Weekly Columns and Op-Eds
In our nation’s capital, there is a beautiful memorial of sculpted lions keeping watch that honors to the nation’s law enforcement officers. Among the quotes set in the memorial’s stone is one from Tacitus: "In valor there is hope."
2017 is now behind us; we are mid-way through the 115th Congress, and it is timely to take stock and focus on the progress made for Central Washington and the country during the past year.
For hard working families and entrepreneurs in Central Washington, keeping more of your own paycheck was my goal in supporting historic legislation approved by Congress, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The last time the nation’s federal tax system was overhauled was in 1986, under President Ronald Reagan.
Even well-intentioned crusades in the name of the environment can cause real economic consequences for communities on our side of the “Cascade divide.” I was disappointed that Governor Jay Inslee recently chose to side with west-side interest groups that are seeking to increase spill or even breach the federal dams on the lower Snake River. Our Mid-Columbia communities would pay the price.
“By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion….If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill!”
The recent cases of sexual harassment allegations against lawmakers and their staff, past and present, demand a strong response from Congress. Our bosses are you, the American people, and you deserve accountability. Staff working in the U.S. Capitol, just like employees in the private sector, deserve to work in a professional environment that is safe.
Life on our eastern side of Washington’s so-called “Cascade divide” certainly offers many natural advantages: Less rain, more time spent outdoors in the sunshine, and an ideal climate for apples, wine grapes and many other crops, just to name a few.
I was proud to support House passage last week of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. I am convinced that our tax reform bill not only fulfills our promise to take a historic step to simplify and modernize our tax code, but it is designed to help middle-income families in Central Washington.
Have you met anyone who thinks the current federal tax code is simple or fair enough? As your congressman, I haven’t either.
Clocking in at more than 70,000 pages, the current federal code is packed with confusing provisions and loopholes that tend to favor special interest groups and those lucky few “in the know.”
As Americans, our heartfelt hope is that all of our heroes receive due recognition for great bravery and sacrifice. Our collective memory as a nation must expand to include all of our heroes’ stories of honor and service.
This November 11th, on Veterans Day, our nation will memorialize the sacrifice of veterans like my friend, Leslie Amundson.