Weekly Columns and Op-Eds
The 2nd Amendment is an individual right guaranteed to Americans in our Constitution. Especially after the fight for independence against the British, the Founders understood the importance of an armed citizenry.
In January, as soon as it became clear that former Texas Governor Rick Perry would serve as the next U.S. Secretary of Energy, I extended an invitation to him to visit Central Washington. Last week, I was pleased to welcome Secretary Perry to learn more about the contributions our community has made to our history and continues to make for our future as a country.
If you speak with any local veteran in Central Washington, as I do regularly, you will likely hear stories of frustration with the Veterans Administration. While there are many dedicated staff and VA providers, our veterans deserve so much more than long drives and long wait times to receive the care they have been promised.
Last Wednesday, President Trump signed bipartisan legislation into law that Congress had passed overwhelmingly to sanction hostile regimes in North Korea, Russia, and Iran. I joined my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the House on a vote of 419 to 3 to pass the Russia, Iran, and North Korea Sanctions Act.
Delivering high quality health care in rural communities – including those in Central Washington – has long been a growing challenge. Access to primary care can be time-consuming and costly for medically-underserved rural residents. Less-populated areas are facing a devastating shortage of primary care physicians compared to urban areas.
If you have ever taken a job on a farm during harvest, you know it is hard work at mercy of the elements. Much of the work is done by hand, particularly growing and harvesting cherries and apples, which are major crops in Washington State.
Hurry up and wait. That’s a well-known phrase that can often apply to the way Congress operates: gradual starts followed by sudden momentum. Every matter before Congress is considered in a process driven by a series of discussions and debates.
In the Inland Northwest, it is difficult to overstate the benefits of water infrastructure and hydropower projects along the Columbia River and its tributaries. Harnessing the power of the rivers has been a central challenge in the Pacific Northwest, but it has been necessary to support our way of life.
Wealthy coastal cities versus the agrarian countryside. Supporters of big central government versus advocates of a limited government. Big states versus small states. Manufacturers versus traders. Debt hawks versus doves. Sound familiar?
Like many Americans, I have been very concerned about the reports of scandals and incidents of mistreatment of our veterans by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in recent years. I have heard stories firsthand from veterans in Central Washington about their negative experiences at VA facilities and their frustrations with the bureaucratic process.