Weekly Columns and Op-Eds
The great philosopher Bob Hope once said, “my idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?” He has a point. This time of year, Christians celebrate the birth of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
As the 114th Congress comes to an end, it is worth looking back on my first term in Congress and highlight the important accomplishments and the change that Americans should expect before the 115th Congress convenes next year.
Even as this year’s legislative session comes to a close, the last bills passed by Congress are certainly not the least important. As the saying goes, “last but not least.” Bipartisan legislation passed just last week tackles real problems, such as the mental health crisis and the need for improving medical research.
Hundreds of local residents showed up last week in Pasco for a debate that many thought had long been settled. We again find ourselves making the case that proposals to breach the Columbia and lower Snake River dams would hurt our local community, and negative impacts would far outweigh any benefit.
Voters’ selection of Donald J. Trump as president, as well as Republican congressional majorities, sends a strong signal that Americans are ready for a dramatic shift in their government.
Washington my home;
Where ever I may roam;
This is my land, my native land,
Washington, my home.
Our verdant forest green,
Caressed by silvery stream;
From mountain peak to fields of wheat.
Washington, my home.
The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten – President Calvin Coolidge said it well almost one hundred years ago. Friday is Veterans Day, when we as a nation honor those who have answered the call to defend our way of life. We exercise and enjoy our freedoms every day, and we owe special recognition of every American man and woman who has served in uniform.
Remember this promise from President Obama to sell his signature health care law to the American people: If you like your health care plan, you can keep it. You might remember that it earned the distinction as PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year” in 2013 after millions of Americans’ plans were cancelled.
As a farmer and a student of American history, few things are as satisfying as wrapping up the last few weeks’ harvest at my family’s hop farm in Central Washington. Thomas Jefferson once wrote to John Adams in 1787: “I think our governments will remain virtuous for many centuries; as long as they are chiefly agricultural.” While I admit some bias, I tend to agree.
The Internal Revenue Service is at it again, this time targeting farmers, ranchers, and other businesses operated by families. It may not be politically-motivated targeting, but the IRS is now pushing a new rule that would revise the valuation of family-operated businesses, resulting in a higher tax burden when a family member passes away.