McDermott Played a Key Role in US India Relations
Washington, DC: Former Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, US Congressman Jim McDermott announced that he would not be seeking re-election after 14 terms in the House of Representatives.
Speaking at a news conference in Seattle, longtime Democratic Representative McDermott, 79, said that the retirement of a colleague and a death of a friend influenced the decision to retire after 40 years of political service. "I realized that life doesn't -- you don't get forever," McDermott said "I leave Congress with no regrets." McDermott will retire at the end of this year after his term ends.
In a statement, US President Barack Obama lauded McDermott’s long and tireless service to the people of Washington State. "As a state legislator, Jim helped pass laws that offered healthcare to unemployed and low-income Washingtonians, the first such program in the nation. In the US Congress, he continued to be a much-needed voice for his most vulnerable constituents. I'm grateful for his service and Michelle and I wish him all the best in whatever the future holds."
Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said McDermott has been a tenacious champion of hard-working Americans in Washington and across the US and has shown the strength of his progressive values and the quality of his leadership in expanding opportunity for all Americans. After retirement he hopes to teach at a medical school.
As the co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India, Jim McDermott was crucial in bringing India and US closer in ties. A long-time friend of India McDermott viewed the US and India as two of the most ethnically, culturally and religiously diverse nations in the world that share a colonial history and now a similar value system and respect for democratic principles.
Mr. Jagdish Sharma a longtime friend of Congressman McDermott thanked Congressman McDermott for his long record in championing US-India relations even when it was not fashionable in Congress.
The US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) is the voice of over 3.2 million Indian- Americans and works on issues that concern the community. It supports candidates for local, state and federal office and encourages political participation by the Indian- American community. Visit www.usinpac.com for more details.