members of the 117th Congress to join the CVC
- 2020 – CVC co-chairs send letter to House appropriators requesting $5 million to the CDC’s Vision Health Initiative
- 2019 – Hosted Congressional Roundtable with Prevent Blindness and the Global Coalition on Aging to discuss aging and vision loss in the United States
- 2019 – Congressional Vision Caucus Reception during Eyes on Capitol Hill
- 2018 – Congressional Vision Caucus hosts Congressional briefing with CDC’s Vision Health Initiative
- 2018 – Retiring co-chair Rep. David Greene participates in panel discussion at the Focus on Eye Health National Summit
- 2018 – Retiring co-chair Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen addresses attendees of the Focus on Eye Health National Summit
- 2018 – Congressional Vision Caucus Reception during Eyes on Capitol Hill
- 2018 – Congressman Gus Bilirakis accepts incoming co-chair role of the Congressional Vision Caucus
- 2018—Congressional Vision Caucus recognizes 50 years of the National Eye Institute
- 2017 – Congressional Vision Caucus hosts Congressional briefing with CDC’s Vision Health Initiative
- 2017 – Congressional Vision Caucus hosts Reception during Eyes on Capitol Hill