Anh "Joseph" Cao" (1975-), U.S. Representative (R-Louisiana) is a first-term Congressman representing a district in New Orleans. Born in Saigon and airlifted out a few days before the fall of South Vietnam, he is the first Vietnamese-American elected to Congress. He was also the only Republican to vote for the House healthcare bill on November 7, 2009.A former Jesuit seminarian, he chose family life over the ministry, but also chose politics as a means of continuing his commitment to social justice. He had been a missionary in an extremely poor area of Mexico. Citing Soren Kierkegaard, he said
"Kierkegaard had this story about a man going through life. The man reached an abyss. He had to make what Kierkegaard called the leap of faith. In life's journey, you sometimes reach a level of uncertainty that you have to make such a leap. "That's what happened to me in Mexico. I was working in extremely poor conditions, and I wanted to promote social change. I came to believe, over the course of two or three years, that the best way to do that would be to enter public office. It would also allow me to have a family -- the celibate life can be quite lonely. So I drafted a course of action for myself to enter politics. But it was a quite painful discernment. It implied I would have to leave the seminary. I would have to start life over again. I would have to make that leap of faith
House of Representatives
He is a member of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
H.R. 3974, the bipartisan Viral Hepatitis and Liver Cancer Control Act, was introduced by Honda, with initial cosponsors including Cao, Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), David Wu (D-Ore.), Todd Platts (R-Pa.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), Judy Chu (D-Calif.), G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) Donna Christensen (D-Virgin Islands) The disease is especially prevalent among minority communities; the legislation would provide an initial $90 million for what can grow to a $65 billion cost in 15 years.
- Neely Tucker (30 December 2008), "The Possible Dream: Louisiana's Historic New Congressman Seems to Surprise Everyone but Himself", Washington Post
- Lorren Sandt (6 November 2009), "Bipartisan Support Grows for Addressing Nation’s Hepatitis Scourge", Roll Call