My mission is to restore trust and confidence in representative government, and that starts with getting results for you and your families. This Congress, I’ve had ten bills pass the House and six signed into law to continue getting things done for people in Eastern Washington. From health care to hydropower to helping those with disabilities and supporting small businesses, these bills will make a difference in people’s lives here in our communities.
Bringing more primary care doctors, OBGYNs, and psychiatrists to Eastern Washington is one of my top priorities. This legislation extends the THCGME program and doubles funding for residency programs in Eastern Washington and around the country to help meet our doctor shortage, especially in rural and underserved communities
This legislation extends the Secure Rural Schools program and provides roughly $500 million in funding over the next two years for timber-dependent communities to go to public schools, roads, law enforcement, and other municipal needs.
This legislation will allow those with disabilities to explore the workplace by allowing someone with an ABLE account who earns income for a job to save up to the Federal Poverty Level in addition to their annual contribution limit of $14,000. This is targeted to assist only those individuals with disabilities who cannot contribute to an employer retirement saving plan.
This legislation helps the families of those with disabilities save for their child’s future by allowing for rollovers from a 529 account used for college savings to an ABLE account. This means individuals who may have been saving for their child’s college tuition, which is now no longer needed, can rollover up to the maximum contribution each year until the 529 account has been depleted.
This legislation included two provisions authored by Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers: prohibiting the elimination of the Contract Weather Observer program through 2023, which will help maintain aviation safety at Spokane International Airport; and exempting airports with more than 25,000 passenger enplanements in calendar year 2014 from any cost-share requirements under the contract tower program, which will save Walla Walla Regional Airport approximately $90,000 per year.
The Port of Whitman is the lifeblood of Whitman County. This legislation will authorize a land transfer between the Port of Whitman and the Army Corps of Engineers to continue their mission of economic development and business expansion. This land transfer will also help meet the needs of fish and wildlife mitigation efforts will help the port continue their mission of improving the quality of life for all citizens in Whitman County.
Small Business Investment Companies, or SBICs, play an important role in providing access to capital for startups and other small businesses. The only problem? There are currently none here in Washington state. This bill will help change that by making it easier for them to form here in our state, invest in people in our community, grow our local economy, and create jobs.
Our dams provide clean energy to power our homes and businesses, provide transportation and irrigation benefits for our farmers, flood control for our communities, and recreational opportunities that fuel our economy. This legislation protects them by codifying the 2014 Biological Opinion and stopping additional spill over the dams, spill which is estimated to cost ratepayers in Eastern Washington $40 million.
On average it only takes 18 months to license a natural gas facility, but can take more than 10 years to license a new hydropower facility or relicense an existing facility. This legislation would not change environmental standards, but would streamline hydropower relicensing processes in America to encourage the continued use and expansion of low-cost, renewable hydroelectric energy in Washington state and beyond.
This legislation preserves current nutritional information requirements while providing flexibility to businesses in how they provide that information in a way that makes the most sense for their businesses and their customers.