My focus has always been to work together with all Members of Congress to create a patient-centered, high-quality health care system that offers more choices at an affordable price. This is the health care system Americans deserve. Yesterday, Congress could not come to a consensus that the legislation debated on the floor of the U.S. House achieved those goals. I will continue encouraging my colleagues in both parties to come together, put aside their differences, and find a solution to our health challenges that benefit all Americans.
Protecting Public Broadcasting
I am proud to be leading a bipartisan effort with Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) to protect funding for public broadcasting. For nearly 50 years, public broadcasting has served as a reliable source for public safety announcements, objective news, and critical educational programs for our children. Underserved families living in rural areas have especially benefited from initiatives like the research-based Ready to Learn program, which has improved early literacy and math skills for high-need children. These largely locally run stations and programs are invaluable to maintaining a well-informed public and must be preserved.
An Apple A Day
Our home state of Washington is the nation’s number one apple producer. Our apple orchards alone make up between 60-70 percent of U.S. apple production. This week, I had the opportunity to speak with members of the U.S. Apple Association and some of the men and women from Washington who put our state on the map as a leader in apple exports. We spoke about opportunities to build on their success and grow their exports through tax and immigration reform as well as high-standard free trade agreements.
Building on Strong Partnerships
The United States and Canada have an indispensable partnership and a long history. It was a pleasure to meet with the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group yesterday to discuss our shared interests, including how strengthening trade relations can benefit both of our economies and provide more opportunities for workers and business owners. The importance of new negotiations on the Columbia River Treaty was also a topic of discussion.
Hearing from Individuals of All Backgrounds
This week, I had the privilege to meet with members of the Arc of Washington – an organization that advocates on behalf of individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. I enjoyed hearing their stories and discussing their policy concerns, including health care.
Enjoy this first spring weekend and I will speak with you next week!