Aug 06, 2017 /

RECAP: Rep. McMorris Rodgers Spends Week in Eastern Washington

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers spent the past week in Eastern Washington where she met with a variety of people and organizations to discuss different issues important to Eastern Washington and hear their thoughts and ideas.

On Tuesday, she began the day with the Greater Spokane Incorporated Health Industry Development Group to discuss health care in Eastern Washington and how to create a better health care future for everyone. They covered her new legislation to extend the Teaching Health Centers program, as well as Medicaid, and efforts to reform the nation’s broken health care system.

She then made her way to the Columbia Grain Elevator and Barge Loading Facility at Central Ferry to take a tour and discuss the important role that the Snake River dams play in supporting Northwest agriculture and shipping. The Congresswoman was reminded that the Columbia and Snake river system is the I-5 of Eastern Washington–allowing people to move and ship products all over the region and world.

Next, the Congresswoman made her way to Dayton where she visited the XO Alambic Craft Distillery at the Blue Mountain Station Artisan Food Center. Tuesday was National Startup Day, and the Congresswoman discussed challenges faced by startups and other small businesses–challenges like burdensome rules and regulations that discourage entrepreneurship and investment. She stated her continued support for entrepreneurs, who help power our economy through innovation and hard work. She also joined the owner of XO Alambic for a Facebook Live. You can see it here:

Then, the Congresswoman traveled to Walla Walla where she had a meeting with VA Medical Center Director Brian Westfield to talk about veteran care, the Veterans Choice program, and the new leadership staff at the Walla Walla VA. Veterans care is one of the Congresswoman’s top priorities–last week, she introduced the Modernization of Medical Records Access for Veterans Act of 2017, which lets veterans have full access to their medical records in order to craft the most effective healthcare solutions possible.

Then, the Congresswoman stopped by the Walla Walla Veterans Home to meet and spend time with the residents and their families. From the groundbreaking to the grand opening, Rep. McMorris Rodgers has kept up with this project from start to finish and was honored to stop by and tour the facility for the first time with residents.

Next, the Congresswoman attended a Walla Walla Health Care Systems Roundtable to discuss the steps underway to meet local health care needs following the recent closure of Walla Walla General Hospital. The Congresswoman is committed to finding solutions for everyone in the Walla Walla area and is happy to see progress being made to that end.

Finally, the Congresswoman attended National Night Out. This annual event is a great time to join with local law enforcement and community members and advocate for safety and unity, and awareness about police programs in the Walla Walla area.

On Wednesday, the Congresswoman began the day by holding another Coffee with Cathy event to discuss the important issues of the day and hear directly from people in the community. Next, she visited the Little Goose Dam in Starbuck and spent time learning about how our dams create clean, renewable, and affordable energy for people across Washington state. The Congresswoman enjoyed the chance to see one of our state’s great dams in action, and remains committed to fighting for hydropower, which represents 70% of Washington’s total produced energy and affords low power rates for Washingtonians.

Then, the Congresswoman took a tour of Liberty Lake with Mayor Steve Peterson. She witnessed all of the growth that is happening in this area, including the creation of new businesses as well as businesses that are recovering from the recession. Specifically, she toured Open Eye, Altek, and Accra Fab. She was inspired by the progress that these manufacturing companies have made and the jobs they are bringing to the community.

Later in the afternoon, the Congresswoman visited MultiCare Valley Hospital in Spokane to take part in the Spokane Valley Chamber Business Roundtable. She appreciated the chance to meet with some of the Valley’s business leaders and learn more about the challenges they face in powering the local economy. The Congresswoman firmly believes in supporting small businesses by undoing stifling regulations and lowering barriers to entry in the market to ensure competition and innovation. At the event, the Congresswoman was also awarded the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Spirit of Enterprise Award for her steadfast commitment to supporting small businesses and creating jobs.

Finally, the Congresswoman hosted a Unity Dinner at David’s Pizza in order to bring people together and share ideas from a number of different viewpoints. She enjoyed the chance to hear various takes on the challenges we face as a community and nation.

On Thursday, she began the day by visiting Lawton Printing, where she took a tour and met with many employees. Lawton has served Spokane since 1940 and the Congresswoman appreciated the opportunity to visit the local business. The Congresswoman also hosted a question and answer session with all of the employees where they discussed tax reform, health care, education, and how to spur job creation here in Eastern Washington.

Later in the day, the Congresswoman toured the New York Life Insurance Spokane office, and had the chance to meet with employees and learn about the work they do. The Congresswoman remains committed to supporting businesses large and small, which drive the local economy by creating jobs and fostering innovation to solve problems in Eastern Washington and around the country.

On Friday, she began the day by hosting another Coffee with Cathy in which she met with citizens from different backgrounds to talk about important issues including health care, affordable housing, agriculture, and infrastructure. As she said on Facebook, “I had another great Coffee with Cathy this morning in Spokane. We discussed, at times passionately, the issues facing people here in Eastern Washington. We all have the same goal, and though we may sometimes disagree on how we solve these issues, I am so proud to see people in our community who care deeply about working together to have these discussions and find solutions to the problems we face. Thanks to everyone for joining! If you’re interested in joining for a Coffee with Cathy, please contact my office!”

Then, the Congresswoman hosted a Higher Education Leaders Roundtable with university educators to discuss Higher Education Act reauthorization and receive updates from the local institutions. To end the day the Congresswoman hosted a Disabilities Family Event and Barbecue to bring families in the disabilities community together. As someone with a child with disabilities, the Congresswoman understands the challenges families face and was honored to spend time with them.

Rep. McMorris Rodgers will spend next week continuing these meetings and hearing directly from people in the community. She remains honored to represent the people of Eastern Washington, and encourages everyone to follow along on Facebook and Twitter for updates on her work and advocacy on your behalf.

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