Nov 30, 2017 / Defense/Veterans | Disabilities | Energy/Environment | Health Care

November Wins for Eastern Washington: McMorris Rodgers Passes 3 Bills, Welcomes VA Chairman to Spokane

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 30, 2017) – In a productive month, Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) ushered an impressive three pieces of legislation through the U.S. House of Representatives. She also welcomed House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe (R-TN) to Spokane to meet with veterans and develop action items for the next year to help get Eastern Washington veterans the best care imaginable.

By bringing more doctors to help rural and urban underserved areas, encouraging the expansion of clean, renewable energy through hydropower, and providing options for families of children with disabilities, the Congresswoman is leading and getting things done on issues that matter to the people of Eastern Washington she has the honor of representing.

PASSED: Training the Next Generation of Primary Care Doctors Act of 2017

On November 3rd, the House passed a package of legislation to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that included legislation from the Congresswoman to extend the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program, which supports programs like the Spokane Teaching Health Clinic and many others across the country. Not only did McMorris Rodgers’ bill extend the program, it doubled funding to preserve current programs and provide for the expansion of new programs in Eastern Washington and across the country. Find more information here.

PASSED: Hydropower Policy Modernization Act of 2017

On November 8, the Congresswoman’s bill to promote clean, renewable, reliable, and affordable hydropower passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 257-166. Hydropower provides roughly 70 percent of the energy in Washington state, and this legislation would streamline the hydropower relicensing process to encourage continued use and expansion of hydropower resources. People all across Washington state, including Avista Corp. supported this bill. Read more about this effort here.

PASSED: ABLE Financial Planned Act

On November 16, when the House passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, it included the Congresswoman’s ABLE Financial Planning Act. For families with disabilities, being able to save without jeopardizing important benefits is a top concern. This legislation would make it so, as the Congresswoman says, “people who have been saving for their child’s college tuition can rollover that money into a savings account specifically created for individuals with disabilities.” These already established ABLE Accounts allow families and individuals to save up to a certain level without impacting the children’s disability or health benefits. Learn more about the ABLE Financial Planning Act here.

RECAP: CHAIRMAN PHIL ROE VISITS SPOKANE

On Friday, November 17, the Congresswoman welcomed House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Dr. Phil Roe (R-TN) to Spokane. In June, as a result of the Congresswoman’s work, staff from the committee came to the Spokane VA to look for ways to improve the care Eastern Washington veterans are receiving. In this follow up visit, the Chairman and Congresswoman met with local veterans, staff at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, and local community leaders to identify action items for the Spokane VA and hear about the most pressing issues facing the veteran community.

Action items for the Spokane VA:

  • Increase number of Graduate Medical Education slots
  • Acquire funding and approval for 24/7 urgent care unit
  • Move toward Teaching Hospital designation
  • Continue making improvements to the Veterans Choice Program for veterans in rural and underserved areas

Through building a partnership between the Spokane VA, the WSU College of Medicine, and the Spokane community, the Congresswoman hopes to provide an ecosystem that provides veterans with the best care possible, aids in the development of local students and doctors, and boosts the local economy.

The Congresswoman is eager to continue these important efforts and will work every day to get results for people in Eastern Washington.

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