Congressional Spotlight: Representative Dave Reichert


WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a globalized world, congressmen and representatives have enormous responsibilities in serving people locally, domestically and internationally. Their duties as political leaders, in many instances, are their only focus.

U.S. Representative for Washington’s 8th Congressional District Dave Reichert (R-DC), however, extends himself beyond his political responsibilities by serving as a member of The Borgen Project’s Board of Directors.

Since 1971, Reichert has been a public servant. Before being elected representative in 2006, Reichert served in the King County Sheriff’s Office, where he was successful in reducing crime and participating in what his website describes as, “Green River Task Force solving the largest serial murder case in U.S. history.” As sheriff, he brought “an unprecedented $28 million in federal funding to King County law,” according to official records.

These civic and monetary successes were recognized with the prestigious National Sheriff’s Association’s ‘sheriff of the year’ award. Reichert also received the Medal of Valor Award twice, The Families Northwest Public Policy Award, Washington Policy Center’s Champion of Freedom Award and many other local awards.

These highly-esteemed recognitions have since then trickled into his success as a U.S. congressman.
Reichert began his tenure as a congressman on the Ways and Means Committee, on which he became the senior member, centralizing policies on trade, taxes and human resources.

Per the congressman’s website, his mission is “to continue his distinguished leadership and advocacy for job-creating economic policy, the promotion of trade and new market access for American businesses, and defending the vulnerable by realizing the potential of assistance programs through reform, modernization and elimination of waste”.

During his time in Washington, Reichert has sponsored a variety of bills and laws, including the Global Food Security Act of 2016, Stop Taxing Death and Disability Act and Preventing Investment in Terrorist Regimes Act.

Although these pieces of legislation differ in their detailed goals, they are all aimed at bettering society. The Stop Taxing Death and Disability Act (H.R. 5204), amends both the Internal Revenue Code and the Higher Education Act of 1965. In applying these changes, Reichert requires a student who becomes disabled or dies to be released from students loan repayment obligations.

In altering the Higher Education Act, Reichert calls upon “the Department of Education to discharge the liability on loans that parents received on behalf of a student…” if the student were to become physically or mentally impaired.

Similar to this Act, Reichert sponsored the Preventing Investment in Terrorist Regimes Act (H.R. 5545), which modifies the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 regarding taxes in foreign countries. Most notably are the changes relating to applicable taxation rules in foreign countries. Some of these amendments include refusal of a foreign tax credit for countries which do not pay taxes, refusal to deduct taxes in countries “controlled foreign corporations” and a further investigation of countries where income is derived.

By altering these taxation policies, citizens will be able to keep more money while a potentially corrupt government will lose its steady money supply. These two important facets contribute to a reduction in poverty and therefore, terrorist regimes.

Unrelated to the Internal Revenue Code, The Global Food Security Act of 2016 was recently introduced to, as Congress says to, “promote global food security, resilience and nutrition.” To accomplish this, the bill proposes to increase agriculture investments and developments, provide better technology and establishing emergency assistances.

Most recently, Reichert introduced a bipartisan initiative with three other congressmen called the Reach Every Woman and Child Act, with the aim “to accelerate the reduction of preventable maternal, newborn and childhood deaths worldwide”. The bill has more than 200 co-sponsors in the House as of September.

“Every day, 16,000 children die tragic, preventable deaths before they reach the age of 5,” Reichert said of the Act’s purpose. “While infant mortality rates have decreased significantly over the past 25 years with the United States’ leadership, these numbers are still heart breaking and unacceptable. With better access to care and services for mothers and children, the Reach Act will not only help families rise out of poverty, but will further efforts to decrease infant mortality, and foster stability and security around the world.”

When applied, all of this legislation will produce not only healthier citizens but also more economic opportunities, thereby augmenting the country’s economic position overall. In lifting the global economy and amending unjust bills, Reichert is helping to reduce global poverty, weaken terrorist organizations and improve citizens’ health.

Kristen Guyler

Photo: Flickr



About Author

Kristen Guyler

Kristen comes from in Marlboro, NJ but is currently writing for The Borgen Project from Winston-Salem, NC. Her academic interests include Sociology, Spanish and Journalism. Kristen is extremely passionate about human rights and wants to bring justice where justice is deserved. Kristen has travelled to five continents and participated in community service projects in four.

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