Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fwd: Rep. McDermott's E-Newsletter - NEWS FROM THE OTHER WASHINGTON


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: McDermott FYI <>
Date: Thu, Oct 15, 2009 at 12:46 PM
Subject: Rep. McDermott's E-Newsletter - NEWS FROM THE OTHER WASHINGTON


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October 15, 2009:

U.S. House Overwhelmingly Passes Rep. McDermott's UI Extension Bill


n September 22, the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly, 331-83, and on a bi-partisan basis to pass my legislation to extend unemployment insurance benefits for 13 weeks in states still suffering unemployment of at least 8.5% on a three month rolling average. I chair the House Ways and Means Committee's Income Security and Family Support Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over the nation's unemployment insurance system.

It is important to note that this legislation does not increase the deficit. Extending benefits by 13 weeks will cost $1.4 billion, but the extension is fully paid for by extending a tiny fractional tax employers already pay at the rate of approximately $14 per employee, per year.

The legislation, HR 3548, now goes to the Senate for further action.

Read the legislation (

Health Care

In a democratic society, good health and access to high quality, affordable healthcare should be acknowledged as a basic human right. I'm sure each of us is aware of tragedies that have happened to people we know simply because our country has not recognized this right. We all know people who could not get the health care they needed, or who could not afford that care. Now, for the first time in 15 years, we have a realistic chance to win meaningful healthcare reform and to address this ballooning national crisis. Ensuring that every American has access to affordable, comprehensive health care coverage is one of my top priorities.

To this end, I joined my colleagues in the Progressive Caucus in a letter to President Obama stating unequivocally that any bill that does not provide, at a minimum, a public option with reimbursement rates based on Medicare rates -not negotiated rates -is unacceptable.

Read the letter (link to )

Rep. McDermott Honors The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later

I'm proud to have introduced a Resolution in the House of Representatives to honor The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later, a play by Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project about reaction to the 1998 murder of University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, who was targeted due to his sexual orientation.

The play will debut as a reading at nearly 100 theatres across the US and internationally on October 12, 2009 - the 11th anniversary of Matthew Shepard's death. The Seattle Repertory Theater is one of the theatres participating in the debut of the play on October 12.

In addition to honoring the play and those participating, the Resolution expresses the will of the Congress to condemn all violent acts motivated by hatred, including the torture and murder of Matthew Shepard, and commends the involvement of all Americans to build a more civil and tolerant society. The measure also congratulates the participants and patrons involved for continuing to engage in activities that raise awareness of hate crimes in our society.

Read the resolution ( ).

Want more information about the legislation Congressman McDermott is working on? Visit:

Want to learn more about the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support (chaired by Congressman McDermott)? Visit:

For more information on this and other issues, please visit my website at:

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