Congressman Ami Bera represents California’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The 7th district is located just east of California’s capitol city, Sacramento, and lies entirely within Sacramento County. A first-generation American born and raised in California, Bera is guided by a desire to serve his community. It’s that commitment to service that led him to become a doctor and later run for Congress.
Congressman Bera grew up believing America was a land of opportunity, where if you worked hard and played by the rules, you could reach your full potential. He attended California’s public schools from grammar school through medical school, earning both his B.S. and M.D. from the University of California, Irvine. With help from his family, scholarships, and working part-time, he put himself through medical school while taking advantage of federally-funded student loans, and graduating with less than $10,000 in debt. He credits much of his success to his country’s investment in him, and he’s working to ensure that we continue to invest in hard working Americans to keep the American Dream alive for the next generation.
During Congressman Bera's twenty-year medical career, he worked to improve the availability, quality, and affordability of healthcare. After graduating from medical school in 1991, he did his residency in internal medicine at California Pacific Medical Center, eventually becoming chief resident. He went on to practice medicine in the Sacramento area, serving in various leadership roles for MedClinic Medical Group. Chief among his contributions was improving the clinical efficiency of the practice. He then served as medical director of care management for Mercy Healthcare, where he developed and implemented a comprehensive care management strategy for the seven-hospital system.
Congressman Bera went on to put his medical experience to work for his community, serving Sacramento County as Chief Medical Officer. In that role, he fought to reduce the cost of health care, create jobs, and deliver care to tens of thousands of Sacramento residents. He then moved into education, working as clinical professor of medicine and associate dean for admissions and outreach at University of California, Davis, where he taught the next generation of doctors. He also helped the University’s student-run clinics find innovative ways to engage with the community and deliver care to those who needed it most.
In Congress, Bera uses the skills he learned as a doctor to listen to the people of Sacramento County and put people ahead of politics to move our country forward. His priority is to work alongside people in both parties to address our nation’s most pressing challenges and make government work. Bera believes Congress should be a place for service, not for politicians who only look out to protect their own careers, pay, and perks.
That’s why the first bill he introduced and helped pass was No Budget, No Pay, which says if Members of Congress don’t do their jobs and pass a budget on time, they shouldn’t get paid. He’s now fighting to make No Budget, No Pay permanent and has repeatedly voted against congressional pay raises and has fought perks like letting Members of Congress fly on first class while having taxpayers pick up the bill. He’s also a former Co-Chair of the Congressional Problem Solvers Caucus, the only bipartisan group of its kind in Washington, where both Republicans and Democrats can find common ground on the crucial challenges we all face. By working with people in both parties, he’s helped secure important achievements such as the 21st Century Health Care for Heroes Act to modernize and streamline health care for veterans and to reduce the VA backlog.
Congressman Bera has also made it a priority for his office to make government work for Sacramento County. His office has now helped return more than $5.2 million to local taxpayers – everything from backlogged veterans’ benefits to Social Security savings. His office also has helped more than 10,000 residents.
Congressman Bera is focused on creating more jobs and opportunities in Sacramento County and helping families keep up with changes in our economy. That’s why his office has held job fairs to connect unemployed workers with jobs, created a comprehensive Job Seeker Resource guide to help jobless residents, and has supported crucial infrastructure projects such as upgrading the Folsom Dam to create jobs and to improve safety.
Congressman Bera is currently a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where he serves as Chair of the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation. He is also Vice Chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.
Congressman Bera is also the founder and Chair of the California Public Higher Education Caucus. As a former educator and alumnus of the UC system, Congressman Bera is committed to making college affordable for all Americans. He is also a Leadership Member of the New Democrat Coalition, a group of legislators dedicated to maintaining America’s standing as the world’s strongest, most successful nation. His work with the New Dems is focused on finding ways to foster and harness American creativity and ingenuity so that it leads to new American jobs, greater economic prosperity, and a safer and more secure future for our country.
Congressman Bera is the longest-serving Indian American currently serving in Congress. He has lived in Elk Grove, California for over 20 years with his wife Janine, who is also a medical doctor. They are proud parents to their daughter, Sydra.