Former North Carolina Rep. Renée Ellmers, who lost her re-election bid in 2016, has reportedly been named to the post of Regional Director for Region 4 for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in Atlanta, Georgia.
According to the Progressive Pulse NC Policy Watch blog and the News & Observer, Ellmers was appointed to the mid-level post where she will represent HHS Secretary Tom Price as she oversees eight states and works with them on healthcare policies.
Progressive Pulse reports an email addressed to “valued stakeholders” by the Region 4 Acting Director Natalie Brevard Perry, who wrote:
I am pleased to formally welcome Renee Ellmers as the new Regional Director for HHS Region 4, effective Monday! After orientation at HHS Headquarters, her first day in Atlanta will be Wednesday, May 24, 2017.
Ms. Ellmers comes to us from the great state of North Carolina with a strong background in public service. For the past six years, she served as the U.S. Representative for North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District. In Congress, she served on the Health Subcommittee of the Energy & Commerce Committee. Ms. Ellmers shared “I ran for office in 2010 because of the changes that were happening in healthcare policy; I wanted to be a voice for healthcare providers. After the 2016 election, I saw an opportunity to join the Department of Health and Human Services to serve the American people by helping the Administration provide patient-centered, quality healthcare.”
Ms. Ellmers is a Registered Nurse. She received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Oakland University. She currently lives in Dunn, North Carolina with her husband of 23 years, Brent, who is a General Surgeon, and her son Ben, a student at North Carolina University.
Ellmers was elected to Congress in the 2010 Tea Party wave, but then undermined her conservative constituents, leading to two primary challenges and her eventual overwhelming loss to GOP Rep. George Holding after districts were redrawn by the courts.
In 2015, Ellmers successfully led a group of Republican lawmakers in an effort to pull the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act from the House floor on the eve of the March for Life. Though Ellmers had voted to approve the same bill in 2013, she said just two years later she was concerned that rape language in the bill could cost Republicans votes among women and millennials.
When her actions drew the ire of the pro-life base of the GOP, Ellmers took to her blog to defend herself. In her blog post, she called out the pro-life groups criticizing her as “abhorrent” and “childish.”
In September of 2015, Ellmers introduced a bill, supposedly aimed at defunding Planned Parenthood. However, as Breitbart News uncovered, the Women’s Health Accountability Act would have allowed the abortion business to keep almost 90 percent of its taxpayer revenue.
In October of 2015, Ellmers sent a campaign flyer to her constituents, touting her vote for curbs on late-term abortions, even though she led the group of Republicans that persuaded House leadership to yank the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act from the House floor.
In March of 2016, facing her second primary challenge, Ellmers announced she voted for Donald Trump in the primary in North Carolina. Trump returned the favor in June when he made Ellmers his first congressional endorsement. Ellmers, however, lost decisively to Holding.
“Pro-lifers flexed their muscles in North Carolina today and ousted Rep. Renee Ellmers, who betrayed all those who value life when she halted the vote on the 20-week abortion ban in Congress,” president of Students for Life of America Kristan Hawkins said at the time. “It matters immensely when our elected officials claim to be pro-life but fail to act on those precious values.”