In February, I was invited to speak at the Washington Policy Center’s Farm to Free Market dinner as well as the Farm Forum here in Eastern Washington. Unfortunately, due to the government being shutdown I had to remain in the other Washington to continue working on a budget agreement, causing me to miss these important events, including the Spokane AgExpo. I was able to film my speech for the Washington Policy Center’s dinner and wanted to make sure you had a chance to hear what I’m working on and what my priorities are for the next year when it comes to agriculture related issues. I also want to hear your thoughts. Let me know what your priorities are for farmers and the upcoming Farm Bill by taking this short survey.
Agriculture is Eastern Washington’s number one industry, and as your representative, I will continue to fight for the interests of our farmers and their families. That means reducing regulations that make their jobs harder, ensuring the tax code is working for them and their farms, protecting Eastern Washington’s hydropower system, updating trade agreements to open markets for farmers, working to protect crop insurance in the farm bill, and expanding broadband in rural communitie. You can watch my full speech here:
“As we take a look back over the first year of the Trump Administration, I’m really proud that they have kept their promise to cut red tape and burdensome regulations to the American farmer. This year in Congress, we’ve already passed 15 bills that directly repeal some of the most burdensome rules of the past years. Instead of federal grant money going to billboards and lobbying the EPA, they’re getting back to basics.”
“If we want to put America first, we MUST be crafting trade agreements that allow American farmers to access markets all across the world. I’ve been disappointed with the slow pace of negotiations, but will continue to urge the administration to get the deal moving.”
“The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act we passed last December is an unprecedented incentive for farmers large and small to grow and invest. We provide full and immediate expensing for five years. For the farmer who has struggled to make that difficult financial decision to invest in that next piece of equipment, this bill will unleash their potential.”
“It’s impossible to overstate the impact of our dams here in Eastern Washington. Not only do they provide nearly 70% of our region’s electricity, they help with flood control, irrigation, and transportation. It was the dams that transformed this region from a dry barren land into one of the most productive agricultural regions in the country.”
“Unfortunately, some in our state don’t see the value of these dams and we often even face opposition from our own governor, Governor Inslee and Brown. Last year, I introduced legislation to protect the Columbia and Snake River dams and to ensure that we can continue to work collaboratively to recover fish and meet our energy potential. Dams and fish can co-exist.”
COLUMBIA RIVER TREATY
“We also need to modernize the Columbia River Treaty. This is a transboundary agreement with Canada that governs the use of our hydropower production on the Columbia and Snake River systems. I serve as the Co-chair of the bipartisan Northwest Energy Caucus, and together with Representative DeFazio out of Oregon, we have led the way with the Department of State to move forward with renegotiating this very important treaty.”
“Farmers are hurting, and as we move forward with the farm bill over the next year, I have three key priorities:
- Protecting farmers access to crop insurance, it is such an important safety net
- Increasing market development abroad through trade and market access programs
- And agriculture research.”
“We see precision farming and other technological advances and we must ensure our farmers have access to high speed broadband internet. Unfortunately, for many in rural communities, access to broadband still isn’t a reality… This is our future, but we can’t have it and we can’t have the reality of this future unless we have access.”
These are all important initiatives that I will continue to work on as your representative to get results for farmers here in Eastern Washington. I’m also excited to announce that Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee Michael Conaway from Texas has agreed to come out to Eastern Washington for an event at Washington State University. He will be here in August and I encourage you to come out to remind him of the importance of agriculture to our state. Another southern farmer who is in high demand, Secretary Sonny Perdue will also hopefully be coming out and touring the farms of the Inland Northwest.
My mission is to restore trust and confidence in representative government, and that means making sure our farmers can succeed in Eastern Washington. If you ever have questions or what to have your voice hear, never hesitate to contact my office. Find all of my contact information here. And follow along on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates on what’s happening here in the People’s House.