McMorris Spends August in Eastern Washington Discussing Economy, Agriculture and Health Care


(Washington, D.C.)  Congresswoman Cathy McMorris (WA-05) returned to Washington D.C. today for legislative votes after spending the month of August highlighting accomplishments and holding meetings and events throughout Eastern Washington. McMorris traveled to all 12 Eastern Washington counties during the month and held a series of advisory committee meetings, small business roundtables, and agriculture roundtables.

“August was an excellent opportunity to talk face to face with the people of Eastern Washington and review where we have focused my time and energy on the priorities of Eastern Washington,” said McMorris. “Despite our accomplishments, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done during this session of Congress. I heard many people address the need for secured borders, relief from high energy prices, a skilled workforce, the passage of crucial tax deductions, and the rising costs of health care.”

McMorris attended seven small businesses roundtables in Newport, Spokane, Walla Walla, Clarkston, Republic, Odessa, and Tonasket. The meetings focused on the economic interests and needs of small businesses, including Associated Health Plans, a trained workforce, pension reform, and reducing regulatory costs.

The agriculture roundtables discussed long-term planning for the future of agriculture in Eastern Washington, including preparation for the 2007 Farm Bill. High energy costs, county loan rates, and the need for a legal workforce were some main topics discussed.

“I received great feedback during the meetings and will continue to work on our legislative priorities when we head back into session,” continued McMorris. “We must continue our discussion on immigration reform and ensure that our borders remain protected. It is also extremely important to Washington state residents that we get the state sales tax deduction, timber tax, death tax, and research and development tax credit extensions passed.”

The legislative calendar for September will focus on national security and Congress is expected to pass Defense, Homeland Security and Military Quality of Life spending bills. The House is also planning to vote on earmark reform, which would increase transparency by requiring members to attach their names to all earmarked projects on appropriation, tax, and authorizing bills.

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