I spent the week in the nation’s capital, working with House Republican colleagues to get results for you and everyone in Eastern Washington. This week, the People’s House focused on legislation aimed at unlocking America’s energy potential. These bills—for example, the Promoting Cross-Border Energy Infrastructure Act (H.R. 2883), and, the Promoting Interagency Coordination for Review of Natural Gas Pipelines Act (H.R. 2910)—will improve our nation’s infrastructure and enable us to increase our energy production, creating jobs and driving down costs in the process.
We need to bring a high level of transparency, predictability, and reliability to our entire energy construction process. This will make the energy industry more effective, and as a result, you’ll keep more of your hard-earned dollars.
I’m deeply invested in the fight to fulfill our energy potential. In Washington State, we enjoy low energy costs due to our effective, powerful hydropower production—hydropower provides 70% of Washington’s energy, and Washington’s hydropower systems provide 40% of all of America’s hydropower. I’m proud to support this clean, renewable, and reliable energy for it can continue to power our homes, businesses, and communities.
We owe our state’s great energy infrastructure to our dams, like those on the Snake River, which power 1.87 million homes across Washington. That’s why I recently introduced two important pieces of legislation to protect our dams and the clean energy they provide for our region. The first bill, the Hydropower Policy Modernization Act, ensures that our hydropower facilities can be licensed and re-licensed efficiently. On average it only takes 18 months to authorize or relicense a new natural gas facility in America, but it regularly takes 10 years or longer to license a new hydropower project or reauthorize an existing facility. My legislation would level the playing field for hydropower. The second bill, a bipartisan piece of legislation co-sponsored by several other Pacific Northwest representatives, will ensure the continued co-existence of dams and salmon, so we can continue to work in a collaborative manner to recover our endangered salmon through new and innovative methods and technologies, all while supporting our dams and the clean energy they provide
On Thursday morning, I joined CNBC’s Squawk Box to discuss health care reform. As I said on the show, people recognize that it’s time to take action in order to do away with Obamacare’s failures. In Washington State and all over America, families are hurting under Obamacare—a law that was designed to fail. I’m in favor of freedom, choice, and innovation in our health care system, where we put patients first and provide lower rates so we can truly provide access to needed medical care.
Also on Thursday, I joined the Energy and Commerce Committee’s hearing to discuss my legislation, the Steve Gleason Enduring Voices Act. This bill would ensure that Medicare covers important speech-generating devices for people suffering from ALS and other degenerative diseases. Without a permanent solution, which this bill would provide, the shortsighted policy decisions previously made by the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services could again limit the ability of thousands of men and women living with degenerative diseases to access their only means of communication. The Steve Gleason Enduring Voices Act gives a permanent voice to the voiceless. You can hear my full remarks from the hearing here:
I was also thrilled to join the Afghan Girls Robotic Team, here in the U.S. for an international robotics competition. They’re an amazing group of young women, and I was glad I could meet them to hear the inspiring story of their success in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
I am working day in and day out to get results for you and everyone in Eastern Washington. As we close another week of work in the People’s House, we remain determined to achieve our goals: keeping America safe, fulfilling our energy potential, and putting more money in your pocket. Warmly,