End of Year report from Congressman Jim McDermott

Friday, December 20, 2013

From Congressman Jim McDermott

Happy Holidays! As 2013 comes to a close, I'd like to take some time to reflect upon the past year and share with you some highlights.

This year the Evergreen State had the honor of providing the Capitol Christmas Tree. Speaking at the tree lighting was a refreshing break from polarized D.C. politics. Along with the Capitol tree, the U.S. Forest Service brought a smaller tree to my D.C. office. It’s nice to have a piece of home during stressful days at the Capitol. 

Jim McDermott is the congressional representative
for the 7th District, which includes Shoreline
and Lake Forest Park

In the last few months, we often heard from our constituents on coverage options created by the Affordable Care Act, both stories of successes and failures. Happily, many of those callers were able to sign up for affordable and more comprehensive plans in the WA Health Benefits Exchange. The roll-out has been rocky, and not everyone has been able to find insurance solutions they like, but thanks to the efforts by King County, Governor Inslee, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, and the Obama Administration, health reform is working for Washingtonians across the state. Washington state has already reached over 176,000 enrollments with more people finding coverage every day. I am optimistic that in the coming year more enrollments and more improvements will make this reform truly a success.

I receive many requests from constituents asking for assistance with federal government agencies and my Seattle office is ready to help. We work with federal agencies such as the Veterans Administration, Social Security Administration, Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of State, just to name a few. This year, we helped seniors claim money owed to them by the Social Security Administration, sometimes thousands of dollars in back payments; assisted veterans in communicating with the VA regarding the benefits they earned; and helped navigate the sometimes complex immigration rules for constituents’ family members. If you have an issue with any agency in the federal government, please do not hesitate to contact my District Office in Seattle at (206) 553-7170. My office will help you directly or refer you to the appropriate organization to help resolve your problem.

Sadly, Congressional Leadership chose to end our session before we had a chance to get some of our most important work accomplished. We need to take action on comprehensive immigration reform, increasing the minimum wage, SNAP funding, the farm bill, and extending unemployment insurance for 1.3 million Americans who are about to lose it. I know these issues matter to you and you have my commitment that I will work hard to get them addressed. Looking forward, I hope in 2014 my fellow Members of Congress can work together to pass legislation that Americans want and needs. I will be hosting a coffee on January 18th at Hattie’s Hat in Ballard, which will give me a chance to meet with you face to face. Keep an eye out for those details and information on other events coming soon!

It is a great pleasure and honor to represent you in Congress. I hope you have a happy and safe New Year and wish you and your family the best in 2014 and beyond.

Congressman Jim McDermott

PS – If you’d like to stay up to date on what I’m doing in Washington or in DC, sign up for my e-newsletter, find me on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter!


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