Clarke welcomes Jamaica’s PM to Congress

Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller attends a multilateral meeting at the Caribbean Energy Security Summit at the State Department in Washington, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015.
Associated Press / Jacquelyn Martin

Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke says she has welcomed and celebrated Jamaica Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller for visiting the United States Congress.

During the reception, Clarke said on Thursday that Simpson Miller commended the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) for supporting Jamaica in its negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), “which resulted in approval of US$923.3 million arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility for Jamaica on May 1, 2013.”

Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, was joined by CBC Chairman G.K. Butterfield, former CBC Chairwoman Maxine Waters, and other CBC members.

Simpson Miller was also joined at the reception by David Lipton, first deputy managing director of the IMF; Francisco Palmieri, deputy assistant secretary for the Caribbean and Central America in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs; and other members of the delegation from Jamaica, including Dr. Stephen Vasciannie, ambassador to the United States; and Lorna Johnson, honorary consul of the Consulate of Jamaica in Los Angeles.

“Today, I have the distinct honor of introducing a woman whose leadership has been invaluable to Jamaica and its people, the Hon. Portia Simpson Miller,” said Clarke in introducing Simpson Miller at the reception. “A trailblazer in public service, born in Wood Hall in St. Catherine Parish, Prime Minister Simpson Miller has dedicated her life to a career in public service.

“Elected to Parliament in 1976 as a member of the People’s National Party, the Hon. Portia Simpson Miller was named minister of Labor, Welfare, and Sports in 1989, was vice president of her party and the leader of its Women’s Movement for more than 20 years and a member of the Order of the Nation.

“As a member of Parliament, leader of the opposition, and now prime minister, she has focused on building a future in which every young woman and every young man has an opportunity to participate in the economy, in politics, and in the general life of the civil society,” continued Clarke.

“Prime Minister Simpson Miller developed the Master Plan for Sustainable Tourism Development, worked to reform local governments for the Twenty-First Century, and expanded the Overseas Work Program and National Insurance Scheme to supporting working families,” she said. “For a generation of women and girls, Prime Minister Simpson Miller has been an inspiration, a demonstration that their contributions are critical to our civil society. My friends and colleagues, please welcome the Hon. Portia Simpson Miller.”

Clarke is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives’ House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies.

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