(The following article is an opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the views of iFIBER ONE News, iFIBER Communications, or it’s staff)

This week, we convened the 117th Congress, and it is my sincere honor to begin a fourth term as the Representative for Washington’s 4th Congressional District.

House Democrats hold a razor-thin majority, which I optimistically hope means that Congress will be able to make progress on a number of bipartisan priorities. With historic numbers of women and people of color, the House Republican Conference reflects both the population and values of the United States even better than before, I am committed to ensuring that these values – and the values of Central Washington – are represented in our work over the coming year. 

The United States cannot afford to backtrack on the progress made over the past four years. From passing historic tax cuts for Americans and signing into law crucially-important legislation tackling the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women, to authorizing the next phase of the Yakima Basin Project to provide a reliable water supply for our communities and agriculture industry, President Trump and his Administration have truly delivered meaningful results for our region. 

We must continue to build on that progress. Our growing national debt looms, and it is our responsibility in Congress to ensure that U.S. taxpayer dollars are used efficiently. We must strengthen our country’s ability to protect our citizens – from both foreign and domestic threats, and we must continue to create opportunity for everyone to pursue the American Dream.

Recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and reopening our economy remains a top priority, and I will be working to empower Central Washington families and businesses to return to a sense of normalcy, ensure that targeted relief is delivered where it is most needed, and restore our way of life.

I will also continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and in both Chambers of Congress to enact the Farm Workforce Modernization Actand provide relief for our agricultural industry. Last year, the House of Representatives passed this legislation, making it the first meaningful agriculture labor reform bill to pass the House in over 30 years. There is a demonstrated need and a real desire to fix our broken agriculture labor programs, and I am hopeful we can build on that momentum to get this legislation signed into law.  

The U.S. Department of Energy, federal contractors, and the Hanford workforce made significant progress at the Hanford Site in 2020, and I am committed to ensuring the federal government continues to fulfill its obligation to our communities. As a Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy & Water, I will have a direct hand in working to secure the necessary funding to hold the government accountable for this mission, and I will work to educate the Administration on its importance to our communities, our environment, and our entire region.

As Chairman of the Western Caucus, I will have a platform and a strong coalition to advocate for the priorities of rural communities. In Central Washington, we know that empowering local communities to thrive and collaborate without overburdensome federal regulations results in a better quality of life for rural America, which is why the Caucus promotes local control of our land, water, and conservation efforts. Specifically, the Western Caucus supports policies to promote active management of our lands to protect the West from catastrophic wildfires, rebuild and modernize the water infrastructure that we rely on for our way of life, and continue to enhance clean energy innovation and U.S. energy independence.

Working to ensure your voices are heard by the federal government is of the utmost importance and serves as the solid foundation for each and every action I take in our nation’s capital. This Congress will undoubtedly pose several new challenges. Nevertheless, I will continue to fulfill my oath to represent our district, uphold the Constitution, and ensure the rights of our citizens are never infringed upon.