Jim McDermott, born December 28, 1936 (age 78), is a Democratic Member of Congress who represents the Seventh District of Washington State. McDermott currently serves in the 111th Congress. He is also often called "the most liberal member of Congress."
McDermott has advocated a system of universal health insurance since 1972. In Congress, McDermott has introduced H.R. 1200, the American Health Security Act, every session since the 103rd Congress (1993-94); a measure to create a national, single-payer system of socialized health care coverage. H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, which passed the House of Representatives on November 7th 2009, represents the ideas of three House committees of jurisdiction, including the Committee on Ways and Means, on which Jim McDermott serves.
Corruption and public elusiveness
Rep. Jim McDermott was forced to empty his 2008 election campaign funds account, paying $1 million in legal fees to House Minority Leader John Boehner, ending a decade long dispute over an illegally taped telephone call of Republican leaders discussing Newt Gingrich's ethics problems. That blow came just weeks after news broke that an alleged Iraqi spy had paid for a 2002 trip McDermott took to Iraq. Regarding McDermott's corruption and dishonesty as a liberal politician, Steve Beren has said this:
|“||Jim McDermott is practically a poster child for the extremism of the Democratic Party. ... It's ludicrous for someone who is like McDermott — so dishonest, so unethical and so corrupt himself, to talk about the issue of accountability in government.||”|
McDermott has proven an elusive target in recent years, willing to debate only infrequently. Despite his background, McDermott is widely accepted as Seattle's so-called "congressman for life" and has won 10 consecutive terms in the House. Linnea Noreen, an independent in the 7th Congressional District race for 2006, said, "Nearly every race is a foregone conclusion. That means ineffective leaders like Jim McDermott are unaccountable."
Shortly prior to the Iraq War, McDermott traveled to Baghdad in a trip financially supported by Iraqi-American businessman Shakir al-Khafaji, who has been investigated for receiving "lucrative vouchers for Iraqi oil from Saddam's government."
On a Roll Call vote in June of 2007 calling on the United Nations Security Council to charge Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with violating the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the United Nations Charter because of his calls for the destruction of the State of Israel, McDermott voted "Present."  This indicates a refusal to vote one way or the other.
- Kristin Millares Bolt. McDermott, rivals to debate tonight, seattlepi.com, October 25, 2006.
- Aaron. Stimulus – Wasteful, harmful, job-killing, and a threat to liberty, RLC.org, Republican Liberty Caucus, February 5, 2009.
- Emily Heffter. McDermott backs Bush impeachment, The Seattle Times, September 10, 2008.
- David Postman. Sacrificial lamb or GOP star?, The Seattle Times, June 2, 2006.
- Emily Heffter. McDermott faces 5 challengers but no real re-election challenge, The Seattle Times, August 14, 2008.
- Joel Connelly. Strange Bedfellows, seattlepi.com, September 10, 2007.
- Aide says McDermott wasn't aware of Saddam link, By Jim Brunner, Seattle Times, April 17, 2004.
- Final Vote Resulrts for Roll Call 513, retrieved from clerk.house.gov 25 June 2007.