CCEFA Profile: Rep. Jim McDermott

See below for our latest Congressional Caucus for Effective Foreign Assistance (CCEFA) profile of the Congressman from Washington, Jim McDermott. We’ve already profiled the Co-Chairs Ander Crenshaw and Adam Smith, as well as Representatives Keith EllisonDenny RehbergLaura RichardsonDennis RossAaron Schock, Lynn Woolsey, and Hank Johnson. Stay tuned for more!

Jim McDermott (D)

District: Washington’s 7th

Twitter: @RepJimMcDermott

Committees:

  • Committee on Ways and Means
    • Subcommittee on Trade: Ranking Member
    • Subcommittee on Human Resources
    • Subcommittee on Oversight

Throughout his twelve terms, Rep. McDermott has made a lasting mark on Capitol Hill in the way of legislative achievements and unwavering focus on promoting global social welfare.  A leader in the House of Representatives, he sits as Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Trade within the House Ways and Means Committee and serves as one of the senior members on the committee at large.  Demonstrating his unparalleled resolve with respect to addressing and combating medical issues in the developing world, Rep. McDermott balances his committee duties with his chairmanship of the Congressional Task Force on International HIV/ AIDS, which he founded.

Rep. McDermott is unique among his colleagues in the CCEFA due to his inspiring background.  A physician by trade, he left politics in 1987 to take on a Foreign Service medical officer post in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), providing psychiatric services to the impoverished communities of sub-Saharan Africa.  Thus, while policy experience is imperative in executing the agenda of CCEFA, Rep. McDermott will play a special role in the caucus, for he has seen, firsthand, the power of U.S. engagement to help alleviate poverty and suffering worldwide.

From his return to the policymaking world in 1991 through the present day, Rep. McDermott has proven time and again that bolstering U.S. foreign assistance must be on the U.S. government’s agenda just as it is on his own.  To this effect, he has been quoted in saying, “During my time as a member of Congress, I have been a staunch supporter of foreign assistance for humanitarian efforts and promotion of economic development. I believe the U.S. has a moral imperative to play a leading role in promoting development assistance.”  Substantiating this rhetoric, Rep. McDermott cosponsored the 21st Century Global Health Technology Act, which improves coordination between U.S. federal bodies in their efforts to address global health concerns in the developing world.  Along these same lines, Rep. McDermott was also a cosponsor of H. Res. 176, which increased the visibility of World Tuberculosis Day and popular understanding of the crippling disease.  Shifting back to Africa, Rep. McDermott views his sponsorship of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) of 2004 as his crowning achievement in Congress.  AGOA has spurred U.S.-African trade to new heights since the legislation’s enactment and, in the process, it has helped create over 150,000 jobs in sub-Saharan Africa.  By joining CCEFA, he has effectively reaffirmed his commitment to improving the lives of sub-Saharan African nations and of the developing world as a whole.


 

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