On Monday, parade-goers will gather across the country to honor, remember, and pay respect to the countless American heroes who sacrificed their lives so we can live free. When we attend a Memorial Day parade or visit the seemingly endless graves at Arlington National Cemetery, we ask ourselves, what compels an individual to leave the safety of home and risk everything to protect millions of Americans who they will never meet and never know? Our current and former members of the military have a special something inside of them – a call to serve.
Thank you to those who have and those who will answer this call to put country before themselves.
Caring for Our National Parks
In Washington State, we are privileged to have some of the nation’s most breathtaking national parks in our backyard. But like anything else, these natural treasures require maintenance. In order to maintain and preserve our local parks, including Mt. Rainier National Park, and continue attracting international visitors, we must make sure our trails, bridges, sewer systems, and other maintenance projects are taken care of. I am proud to be a sponsor of the bipartisan National Park Service Legacy Act, which invests in the long-term health of our parks by reducing the more than $11 billion backlog the National Park Service faces to repair roads, visitor facilities, trails, and other park structures.
Sign Up for A Capitol Tour
It was a pleasure to meet with Michael and Sue Gibb from Chelan and their grandchildren in my D.C. office this week. We discussed the work we do on the Ways and Means Committee and the process a bill must go through before becoming law.
If you are traveling to D.C. and would like a Capitol or White House tour, do not hesitate to reach out to my office.
A Better Tax Code for Our Workers, Farmers, and Innovators
Living in Washington State, we are lucky to be home to some of the highest quality produce and most innovative aerospace manufacturers and technology companies in the country and world. Our broken, outdated tax code is preventing our workers, farmers, and innovators from reaching their full potential. This week, the Ways and Means Committee held a hearing to discuss how pro-growth tax reform can increase U.S. competitiveness, grow paychecks, and create jobs here at home.
Click HERE to hear my remarks.
Construction on Mud Mountain Dam
This week I was pleased to learn the Mud Mountain Dam - an initiative I championed with U.S. Senator Patty Murray – received federal funding for necessary updates to allow for better fish passage. The dam protects the lower White and Puyallup River valleys and is home to many fish species. With this funding the current fish passage, which was built in the early 1900s, will be replaced with a facility that meets today’s standards and protects local wildlife.
My Thoughts on the President’s Budget
I agree with pieces of the President’s budget that aim to strengthen our military, defeat terrorism, spend taxpayer dollars responsibly, and invest in infrastructure, but I am concerned with the proposed cuts to important programs that Americans depend on, including life-saving medical research at the National Institutes of Health. The White House’s budget proposal is an outline of the Administration’s priorities, however, the power to write and pass a budget belongs to Congress. As Congress drafts its own Fiscal Year 2018 budget, I will continue to fight to maintain strong support for programs that strengthen our communities, support vulnerable populations, and ensure good stewardship of our public lands.
Preparing Youth in Foster Care for Success
As we near the end of National Foster Care Month, we must think proactively about what we can do to ensure the brightest possible future for our youth in foster care. One of the best gifts you can give someone is hope and the ability to be independent. I am proud to be a sponsor of a bill that does just that.
The Improving Employment Outcomes for Foster Youth Act makes transition age foster youth categorically eligible for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), an existing federal credit that provides incentives to businesses to hire employees from certain populations with specific employment challenges. This bill will help encourage employers to hire and invest in our nation’s youth in foster care and start them on a successful career path.
Our foster children have endured hardships most kids never have to face and can be at a disadvantage when entering the job market. By giving them the tools to be independent, this bill helps provide youth in foster care with the opportunity to live productive and successful lives.
Have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day weekend and I’ll speak with you next time!