U.S. Congresswoman Herrera Beutler | E-Newsletter
District Update | November 21, 2016 Click here if you have trouble viewing this email
U.S. Congresswoman Herrera Beutler
Protecting forest access for ALL citizens

Class 1 Pedal-assist Bike: can only be activated 
through a pedaling action and is limited to 20 mph.

Ms. Bella Berlly of White Salmon, a long-time athlete who has hiked and mountain biked extensively, now suffers from a degenerative muscular disease and no longer has the ability to access mountain bike trails without the use of a Class I E-Bike to assist her as she pedals.

Ms. Berlly contacted my office after she was harassed on a trail by a fellow mountain biker and was then told by a Forest Service official that the Forest Service disregarded the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allowance for certain pedal assist bicycles on its bike trails.

I sent a letter to the chief of the U.S. Forest Service last week, asking him to review the incident and to reverse its discriminatory prohibition on equipment that can help people with disabilities recreate in their national forests.

These bikes provide battery assistance only when being pedaled, and offer a valuable service to those who wish to access our national trails via mountain bike but need a small amount of assistance to be able to do so.  Our national forests are community assets, and it is troubling that individuals employed to act as stewards of those assets are limiting access by the physical disabilities community through discriminatory actions. Click here to read my letter. 

Continuing to fight for road, sewage, development funding for Lewis County communities

I recently sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Housing (HUD) to continue the process of helping small communities in Lewis County re-gain their access to federal grants that pay for sewage projects, road repairs, and other critical improvement efforts in communities that are struggling economically.  I got involved after several Lewis County communities, including Pe Ell, Toledo, Vader and Morton, were erroneously deemed “too affluent.” 

I have been asking specifically how HUD can make it easier or more affordable for communities to correct this misclassification by proving they are indeed in need of these vital grants. Read about my ongoing efforts here.

In order for HUD to fix the problem, it needs to know how many communities are impacted – but it doesn’t.  HUD doesn’t know if it’s 5, 50, or 200 communities that have lost access to the program but should actually still qualify. 

Knowing the scope of how many communities were incorrectly disqualified is critical for finding a meaningful solution not just for Lewis County, but for struggling communities across the state and country. Please read my letter here. 

New veterans stories on the website

Veterans and those currently serving in the military truly are our heroes. Thank you to everyone who submitted veteran stories for our tribute to honor veterans this November! Please visit my website to check out their stories!

More momentum for the BABES Act to help parents flying with infants

My BABES Act has been gaining momentum, and I’m hopeful we can get this commonsense bill signed into law. Just last week, 17 nationally recognized organizations and 13 state organizations have signed on to a letter of support for the bill.

The BABES Act will make it easier for families to travel with breastmilk and food for infants without receiving harassment-like scrutiny from the TSA at airports.

The BABES Act needs approval by the U.S. Senate, and then would head to the President’s desk to be signed into law. 

CHRONICLE: Pe Ell Council Votes to Support Dam as Preferred Option

DAILY ASTORIAN: Gravel doing its job on Columbia River beach

CHRONICLE: Cascade Mental Health Care to Host Third Annual Legislative Forum

Small Business Saturday 

Nearly 7 in 10 new jobs are created by small businesses. November 28th marks the sixth annual Small Business Saturday, a day dedicated to supporting the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country.

Remember to visit a small business in your neighborhood this Saturday!

VA Town Hall in Portland 
Next month, the Portland VA Regional Office will host a town hall and claims clinic specifically designed to make the disability claims and vocational rehabilitation process more visible to veterans. Visit the VA website for more details. 
Washington, DC Office
1130 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