Rep. McMorris Rodgers Spends Week in Eastern Washington

Apr 23, 2017

Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) had a full week in our community meeting with groups and citizens on a variety of issues, hearing their concerns, and updating everyone on what she is working on.

On Monday, she began the day at Spokane International Airport where she greeted WWII, Korean, and Vietnam War veterans as they embarked on a trip to the nation’s capital as part of the Inland Northwest Honor Flight. As she said on her Twitter, “Inland Northwest Honor Flight is such an amazing way to honor our veterans for everything they have done to keep our country safe and free.”

Then, Rep. McMorris Rodgers hosted a meeting with local agriculture bankers to discuss issues facing our farming communities and financing for local farmers in Eastern Washington.

Later in the morning, Rep. McMorris Rodgers hosted another Coffee with Cathy event. Guests who have reached out to request a meeting with the Congresswoman were invited to sit down, in a productive and conversational environment, to discuss the big issues facing Eastern Washington and our country. These events are just another way Rep. McMorris Rodgers is connecting directly with folks in Eastern Washington to hear their thoughts.

In the afternoon, the Congresswoman made her way down to Colfax to host a Farm Bill Listening Session. The Farm Bill is the most important legislation impacting our agriculture communities. As Congress prepares to move forward with the Farm Bill in the next year, it’s important to hear directly from everyone here in Eastern Washington about the issues facing them, their farms, and their families.

On Tuesday, she met with the Walla Walla Valley Disability Network to talk about local resources and programs for those with disabilities, many of which the group leads, and Medicaid and health care reform.

As she said on her Facebook: “I told the group that I am committed to protecting those with pre-existing conditions, and ensuring Medicaid is protected for those vulnerable populations — like individuals with disabilities — who truly need it. I’ve also recently introduced legislation to help those with disabilities save their work income and still remain eligible for disability benefits. This legislation, called ABLE to Work, is part of a package of bills called ‘ABLE 2.0’ that improves the ABLE Act, which passed in 2014 and created tax-free savings accounts (modeled after 529 education savings accounts) for people with disabilities. I want to help all people, and especially people with disabilities, live their lives to the fullest. Thanks to those in the disability community who are making a difference every day.”

She then hosted a Coffee with Cathy with Walla Walla Progressives, where she heard from them about their concerns and shared her thoughts on a variety of issues. The Congresswoman believes it’s important to come to the table to have courageous conversations and find common ground.

Following her Coffee with Cathy, the Congresswoman toured Key Technology and discussed tax reform and manufacturing in the United States.

The Congresswoman believes the tax code should be fair, simple, and transparent. We haven’t had a fundamental change in the tax code since 1986, and over time the tax code has become increasingly complex and uncompetitive internationally. Currently, the United States has one of the most uncompetitive taxation systems in the developed world. This has incentivized companies to relocate abroad, and has been the catalyst for the growing trend of corporate inversions we see today. In the House, the Ways and Means Committee set out last year to develop an aggressive tax reform blueprint that would create jobs, increase economic growth, reduce tax rates, simplify the tax code, and incentivize companies to relocate in the United States.

“Tax Day is a painful reminder that our tax code needs to be reformed. I hear everyday from people in Eastern Washington who tell me the tax code is too complex. I believe you should be able to keep more of your hard-earned money and that our tax code should be fair, simple, and transparent. I’d like to see a tax code that promotes job growth and rewards hard work. My colleagues in the House and I have been working on a plan to reform our tax code, and we’re looking forward to tackling tax reform later this year.”

In the afternoon, the Congresswoman traveled from Walla Walla to Colfax to hear from a group of regional stakeholders about local transportation and infrastructure needs. This meeting focused on the region encompassing Whitman, Asotin, and Garfield Counties. In addition to transportation, the conversation touched on regulatory reform.

On Wednesday, the Congresswoman began the day at Mt. Spokane High School where she met with students to discuss business in our country and how we create jobs and opportunities here in America.

Then, Rep. McMorris Rodgers headed up to Northeastern Washington to spend the day in Colville. She hosted an Ambulance Roundtable with area leaders from across the northern part of the district to discuss what can be done about rural ambulance services. As she said on her Facebook page:

“The group represented several transport agencies from 4 counties, the CEO of Colville’s hospital, county government, and a volunteer fire district. The closing of the Newport Ambulance was a blow to the area, and I’m concerned about the Stevens County Sheriff’s ambulance’s ability to stay open. Our discussion today focused on identifying the root cause of what is causing rural ambulances to suffer, and considering solutions to provide a secure future for ambulances.”

Later, the Congresswoman met with Ron Rehn, the CEO of Providence Mount Carmel Hospital, to talk about the veterans choice program. Earlier this week she applauded President Trump for signing legislation to improve and extend the program. She then hosted a Forest Roundtable with officials, organizational leaders, and other stakeholders to talk about the Colville A to Z project, her Timber Innovation Act, the Secure Rural Schools program, and other issues facing these communities who depend on federal forests and the industry they provide.

On Thursday, Rep. McMorris Rodgers met with The Arc of Spokane to discuss issues facing people with disabilities and their families. At the meeting, Rep. McMorris Rodgers heard concerns from parents, families, and local advocates for individuals with disabilities and reaffirmed her commitment to protecting people with pre-existing conditions.

Medicaid is vital to people with disabilities, and the Congresswoman shared her commitment to strengthen and preserve Medicaid so that families can have the assurance that their children and loved ones will have access to important medical care. As the House moves forward with their efforts to repeal Obamacare and replace it with conservative reforms to increase competition, lower costs, and put patients back at the center of their health care, Rep. McMorris Rodgers remains committed to fighting for Medicaid and strengthening the program for generations to come.

The Congresswoman now heads back to the nation’s capital to continue her work implementing an aggressive agenda that creates jobs, grows the economy, and reduces the regulatory burden on all Americans.

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