This week, Rep. Adam Smith and I introduced a bill to designate Washington's Mountains to Sound Greenway—1.5 million acres of land stretching along the Interstate 90 corridor from Seattle to Ellensburg—as a National Heritage Area to help preserve and promote its scenery. Washington Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray introduced similar legislation in the U.S. Senate.
Washington’s natural beauty attracts visitors from across the country and globe who want to experience our mountains, rivers, lakes, and forests. Living with these natural treasures in our backyard has not only taught us the importance of conservation, but have shown us being stewards of the land can also grow our local economy. With an already strong outdoor recreation and tourism industry, protecting the Mountains to Sound Greenway promises to create more jobs in our region while preserving these valuable sites and landmarks for future generations to enjoy. I have been proud to work with a bipartisan group of Washington colleagues in both the Senate and the House on this initiative that benefits constituents across district and party lines.
Strengthening Funding for Diabetes Research
I had the pleasure of visiting with young Ava and her dad Dan Miller of Sammamish. We discussed the importance of federal diabetes research through the National Institutes of Health. (NIH) Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are conditions that impact an estimated 29.1 million individuals across the country. Ava and her dad discussed the importance of strengthening diabetes research so we can develop potential cures and preventative measures. As I have done in the past, I am leading a bipartisan letter to the Appropriations Committee calling on my colleagues to prioritize funding to the NIH. We must give our nation’s scientists and doctors the means to do meaningful research on diabetes and other conditions that affect all of us.
Reaffirming Our Friendship with Japan
As co-chair of the U.S. Japan Caucus, I had the opportunity to attend an event hosted by the Japanese Embassy this week. It was a great opportunity for members of the U.S. – Japan Caucus, Ambassador Sasae, and our partners at the Japanese Embassy to reaffirm our commitment to our already strong friendship. As Ambassador Sasae mentioned, our strategic partnership is both critical to our nation’s economies and national security. We must not pass up opportunities to expand on the firm foundation our countries share by expanding trade and reinforcing our shared security interests. I look forward to working with Rep. Castro, members of the Caucus, and our Japanese friends and allies to achieve these important goals.
Defending Our Israeli Allies
It was a pleasure to meet with some old and new friends who represent AIPAC from our region. Israel is one of our closest friends and allies. Especially at a time when the Jewish community has faced increasing threats both here at home and abroad, we must reassure our Israeli friends of our shared values and continued support.
Difficult problems are not solved in a vacuum. Making our communities safer begins with confronting the issues that created conflict in the first place. This week, my fellow co-chair of the Law Enforcement Caucus, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), and I had a long and meaningful conversation with individuals who are working to move the needle on rebuilding police-community relations by working with Members of Congress on shared goals. Current and former NFL players, Anquan Boldin, Donte Stallworth, Johnson Bademosi, and Malcolm Jenkins shared their stories and concerns about inadequate funding for community policing and training programs. These are issues law enforcement and the communities they serve can support together. I am committed to fighting to protect and grow these critical programs and look forward to continuing to work with members of the NFL who are willing to use their influence to build trust within our communities.