SEATTLE — In Washington State, Patty Murray is a household name. When Patty Murray won her Senate seat in 1993, she became the first woman to do so in Washington – and she would go on to run unopposed for the next 25 years.
Senator Murray’s constituents know her as responsive, morally grounded and politically centrist in her willingness to work across the aisle. She focusses largely on health care, civil rights and veteran issues. Senator Murray is a classic Democrat in league with the likes of current Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.
Yet for all Senator Murray has accomplished, her international affairs efforts have flown under the radar. And there can be no mistake about it – Senator Murray has made significant accomplishments in this area.
Two Important Bills for International Affairs
- S.426: Resolution to Protect the Rights of Working Women in Developing Countries:
A 2016 resolution sponsored by Senator Murray that supports policies to create safe jobs in developing countries, reduce gender-based violence and discrimination at work, promote labor rights in trade agreements and enforce the right of women. It also encourages U.S. companies with international supply chains to end gender-based workplace violence.
- S.368: Global Health, Empowerment and Rights Act:
A co-sponsored piece of legislation designed to eliminate restrictive eligibility requirements for nongovernment foreign aid to be able to provide services based on the health of the people the foreign aid organization would be assisting.
Commitment to Budgeting Concerns
The budget proposed this fiscal year for the State Department has put foreign aid funding in jeopardy. Senator Murray has acknowledged the importance of foreign assistance. She knows that USAID helps achieve vital goals around the world by “addressing extreme poverty and hunger, ensuring that children can read and write, eradicating disease, promoting democracy, and many other important tasks.”
The International Affairs Budget, in particular, is meant to protect the foreign aid funds that are allocated specifically for diplomatic and development efforts. This budget is necessary to promote the security of foreign aid workers and diplomats, as well as assist those the United State’s military efforts displace.
Senator Murray has recently promised constituents to protect USAID. “I am very sensitive to the fact that our commitments abroad must be balanced with the urgent need to invest in our own citizens here in the United States.”
This vow is more important than ever before, as the U.S. global standing continues to hang in the balance of an eclectic, restrictive and unmoored executive administration. Those in Congress, like Senator Murray, must remain steadfast and ensure that the U.S. remains true to the aspirational morals that allow the United States to wade in international waters.
– Rachel Kingsley