- 1 Background
- 2 Washington "Single payer" conference
- 3 Single-payer Bills
- 4 DSA endorsement
- 5 CLUW conference
- 6 Sponsored Communist Party "Jobs Bill"
- 7 2nd International Islamic Unity Conference
- 8 Fact-finding in Iraq
- 9 Anti war rally
- 10 Trip to Cuba
- 11 "Agent Orange" campaign connection
- 12 "Progressives' on "Ways & Means" committee
- 13 Congressional Progressive Caucus
- 14 Supporting Health Care Reform
- 15 "Progressive" Cabinet "nominee"
- 16 Washington Public Campaigns
- 17 "Single payer" supporter
- 18 Calling on Israeli Govt. to lift Gaza Travel Ban
- 19 Supported Lifting the Gaza Blockade
- 20 Communist Party connections
- 21 Committee to Stop FBI Repression delegation
- 22 Congressional Progressive Caucus "jobs" tour
- 23 Seattle Anti-Corporate Personhood /Occupy Rally
- 24 Physicians for a National Health Program
- 25 Anti-Fracking legislation endorser
- 26 LIBERT-E Act
- 27 Lifting travel ban on Cuba
- 28 Congressional Letter for Neutrality, 2014 Salvadoran Elections
- 29 Staff
- 30 External links
- 31 References
He is currently serving in his twelfth term in the U.S. House of Representatives representing the 7th Congressional District of Washington State, which includes Seattle and parts of several neighboring communities. As a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee, Representative McDermott is the ranking member of its Trade Subcommittee and also serves on its Human Resources Subcommittee and its Oversight Subcommittee.
Jim McDermott was born in Chicago, Illinois on December 28, 1936. He was the first member of his family to attend college, and went on to finish medical school. After completing his medical residency and military service in the Navy, he made his first run for public office in 1970 and was elected to the State Legislature from the 43rd Legislative District of Washington State. In 1974, Jim successfully ran for the State Senate, and subsequently was re-elected three times.
In 1987, after 15 years of legislative service, McDermott decided to leave politics and to continue in public service as a Foreign Service medical officer based in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), providing psychiatric services to Foreign Service, Agency for International Development, and Peace Corps personnel in sub-Saharan Africa. When the 7th District Congressional seat became open, he returned from Africa to seek election to the U.S. House of Representatives. He was elected in 1988 to the 101st Congress and is currently serving in his 12th term.
Washington "Single payer" conference
350 health care activists attended a conference at Seattle University Jun 22 1996, organized by the Washington Single Payer Action Network. Craig Salins, the organization's president hoped the conference could become a launching pad for a "greatly broadened crusade to win affordable, quality health care for all Washingtonians."
Rep. Jim McDermott addressed the conference. McDermott (prime sponsor of HR-1200, the single payer bill in Congress) predicted a social upsurge in which the people will demand "get the profiteers out of health care. Period!"
In 1994 Jim McDermott, John Conyers and Paul Wellstone promoted a "single-payer" health care bill (HR1200/S491). Ellen Shaffer, a member of Wellstone's staff told the People's Weekly World that the authors had been "working closely" with Hillary Clinton. "She knows what they are doing" Shaffer said.
"Living Wage, Jobs for all Act"
In 1995, Nancy Pelosi, Bernie Sanders, David Bonior, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Cynthia McKinney, Maurice Hinchey, Major Owens, Nydia Velasquez, John Conyers, Bob Filner, Alcee Hastings, Lane Evans, Edolphus Towns, Jim McDermott, supported Democratic Socialists of America member rep. Ron Dellums' "Living Wage, Jobs for all Act"
Speakers at the November 1997 Coalition of Labor Union Women conference in Seattle, included Richard Trumka, and Linda Chavez-Thompson of the AFL-CIO, Nancy Riche, executive VP of of the Canadian Labor Congress and Senator Patty Murray and Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington State.
Sponsored Communist Party "Jobs Bill"
H.R. 950, the Job Creation and Infrastructure Restoration Act of 1997 was introduced in the 105th Congress on March 5, 1997 by Congressman Matthew Martinez of California. It had 33 original co-sponsors, including Jim McDermott. The primary purpose of this emergency federal jobs legislation was to provide much needed jobs at union wages to crisis ridden cities by putting the unemployed to work rebuilding our nation's infrastructure (schools, housing, hospitals, libraries, public transportation, highways, parks, environmental improvements, etc. $250 billion is authorized for emergency public works jobs over a five year period.
Congressman Martinez had previously introduced this bill in the last Congress (as HR 1591) at the the request of over 50 prominent Labor leaders who formed the Los Angeles Labor Coalition for Public Works Jobs, which is why it is often referred to as the "Martinez Public Works Jobs Bill."
- This is the most significant jobs legislation introduced in Congress since Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal established the Works Progress Administration (WPA). This bill is the WPA-type program for today. It has strong provisions which will put hundreds of thousands of unemployed building trades workers to work as well as provide jobs for victims of plant closures, welfare recipients who are parents, youth, and the long term unemployed. The public works projects which will be established under this bill will be built in communities with the highest levels of unemployment and with the greatest needs.
- The goal of the New York Coalition for Public Works Jobs is to build the movement to pass the Martinez Jobs bill as part of the National Labor Coalition for Public Works Jobs. You can help by asking your union, community organization, or local government body to to join those who have already passed resolutions to endorse the bill. Such a resolution has been introduced in the New York City Council. Calling on additional Congressional Representatives to co-sponsor the bill is very important. We will be organizing petition campaigns, visits to elected officials, and demonstrations and other actions for a public works jobs program.
Los Angeles , National Labor Coalition For Public Works Jobs
2nd International Islamic Unity Conference
Speakers from around the globe gathered at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC Aug. 7-9 1998, to discuss Muslim issues at the 2nd International Islamic Unity Conference. Under the auspices of the Islamic Supreme Council of America and its founder, Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, religious and political leaders alike gathered to address concerns facing the Islamic community and to "condemn the oppression of Muslims worldwide".
In the opening session, Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) addressed the lack of understanding of Islam in the United States. As he criticized the “unfair, ignorant image [of Muslims] presented in the media,” McDermott urged audience members to contact their governmental representatives to express their concerns. He emphasized that the United States is neither a Christian nor Jewish nor Muslim nation, but rather a nation where people of all faiths can live together in religious freedom.
Fact-finding in Iraq
In 2002 David Bonior and two other Democratic Congressmen Jim McDermott and Mike Thompson traveled to Iraq on a fact-finding mission. It was later revealed that Iraqi intelligence had funded the trip through a Michigan based Muslim group headed by Muthanna Al-Hanooti.
Photograph taken from Spring 2003 FAAIR Newsletter.
Iraqi intelligence agents had reportedly had confidence that Al-Hanooti would be able to persuade Congress to lift economic sanctions against Iraq. A federal indictment unsealed in mach 2008 accuses him of using his work with the Michigan-based Life for Relief and Development (LIFE), formerly known as the International Relief Association, Inc., to become an Iraqi agent.
According to the indictment, Al-Hanooti drafted a plan to undermine the sanctions for the Iraqis, listing members of Congress who would support the move. He then led tours to Iraq, indirectly funded by the Iraqi government, with congressional leaders including Democrats David Bonior of Michigan, Jim McDermott of Washington and Mike Thompson of California.
LIFE issued a statement in advance of a 2002 trip, saying it was designed to help the representatives "gain a better understanding of the humanitarian plight faced by innocent Iraqi civilians still suffering from the destruction caused by the 1991 Gulf War and the continuation of the 12-year embargo." Photos of the junket in question were included in a 2003 newsletter published by an organization called Focus on American & Arab Interests & Relations (FAAIR), of which Al-Hanooti was President.
According to the indictment, an intermediary for the Iraqis gave Al-Hanooti $24,000 in September 2002 to cover trip expenses, the indictment alleges. The next month, Al-Hanooti received $10,000 more. The indictment also claims he also was given the right to buy 2 million barrels of oil under Iraq's Oil for Food program.
FBI agents interviewed Al-Hanooti in 2007. He denied knowingly meeting with any Iraqi intelligence officials and denied being offered the oil contract. That led to three counts in the indictment of providing false statements to federal agents.
Anti war rally
Rep. Jim McDermott called for putting “a million people in the street” to stop a U.S. attack on Iraq. “We’re here because we’re engaged in a national debate about life and death,” McDermott (D-Wash.) told the crowd who came to the Jefferson Park Community Center in Seattle Oct. 6, 2002 to hear his report on his recent visit to Iraq.
McDermott was presented with two honors at the start of the meeting: a six-foot mockup giraffe, to symbolize his “sticking his neck out” for peace, from a group of women against violence, and a certificate from the parish of St. Patrick’s Church, signed by everyone in the parish, thanking him for his efforts.
Iraq is a subtitle to “a much bigger issue, which is the kind of country we live in, where the government derives its power from the people, from Congress, not the President – such as its power to declare war,” McDermott said
“If we don’t derail this coup that’s going on, we’ll be in a government that’s run by the President of the U.S. and the rest of us will be just standing around wondering what’s happening,” he declared.
“If you are thinking of defending the Republic, you had better get up on your feet,” McDermott told the crowd. “The power is in your hands.”
Though the U.S. is now the most powerful country in the world, he commented, history is full of the histories of powerful countries that fell because they reached beyond what the people would put up with.
In his visit to Iraq, McDermott, accompanied by Reps. David Bonior (D-Mich.) and Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), spoke to 15 members of Iraq’s Parliament and told each, “If you don’t allow unfettered inspections, you will get a war.” Now that Iraq has agreed to inspections, Bush has been trying to “submarine” the process, McDermott told the Seattle meeting.
McDermott, Bonior and Thompson wanted to see the effects of ten years of sanctions on the Iraqi people. “We have crushed them economically,” he said. McDermott said he saw many people ill with preventable illnesses, such as a 10-year old boy dying because he couldn’t get the medicine he needed. When he went to a pharmacy in Baghdad to see if he could get some prescriptions filled, McDermott was told “No,” they had none of the medications on his list.
The Iraqi people are suffering elevated cancer rates and birth defects today from exposure to depleted uranium in ammunition used by the U.S. during the Gulf War, McDermott charged. “And we’re planning to send our soldiers to walk around in that poison dust?” he asked.
“The fact is we have created a disaster and we have driven the people into the arms of Saddam,” McDermott said. When so many supplies have been withheld by our sanctions, he said, those items that get through are being distributed by Hussein, and Iraqi people who may have opposed him ten years ago are now grateful. “If we go into Iraq, there will be no uprising. They’re going to defend him,” McDermott said.
Following the meeting, McDermott joined an anti-war rally in progress, which brought out 5,000 to 7,000 people. 
Trip to Cuba
From June 30 to July 3 2007, Representative for the 7th District of Washington, Jim McDermott travelled with staffer Sean Hughes in Havana, Cuba on a "fact-finding trip. The cost of the trip, $3,603.60 was paid by the Center for Democracy in the Americas.
"Agent Orange" campaign connection
Agent Agent Orange Justice Tour
The Second Agent Agent Orange Justice Tour, June 2007, held a meeting with U.S. Representatives Jim McDermott (WA) and John Conyers, Jr. (D - MI): 4:30 pm - Thursday, June 14, 2007 at the Judiciary Building Library, Washington DC.
"Progressives' on "Ways & Means" committee
In 2008, the U.S. Congress' most powerful committee, "Ways & Means" was heavily influenced by members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus including Chairman Charles Rangel, Pete Stark, John Lewis, Xavier Becerra and Jim McDermott.
Congressional Progressive Caucus
Supporting Health Care Reform
"Progressive" Cabinet "nominee"
- We asked that contributors weigh ideological and political considerations, with an eye toward recommending people who have both progressive credentials and at least an arguable chance at being appointed in an Obama White House.
- This group of people would represent at once the most progressive, aggressive and practical Cabinet in contemporary history. Of course, it is by no means a definitive list. It is merely one proposal aimed at starting a longer discussion about the very concept of a progressive Cabinet—and why it will be important to a new administration, especially if that administration is serious about change.
Phyllis Bennis suggested Jim McDermott for Secretary of State:
- Secretary of state has two major tasks: To define and represent U.S. interests in the world, and to bring the rest of the world’s interests to the United States. Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) — a 10-term member of Congress and a Progressive Caucus stalwart — would do both.
- McDermott has been a consistent voice for single-payer healthcare, for increased funding for the U.S. and global HIV/AIDS crisis, and for maintaining the estate tax. And he has stated unequivocally that Big Oil and the Iraq War are causing skyrocketing oil prices.
- Like any U.S. politician, his record isn’t perfect, particularly on trade. But unlike most of his colleagues, McDermott is independent and willing to think and act outside the Washington box.
- McDermott actively opposes U.S. threats of war against Iran, and he has challenged Israel directly, saying it’s “both appropriate and urgent for the U.S. to raise questions about [Israel’s] intentions” toward Iran.
- Secretary McDermott would not only call for redeploying combat troops out of Iraq, he would also press for bringing home all U.S. troops and mercenaries. He would enforce ignored laws prohibiting U.S. bases there. And he would immediately renounce U.S. efforts to control Iraq’s oil. In fact, he read into the Congressional Record the full text of the 1930 Anglo-Iraqi treaty, which set the same terms for British control of oil that the Bush administration is trying to impose on Iraq today.
- Secretary of State Jim McDermott would reclaim the primacy of diplomacy in U.S. foreign policy.
Washington Public Campaigns
- Congressman Jim McDermott connected the dots between campaign finance and health care reform.
- He felt this year featured a convergence of situations which made the passage of health care reform, with publicly funded health care funding, a practical possibility.
- Rep. McDermott explained that when hundreds of thousands of citizens got laid off in the past year, thuis losing their employer's insurance, they came to understand that health care is a crisis not only for poor folks, but for average middle-class families.
"Single payer" supporter
One of nine statewide health care rallies took place in Seattle on Dec. 12 2009 for health care reform. It was sponsored by President Barack Obama's grassroots group, Organizing for America, and several statewide health care organizations.
Rep. Jim McDermott, a strong single-payer supporter, said a "Medicare for All"-type system would be the most humane way to deal with the crisis.
The problem is, he said, it's not possible to win at this time. But the bottom line is a public option, he said.
McDermott likened the fight for health care, like building a house. "Obama is creating a house of health. We're going to get a bill."
But much of all the legislative back and forth in both the House and the Senate, he said, are like the details that go inside the house, like cabinets.
"The frame goes up first," he said. McDermott predicted the final bill will pass Congress by February.
The desire to get health care reform passed was echoed by other rally speakers. Cassie Cummings of the Washington State Labor Council said the movement can compromise, but "we haven't stopped fighting."
Calling on Israeli Govt. to lift Gaza Travel Ban
On Dec. 22, 2009, thirty-three U.S. Representatives wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, calling on her to request that the Israeli Government end the ban on student travel from Gaza to the West Bank. Jim McDermott was one of the signatories of the letter. The entire letter together with a complete list of signatories can be read by clicking here.
Supported Lifting the Gaza Blockade
On Jan. 27, 2010, U.S. Representatives Keith Ellison and Jim McDermott led 52 other members of Congress in signing a letter addressed to President Barack Obama, calling for him to use diplomatic pressure to resolve the blockade affecting Gaza. The entire letter together with a complete list of signatories can be read by clicking here.
Communist Party connections
In 1993, Communist Party USA supporter Pat Stell, one of the few union carpenters who also has done graduate work at Stanford, was chosen the Northwest "eyes and ears" for the U.S. Secretary of Labor.
An aide to Rep. Jim McDermott for the past four years, Stell will be Region 10 representative for the Labor Department beginning Monday.
Stell officially will be called the secretary's representative rather than regional director.
Before working for McDermott, Stell, who had completed union apprenticeship training as a carpenter, ran a small business designing and building custom wood furniture. She also was a field representative for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and a community-relations specialist with the Justice Department.
She speaks Spanish, has bachelor's and master's degrees from Stanford, and has been a member of the Higher Education Personnel Board and Coalition of Labor Union Women. She has been active in the Democratic Party.
Congratulating communist Irene Hull
A few years earlier Hull solicited signatures at her residence, Council House for a petition about American policy on Iraq. Initiated by Congressman James McDermott, the petition called for open debate on the proposed war on Iraq. More than fifty of the approximately 150 Council House residents signed that petition. McDermott's mother was living at Council House at the time.
Congratulating communist, Will Parry
At his 90th birthday party, April 24 2010, Communist Party USA member Will Parry picked up his guitar and led 400 union brothers and sisters, family, comrades, and friends in singing "Carry It On" ending, "No more tears, for we're still singing."
Sponsored by the Puget Sound Alliance of Retired Americans, the celebration resounded with songs, poetry, and heartfelt tributes. Parry together with his late wife, Louise, helped build the labor movement and the senior citizen movement in the Pacific Northwest. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Washington, he worked as a factory worker at Longview Fiber, a box factory organized by the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers.
Robby Stern, PSARA president, told the banquet crowd, "Will has had an inspiring presence in the lives of everyone who is here. I have had the responsibility of stepping into the incredible shoes of the incredible Will Parry."
Rep. Jim McDermott's aide David Loud read a letter from Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., hailing Will Parry as a leader of the fight for comprehensive, universal health care reform. "We are indebted to you for your years of service," McDermott wrote.
Remembering Communist Party supporter
Nearly 200 people gathered at the Urban Horticulture Center on the University of Washington (UW) campus, Mar. 9, 2014, to honor George Starkovich, a lifelong Communist Party USA supporter for his lifelong work as a union organizer, an activist for jobs, peace, and equality. Starkovich died April 26 at age 91.
David Loud, a staff representative of Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) read a letter from McDermott hailing Starkovich as "salt of the earth. Loud told the crowd details of Starkovich's combat with HUAC. When the witch-hunt committee came to Seattle in 1954 they attempted to grill Starkovich on his leftwing affiliations. 
Committee to Stop FBI Repression delegation
In mid November 2010, a delegation from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression ( returned home from several days of bringing the "issue of the FBI raids and grand jury subpoenas of people doing international solidarity work and anti-war organizing to the U.S. Capitol". Three supporters of the Marxist-Leninist Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack!, Deb Konechne of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, Anh Pham, who is facing a reactivation of her subpoena and Joe Iosbaker, whose home was raided, spent two days meeting with U.S. Representatives on the issue. The delegation asked each Congressperson to sponsor a “Dear Colleague” letter condemning the raids and grand jury subpoenas. In the two days, the delegation met with either the Congressional Representative’s staff or the Representative themselves fro[[m the following 16 offices: Tammy Baldwin (WI), John Conyers (MI), Danny Davis (IL), Keith Ellison (MN), Raul Grijalva (AZ), Luis Gutierrez (IL), Mike Honda (CA), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL), Dennis Kucinich (OH), Barbara Lee (CA), Jim McDermott (WA), Jim McGovern (MA), Bobby Rush (IL), Linda Sanchez (CA), Jan Schakowsky (IL), Maxine Waters (CA). The "meetings were positive, with all the offices expressing genuine concern about the situation. In some cases, because of the outpouring of calls from around the country, the U.S. Representatives were aware that the delegation was in Washington D.C. and the offices made time on their schedules to meet with the delegation. This reinforces the continuing importance of the solidarity work taking place around the country."
Rep. Conyers (MI), chair of the Judiciary Committee, directed the Counsel of the Judiciary Committee to meet with the delegation. Also, Rep. Ellison (MN) and his Congressional staff met directly with the delegation for a significant amount of time. rep. Ellison sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, expressing concern over the situation and is continuing to work on options to support his constituents affected. The delegation also received face-to-face meetings with Rep Gutierrez and Rep Davis from Chicago. Rep. Grijalva’s (AZ) office set up a meeting between the delegation and the Executive Director of the Congressional Progressive Caucus in the Congress of which rep. Grijalva is the chair. In addition, the office of Jan Schakowsky (IL) and Maxine Waters (CA) gave the delegation significant time and attention.
“It was clear that progressive Representatives of the Congress are very concerned about the FBI investigation. Overall, they were very thankful for our visit and for the information and analysis given to them The level of awareness about the raids and grand jury was varied, from little to full awareness, but the delegation certainly changed that. After the two days, our presence and purpose definitely created a stir in the halls of Congress. “The fact that we were able to interact with 16 legislative aides or Congress people themselves, during an extremely busy time of restructuring leadership in the Congress, exemplifies the attention this matter is receiving”, stated Joe Iosbaker.
Congressional Progressive Caucus "jobs" tour
People lined up at microphones at a July 23 "speak out" here to demand that Congress stop kowtowing to the corporations and do what voters elected them to do: create good jobs at a living wage.
More than 1,000 people, packed the Brockey Center on the campus of South Seattle Community College for the "Speak Out for Good Jobs Now, " one of a series of hearings across the nation sponsored by the 81-member Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Listening to the often angry testimony was Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., a leading member of the Progressive Caucus who told the crowd, "What is needed is citizen action....You have the power to organize," he said.
Deborah Osborn, wearing a purple SEIU T-shirt told the hearing she has two college degrees and is a certified nursing assistant. Her husband, also a college graduate, has been unemployed for a year. Yet the longstanding "social contract" promises that a college degree is the path to "financial success."
Jonathan Bernal Garcia, a senior at Chief Sealth High School decried the lack of good jobs for youth when they graduate from high school or college. "Please stand with us by enacting laws that are just, humane, and fair," said Garcia, a member of One America.
"Stop passing anti-immigrant laws that punish immigrant workers," she declared. "All these workers want to do is support their families and in the process they bring money into the economy." She urged enactment of the Dream Act to allow undocumented immigrant youth to attend college in the U.S. She led the crowd in chanting "si se puede."
Khayah Brookes, a senior physics student at the University of Washington, a member of the Academic Student Employees organized by the United Auto Workers said she was forced twice to drop out of school because she ran out of money.
Michael Woo, a veteran Chinese American labor and community organizer, who chaired the meeting urged the crowd to take time to fill out the Progressive Caucus postcard addressed to lawmakers headlined, "Get Congress on Track...Rebuild the American Dream."
"We have 1,000 people in this room and we want to get the message back to Washington, D.C." he said. "We want to tell Congress to rebuild the American dream. We need good jobs."
Martin Luther King County Executive Dow Constantine thanked the crowd for the testimony. "This is so powerful," he said. "It is hard to listen to the stories told today. We need to get the message to Congress that they were elected to create an economy that serves the people, not the corporations and the wealthy."
Mia Franklin, a caregiver for her disabled daughter and an employee of ARC of King County, a non-profit that serves developmentally disabled people, drew cheers, telling the crowd, "I don't believe there is a budget crisis. They find the money for whatever the banks and corporations want but when it comes to the people's needs, they have no money. But it is our money. Use our money to create jobs. I love to fight. It's my second, unpaid job: fighting. I'm proud to have all you people here to fight with me!"
Seattle Anti-Corporate Personhood /Occupy Rally
On Saturday Jan 21st, 2012, a Coalition of Occupy Seattle, Peace and Justice activists, campaign finance reform advocates, Move to Amend (overturn Citizens United) and "Get Money Out of Politics" street performers assembled at Westlake Center to protest on the 2nd anniversary of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision.
Physicians for a National Health Program
The March 3, 2012 7th Physicians for a National Health Program Western Washington Annual Public Meeting featured speakers Quentin Young, MD, National Coordinator for Physicians for a National Health Program, Amy Goodman, author and the host of Democracy Now!, Teresa Mosqueda, Legislative and Policy Director of the Washington State Labor Council and Chair of the Healthy Washington Coalition, and Representative Jim McDermott, Congressman for the WA 7th CD.
The PNHPWW Board awarded its 2012 John Geyman Health Justice Advocate Award to David Loud, health reform activist who has worked as a hospital worker, union organizer and now is Jim McDermott's staff aide for community outreach. 
Physicians for a National Health Program Western Washington
As of December 2012, Jim McDermott was Honorary Chair of Physicians for a National Health Program Western Washington.
Anti-Fracking legislation endorser
On March 14, 2013, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) have introduced the Bringing Reductions to Energy’s Airborne Toxic Health Effect (BREATHE) Act, and the Focused Reduction of Effluence and Stormwater runoff through Hydraulic Environmental Regulation (FRESHER) Act, in order to ensure that the hydraulic fracking industry follows the same rules that other industries do in preserving our natural resources. This legislation is focused on ensuring the safety and the health of the communities where the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, process is already taking place.
The BREATHE Act would ensure that we close the oil and gas industry’s loophole to the Clean Air Act’s aggregation provision, in addition to adding hydrogen sulfide—a chemical associated with nausea, vomiting, headaches, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat—to the Clean Air Act’s federal list of hazardous air pollutants.
The BREATHE Act has the following original co-sponsors including: Reps. Rush Holt, Jr., Raul Grijalva, John Sarbanes, James Moran, Michael Quigley, Earl Blumenauer, Gerald Connolly, Zoe Lofgren, Michael Honda, Paul Tonko, Barbara Lee, David Price, Carolyn Maloney, Michael Capuano, Mark Pocan, Jim McDermott, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Alcee Hastings, Keith Ellison, Niki Tsongas, William Keating, Adam Smith, Jim Langevin, Chellie Pingree, Judy Chu, Louise Slaughter, Jerrold Nadler, Grace Meng, Jan Schakowsky, Nita Lowey, Jared Huffman, Gary Peters and Alan Lowenthal.
The following organizations have endorsed this legislation and are actively working to garner support within Congress and throughout the country: Physicians for Social Responsibility, Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthjustice, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, Sierra Club, Earthworks, Breast Cancer Action, Clean Water Action, Environment America, Greenpeace, Nature Abounds, Oil Change International, Citizens for a Healthy Community, Citizens for Huerfano County, Clean Water Action Colorado, Erie Rising, Grassroots Energy Activist Network, Holy Terror Farm, San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council, SOS Foundation, Western Colorado Congress of Mesa County, Western Slope Conservation Center and Wilderness Workshop.
June 18, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), Chairman of the House Liberty Caucus, and Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), the Ranking Member on the House Judiciary Committee, announced the introduction of bipartisan legislation to address National Security Agency surveillance.
H.R. 2399, the Limiting Internet and Blanket Electronic Review of Telecommunications and Email Act (LIBERT-E Act), restricts the federal government’s ability under the Patriot Act to collect information on Americans who are not connected to an ongoing investigation. The bill also requires that secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court opinions be made available to Congress and summaries of the opinions be made available to the public.
A coalition of 32 Members of Congress joined Conyers and Amash in introducing the bill. After introduction, Conyers and Amash issued the following statement:
The following Members of Congress cosponsored the legislation:
Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA) Rep. John Duncan (R-TN) Rep. William Enyart (D-IL) Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) Rep. Rush Holt, Jr. (D-NJ) Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-NC) Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) Rep. James McGovern (D-MA) Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME) Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) 
Lifting travel ban on Cuba
- Due to your action/emails/phone calls we have 59 signatures from House representatives urging President Obama to support travel to Cuba by granting general licenses for ALL current categories of travel.
- By eliminating the laborious license application process, especially for people-to-people groups, that is managed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the majority of the bureaucratic red tape that holds up licensable travel to Cuba would disappear and actually facilitate what the President wanted to see in 2011, liberalized travel regulations.
Signatories included Rep. McDermott .
Congressional Letter for Neutrality, 2014 Salvadoran Elections
On Monday December 16, 2014 Reps. Juan Vargas (D-CA), Mike Honda (D-CA) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) sent a letter to Sec. of State John Kerry – signed by 51 Members of Congress – calling for a public statement of neutrality by the State Department before the first round of El Salvador’s presidential elections on February 2, 2014.
The letter, , highlighted several “important steps” that the current government has taken to “strengthen its democratic system and expand the right to vote to all citizens,” including those living outside of the country, who will be voting by absentee ballot for the first time in February. Since the election of Mauricio Funes, the first President from the Marxist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) party, the government has increased the number of polling places four-fold to increase accessibility, especially in rural areas.
“We’re glad to see so many Members of Congress expressing respect for the right of the Salvadoran people to determine their own future. That’s an attitude that’s sorely lacking in much of the US’ policy in Central America, especially with regard to economic policy,” said Alexis Stoumbelis, Executive Director for the pro-communist Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), in Washington, DC, which has observed every post-war election in El Salvador, starting in 1994.
Signatories included Rep. Jim McDermott..
The following have worked as staff members for Jim McDermott:
- Andrew Clark Adair
- James Neal Allen
- John Amaya
- Colin J. Bartz-Overman
- Tera Beach
- Elizabeth J. Becton
- Laura Berntsen
- Anne Bettesworth
- Ashley Bollinger
- Cameron H. Brenchley
- Joseph D. Budd
- Christopher Butterworth
- Joelle L. Cook
- Damian Cordova
- Jennifer L. Crider
- Michael J. DeCesare
- Christopher M. Dumm
- Ariel D. Evans
- Heather S. Foley
- Nicole L. Goldkranz
- J. William Goold
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