RMC Remembers Senator Jim Jeffords (VT)

Senator James L Jeffords, the gentleman from Vermont who rocked the political world on May 24, 2001 when he announced that he was leaving the Republican Party to be an Independent, passed away yesterday at the age of 80 at a military retirement home in Washington, DC.

With a political career that spanned more than 30 years, Jeffords was long considered an effective leader who worked hard to bridge the partisan gap and put solutions before politics. Jeffords served seven terms in the House of Representatives and three terms in the US Senate.  

During his career Jeffords championed public education, the environment, aid for the disabled, gay rights and family planning rights. He was a strong supporter of the work of the Republican Majority for Choice and in turn was supported by its Federal PAC. A true believer in personal responsibility and individual freedom, Senator Jeffords supported Title X funding, and consistently opposed medically unnecessary restrictions on reproductive health clinics. As the Wall Street Journal wrote, Jeffords was ahead of his time. “He was what we used to call a Rockefeller Republican, socially and culturally liberal and concerned about funding for education and the arts, environmental protection and programs for the poor. He believed government had a role to play in improving the lives of Americans but he was also fiscally responsible and favored balanced budgets…” 

The funeral for Senator Jeffords will take place on Friday, August 22nd at the Grace Congregational United Church of Christ in Rutland, Vermont. 


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