NORTH CHESTERFIELD, Virginia — Representative Young Kim is a U.S. Representative for California’s 39th District, which includes Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Orange counties and she is also one of the first Korean-American women in Congress. Throughout her career, she prioritizes her values and incorporates them into her bills and projects. Most importantly, Young Kim consistently strives towards her goal of strengthening the United States’ foreign aid to fight global poverty.
Who is Young Kim?
Representative Young Kim is well-known for her legislative work as she introduced 21 bills, got seven signed into law and won the Legislative Action Award in June 2022. However, Kim is more than just a congresswoman; she’s an immigrant. Born in South Korea, Young Kim moved to California at the age of 12, later becoming one of the first three Korean-American women to ever be elected into Congress.
Young Kim uses her experience as an immigrant to push the United States toward foreign aid. Kim believes that “maintaining the United States’ role as a leader in the national community is essential towards securing a more peaceful and prosperous world,” and she explains how she experienced the impact of foreign policy firsthand while she lived in Korea, thus allowing her to fully respect foreign policy. As she continues her work in Congress, she promotes the agenda of human rights above all, never overlooking its worth.
House Foreign Affairs Committee
The House Foreign Affairs Committee is a U.S. committee that discusses and oversees legislation on foreign issues, one of them being foreign assistance. In January 2021, the House Foreign Affairs Committee selected Young Kim to serve on the committee due to her experience in foreign policy. She eagerly accepted the offer as she believed the pandemic made foreign relations and aid more important than ever.
Young is involved in two subcommittees within the House Foreign Affairs Committee, including the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Global Human Rights. The Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Global Human Rights has a history of introducing resolutions and bills to reduce global poverty and reduce issues those in poverty are most vulnerable to.
Representatives on the committee oversee international health, including diseases and maternal and child survival and coordinate with programs addressing these health issues such as the United Nations, American Red Cross and Peace Corps, according to the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s website.
An example of Kim’s influence on the House Foreign Affairs Committee is a letter she and a few other members sent to the USAID Administrator Power on July 27th, 2022. The letter addresses the rising global food crisis and urges USAID to accelerate the use of the $8 billion Congress allocated for those suffering from extreme hunger due to the war in Ukraine. The lawmakers declared that the allocation of the funds is a top priority for the House of Foreign Affairs Committee.
Bills on Foreign Aid
Representative Young Kim’s reputation of legislative ambition proceeds her, especially in areas fighting against global poverty. Her most famous bill fighting global poverty is her Millennium Challenge Corporation Eligibility Expansion Act, which is an act that revises the Millennium Challenge Corporation. Congress established the Millennium Challenge Corporation or MCC in 2004 as a foreign aid agency to reduce poverty in and provide to developing countries.
While the Millennium Challenge Corporation Eligibility Expansion Act is Young’s current legislative project, it is not the only bill on foreign aid that Young Kim supports. Young Kim has also co-sponsored the:
- Global Food Security Reauthorization Act of 2022, which is an act promoting global food security and implementing effective and efficient techniques to boost agricultural production.
- Reach Every Mother and Child Act of 2022, an act allowing the President to strategize a five-year plan to end preventable child and maternal deaths by 2030.
- Global Malnutrition Prevention and Treatment Act of 2021, is an act encouraging USAID to proactively prevent malnutrition by establishing plans and councils that aid populations more vulnerable to severe malnutrition.
- Keeping Girls in School Act, which is an act allowing USAID to monitor and collect data to better understand ways to address social, cultural, and health issues inhibiting young girls from accessing secondary education in poverty.
Representative Young Kim continues to advocate for foreign aid as she coordinates with the House Foreign Affairs Committee on future projects. Young Kim uses her past, perspective and background to uplift others across the globe and has never ignored the importance of foreign aid.
– Blanly Rodriguez