U.S. Congresswoman Herrera Beutler | E-Newsletter
District Update | July 29, 2017 Click here if you have trouble viewing this email
U.S. Congresswoman Herrera Beutler
Defending Southwest Washington commuters against unfair tolling

After the Oregon lawmakers took action to develop a proposal to toll I-5 and I-205 at the state line, I sent the following letter to Oregon Governor Kate Brown and ODOT Director Matthew Garrett:

It is my understanding that the State of Oregon is developing a plan that may include the imposition of tolls on Interstate Highways 5 and 205. In the interest of avoiding any future conflict, I write to make my position clear.

I do not oppose the concept of a fee paid by the users of a resource and allocated toward the construction, maintenance or upkeep of that resource. However, any attempt to levy tolls on I-5 or I-205 at the Washington State line, the lion's share of which would be paid by Washington commuters, in order to pay for infrastructure improvements south of Portland that would rarely be used by the vast majority of those paying the tolls, would be unfair in the extreme. Oregon has no right to make Southwest Washington an unwilling piggy bank for Oregon's infrastructure projects.

Since both I-5 and I-205 are Interstate Highways, there is a federal interest. As a Member of Congress, I will defend Southwest Washington residents from any unfair tolling plan using every appropriate means at my disposal.

Protecting survivors of military sexual assault

Early in July, I introduced legislation to restore honor to survivors of military sexual assault. Specifically, the bill seeks to help those who have been wrongly discharged from the military by improving their access to a fair hearing and ensuring they are not excluded from receiving disability benefits and care by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

In too many cases, survivors of sexual assault have endured additional trauma because of the manner in which they were discharged from the military. They should be getting help and support; instead they’re having their benefits and military status taken away. While we still have some distance to go, I’m pleased that the U.S. House has begun to advance pieces of the bipartisan bill through two amendments that were successfully added to and passed in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The very least we can do when someone who is willing to die for our nation has reported an assault is ensure their rights are preserved. Assault survivors in the military are much more likely to suffer from PTSD than other combat veterans; they’re more likely to need counseling, care and assistance, and the last thing our country should do is turn its back on them. We can’t undo the assaults these individuals have endured, but we can make sure that justice is on their side. This bill begins to restore that justice. You can read more here.

Improving the survival of endangered salmon
    Testifying at a recent congressional hearing on behalf of endangered salmon

I am committed to protecting our endangered salmon and steelhead - and that includes addressing the overpopulation of aggressive sea lions who are preying on these native fish species. I'm pleased to see my bipartisan bill to improve the survival of these endangered fish species got one step closer to becoming law when it advanced through the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee earlier this week. The next step will be a vote on the U.S. House floor. You can read more here.

Working to restore development assistance for Vader, Pe Ell, Toledo

Rural communities like Toledo, Pe Ell, and Vader have been erroneously reported as “too affluent” to qualify for much-needed grant funding. After pressuring the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for two years, I secured a measure in a spending plan that will force HUD to make its data public and report margins of error.

This measure requires HUD to report every area across the country where data used to determine eligibility has a margin of error 20% or higher, and report these findings to the U.S. House and Senate Committees on Appropriations within 90 days. I’m not going to let up on this issue or the needs of Lewis County until we have a long-term solution. You can read more here.

Preparing our workforce for tech jobs through apprenticeships
You can watch my video on my efforts to help more folks be able to enter the tech industry.

My focus has always been on making sure Southwest Washington residents can get good-paying jobs. We are home to a tech industry that's constantly growing and changing, which is why I am proud to cosponsor a bill that will help supply qualified workers to compete for tech jobs right here in our region. You can 
read more about it here.

Supporting small businesses in affording health care plans
Association Health Plans are powerful tools that equip small businesses in Washington to provide high quality, affordable health care to hundreds of thousands of people. I authored a legislative provision to support these small business health plans and am pleased they were included in a recent spending bill approved by a House Committee. Thank you, Association of Washington Businesses, for your efforts to save these plans. You can read more here.

Assisting Southwest Washington residents
Sharon Travis from Amboy needed her third-class airman medical certificate so she could pursue private pilot training as a student. She applied for it and waited for 15 weeks, which is longer than usual. She reached out to my office for assistance and a few days later, Sharon received word that her third-class airman medical certificate was granted to her. She is now a student pilot and has been logging flight hours.
Sharon Travis has been logging flight hours as a student pilot. 


CHRONICLE: Herrera Beutler advances maternity-care priorities in U.S. House spending bill

COLUMBIAN: Mom has a little helper on Capitol Hill

THE DAILY NEWS: Herrera Beutler cautions Oregon about tolling Washingtonians

COLUMBIAN: Herrera Beutler weighs in on Oregon tolling plan

BATTLE GROUND REFLECTOR: Herrera Beutler introduces bill focused on service members impacted by sexual assault

CHINOOK OBSERVER: Herrera Beutler: Assault survivors in military deserve better

THE DAILY WORLD: Kilmer, Herrera Beutler add funding for fishery disasters to key Appropriations bill

Washington, DC Office
1107 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3536
Fax: (202) 225-3478
Vancouver Office
O.O. Howard House (Officers' Row)
750 Anderson Street, Suite B
Vancouver, WA 98661
Phone: (360) 695-6292
Fax: (360) 695-6197