- Jaime’s Fight to Block Unfair Oregon Tolling: Back in Congress, Jaime fought for a legislative provision in the House’s Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bill that would block Oregon’s unfair scheme to toll the I-5 and I-205 bridges. The legislative stop to Oregon’s plan was approved by the U.S. House, though Washington’s U.S. Senators neglected to support the effort in the Senate. Oregon’s tolling plan would target Washingtonians who commute to work everyday. Should Oregon impose the tolls, Southwest Washington commuters would see little to no benefit – the money would not be used to address the I-5 bridge.
Jobs, Taxes, and Economy
- Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: Jaime cut taxes for individuals and small businesses all across Southwest Washington. Middle-income families in the state of Washington will see on average $2,385 more in their paychecks. Nonpartisan experts project that Washington state will also see 19,968 new jobs as a result of the tax plan.
- Permanent Tax Cuts for Americans Act: Jaime helped introduce a bill that would make these lower individual tax rates permanent. When the Senate amended the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, it set individual tax cuts to expire in 2025.
- Supporting Clean, Affordable Power: Jaime co-sponsored a bill that protects the Federal Columbia River Power System that passed the U.S. House in early 2018. Hydropower, a source of clean and renewable energy, is the most affordable and reliable source of power in our region. Hydropower alone accounts for nearly 70% of energy used in Washington state. Washington state continues to be the number one producer of hydropower, drawing many tech manufacturers and other companies to our region because of abundant, affordable electricity.
- Southwest Washington Jobs Fair: Jaime has hosted eight annual jobs fairs that bring together employers from many different industries with prospective employees, allowing individuals to find new jobs, and jobs with better pay and benefits. In recent years, she has also arranged a separate job-seeking workshop where she brings in instructors to provide applicants with resume, interview and job search tips.
- “Spirit of Enterprise” Award for Supporting Job Creators: Jaime was awarded the “Spirit of Enterprise” by the U.S. Chamber – the world’s largest business federation at more than 3 million businesses strong — for her legislative work on behalf of small, medium and large businesses.
- Obtaining Critical Infrastructure Funding for Coastal Ports and Waterways: Jaime was able to secure $1.2 billion in harbor maintenance from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund. Specifically, $48 million from this fund is designated for small ports like Ilwaco, Chinook and other ports that are economic lifelines for coastal communities. Year in and year out, Jaime has consistently secured strong funding for Southwest Washington harbor and waterway maintenance.
- America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act: Jaime championed this jobs bill that would provide small businesses permanent tax relief for investments back in their own operations of equipment, software, and property. For her support, Jaime received multiple “Hero of Main Street” Awards from the association representing the nation’s retail businesses.
- Regulatory Integrity Protection Act: In 2015, Jaime voted in support of this bill that would reject the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers’ efforts to overturn decades of Clean Water Act protection and open private land up to a new level of costly federal permitting on of ditches, seasonal ponds and puddles.
- Repeal of Prohibition on Certain Alcohol Manufacturing on Indian Lands: Jaime introduced a bipartisan bill that would repeal prohibition of distilleries on tribal land. Repealing this antiquated rule will promote increased economic development throughout tribal land. As a result of this piece of legislation, more jobs will be created for tribal members and for non-tribal members from Thurston, Lewis and Grays Harbor Counties.
Fishing and coastal jobs
- Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act: Jaime sponsored a bill that enables trained members of tribal communities and government fish managers to remove a limited number of sea lions that pose a threat to the Columbia River’s endangered fish population. This effort is critical because sea lions are devouring steelhead and salmon; entire runs of these endangered fish are nearing extinction. Jaime knows we must take action.
- West Coast Dungeness Crab Management Act: Jaime sponsored and helped advance a bill that will permanently extend a 17-year fishery management agreement that has been vital to keeping Washington state’s Dungeness crab fishery sustainable. This bill was signed into law by President Trump on August 18, 2017
- Fishing and Small Vessel Relief Act: Jaime introduced a bill in the House, with bipartisan support, that would extend protections for fishermen and small vessel owners from facing financial costs and delays due to incidental discharge. If these exemptions for smaller vessels expired, it would be crippling for smaller fishermen.
- Restoring Salmon Habitats: Jaime continues to be the Northwest’s champion in Congress for salmon habitat and hatchery funding. As the senior U.S. House appropriator from Washington state, she secured $65 million for Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund (PCSRF), a program that provides critical funding for recovery and sustainability projects to improve wild salmon and steelhead habitats in Pacific Northwest. PCSRF funding has been applied to 322 fish enhancement projects in Southwest Washington and has restored over 9,500 miles of stream on the west coast for fish passage.
- Protecting Salmon Hatcheries: Jaime fought for increases in funding for salmon management activities at hatcheries. There are 12 salmon hatcheries that are maintained in Southwest Washington. The boost in funding will help improve hatchery production, which supports more than 1,300 jobs and $50 million in economic activity. Jaime also secured $5 million to help hatchery operators gain recognition for being Endangered Species Act compliant. Without that designation, hatcheries can be shut down.
- Pollock Fishing and Processing Jobs Bill Signed into Law: Jaime sponsored a bill in response to the flood of mislabeled fish from less sustainable fisheries that harm Southwest Washington fishing and processing jobs. This legislation was signed into law on December 18, 2015 as part of an end-of-year spending package.
- REFI Act Signed into Law: Jaime teamed up with Senator Cantwell to write and lead a bill to boost the West Coast ground fish industry that helps contribute to Washington’s 148,000 maritime industry jobs. The bill was signed into law on November 25, 2014.
- VA Mobile Medical Unit: Jaime worked with the VA to bring its Mobile Medical Unit to Pacific County to provide services to veterans who would otherwise have to drive 50-plus miles to fill a prescription, get a flu shot or obtain other basic health care. The Mobile Medical Unit has now been traveling to Pacific County for more than three years, and has increased its visits to six times a year due to the facility’s popularity among local veterans.
- Improving VA Care: The U.S. House Appropriations Committee unanimously approved Jaime’s legislative directives to address high VA staff turnover rates in the Portland VA that are contributing to Southwest Washington veterans being forced to wait 30-plus days for health care appointments.
- Assisting Individual Veteran Heroes: Jaime continues to provide excellent service to veterans who aren’t getting the benefits or recognition they’ve earned from the federal government. Since taking office, Jaime has worked to help more than 1,000 veterans seeking benefits or get better care with the VA. Jaime and her staff always try to help individuals obtain a positive outcome. She’s thrilled to have helped veteran heroes like Roy Long, a constituent from Lewis County, obtain the Bronze Star medal he had earned for his service in World War II.
- Veterans History Project: Jaime partnered with the Veterans History Project and hosted a live event inviting Southwest Washington veterans to share their stories and have them preserved in the Library of Congress. This was an opportunity for Southwest Washington to thank our veterans and honor them by allowing future generations to hear directly from our nation’s heroes.
- Securing Support for Female Veterans in Appropriations Bill: Jaime proposed a legislative provision in the Veterans Affairs funding bill for 2018 that would improve maternity and mental health care for female veterans. The U.S. House Appropriations Committee unanimously approved the provision. This step was needed progress towards acknowledging the needs of our female veterans.
- Successfully Opposing the I-5 Corridor Reinforcement Project: Jaime worked tirelessly on behalf of the communities that would have been bisected by the Bonneville Power Administration’s now-dead I-5 Corridor Reinforcement Project. This project would have created a 79-mile long transmission line that spanned from Castle Rock to Washougal and cut across the Columbia River into Oregon. It would have intersected a vast amount of private property and affected almost 300 home and property owners. In the end, the BPA responded to Jaime and listened to the communities impacted and decided to abandon the project.
- Installation of Marker Balls on Columbia Gorge Transmission Wire: Jaime successfully compelled the Bonneville Power Administration and FAA to take swift action and install marker balls on new transmission wires that spanned across the Columbia River Gorge – a need that was being ignored and posing a great danger to pilots flying in the area. Within a few months of Jaime’s formal intervention, the BPA installed the markers and helped make these potentially fatal hazards much safer.
- Transportation Funding Bill: Jaime helped write the five-year transportation funding bill, the FAST Act, that funds critical rail safety efforts including at-grade train crossing improvements, oil by rail safety, Positive Train Control technology, and other safety efforts.
- Bridge Safety: Jaime successfully fought for amendments to the FAST Act that add an additional $1.5 billion for competitive grants and infrastructure, and championed a bipartisan proposal that would improve roads and bridges in the national scenic area in the Columbia River Gorge.
- Public Transportation: In the FAST Act, Jaime also successfully led the effort to restore $1.5 billion for the Bus and Bus Facilities Competitive Grant program that can directly improve bus services offered by C-Tran and other transit authorities in Southwest Washington. For her work, the Bus Coalition and the Community Transportation Association of America awarded Jaime with its Legislative Achievement Award.
- Pioneer Street Railroad Overpass Project: Jaime worked to secure funding support for a $900,000 federal grant for the Port of Ridgefield through the Department of Transportation to build an overpass to improve rail and traffic safety near the Port.
- Oscar B. Ferry: Jaime worked with Washington’s U.S. senators, Wahkiakum County officials, and the Army Corps of Engineers to help navigate the complex permitting process and make sure the Oscar B. Ferry serving Cathlamet was completed before its deadline.
- Protecting Forest Access: Jaime successfully compelled the U.S. Department of Transportation to release emergency funds to repair Forest Road 23 in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest –a vital access point for recreation and local residents. Because of her work, this road will receive robust repairs and upgrades that should last for the next 50 years.
- Spirit Lake Tunnel: Jaime joined Washington’s U.S. senators in urging the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Geological Survey to address the failing Spirit Lake drainage tunnel to prevent a future dangerous tunnel collapse that would devastate downriver communities in Cowlitz County. They are also working to coordinate these federal agencies to develop the most efficient, safe and long-term solution regarding drainage from the lake.
- Repealing the Obamacare Individual Mandate: Jaime helped successfully repeal the cornerstone of Obamacare — the individual mandate penalty that forced Americans to comply with Obamacare Without this repeal, every American was forced to pay a penalty of at least $695 per adult and nearly $350 per child if they didn’t buy an Obamacare-approved plan.
- Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Funding Extension: Jaime voted to extend CHIP for six years. This program is critical to protecting the health care of vulnerable children.
- Restoring Health Care Access to Pacific County Residents: After learning that Washington’s Insurance Commissioner had OK’d plans that would cut more than 1,100 Pacific County residents off from convenient maternity care, cardiologists and other specialty health services, Jaime took action. Within just a few months of Jaime’s involvement, citizens from Ilwaco and the rest of Pacific County had their access to convenient Columbia Memorial Hospital in nearby Astoria restored.
- Health Care Options Act of 2017: Jaime announced support of a bill, the Health Care Options Act of 2017, which would allow folks in Klickitat County, or any county, where there are no insurance options in the exchange to purchase a state-approved insurance plan in the individual market. It would also allow Klickitat residents to access assistance that individuals receive in counties where Obamacare exchanges have not collapsed to offset costs of insurance premiums.
- ACE Kids Act: Jaime is an original cosponsor of this bill that helps medically-complex kids of families on Medicaid access 21st century health care, regardless of their zip code. Through more efficient care, this bill would also save millions in taxpayer dollars.
- Preserving the Rights of Employers and Employees Regarding Health Plans: Jaime sponsored this legislative resolution to preserve association health plans, which allow small businesses to band together to offer high-quality, affordable health care to employees and their families. This action, which is strongly supported by the nonpartisan Association of Washington Business and U.S. Chamber of Commerce, helps protect more than 500,000 Washington residents are enrolled in association health plans. Unfortunately, state officials have used the Affordable Care Act to target and try to dismantle these health plans that are extremely popular among enrollees.
- Rural Health Clinics: Southwest Washington’s 18 Rural Health Clinics are in danger of being shuttered due to a flawed Medicaid system that imposes back payments from years prior. Jaime successfully secured a legislative solution in a committee-approved bill to force the Center for Medicare and Medicaid to ease the burden on these clinics, and preserve access to care for thousands of seniors, children and families in Southwest Washington.
Improving Maternity Care
- Research and Funding To Support Maternal Health Care Issues: Jaime secured provisions in the House Appropriations Committee’s Labor, Health and Human Services’ funding bill to increase research and funding for maternal health care issues. It includes funding to address issues such as postpartum depression, prenatal screening education, pregnancy-related research at the National Institutes of Health, and breastfeeding related research.
- Maternity Care Caucus: Jaime joined with Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) to form the Congressional Caucus on Maternity Care in the U.S. House.
- Preventing Birth Defects through Folic Acid: Jaime led a bipartisan group of 42 members that called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to speed up its decision to allow voluntary addition of folic acid to corn masa – a step proven to reduce often deadly birth defects. In response to their efforts, the FDA approved this request.
- Safe Medications for Moms and Babies Act: Jaime introduced this act that will identify major research gaps involving pregnant and breastfeeding women. This act will inform women the effects their medications may have on them as well as their baby, helping them make safer, healthier medication decisions.
- BABES Act signed into law: Jaime introduced this bill that will require TSA to better support passengers traveling with breastmilk, formula and infant feeding equipment, rather than subject them to harassment-like scrutiny even when they follow the rules. The president signed this bill into law in December 2016.
- Prenatal Screening: Jaime introduced legislation that would improve parents’ understanding of the benefits and limitations of prenatal screening provided during pregnancy tests that indicate potential health problems for expectant parents but have high rates of flawed results.
Protecting Environment and Local Rural Communities
- FD Prep Act: With oil currently being shipped via rail through Southwest Washington, Jaime has fought to strengthen safety and response infrastructure in our communities. She introduced the FD Prep Act that would allow fire stations that serve communities along rail lines to apply for equipment to respond in case of oil train accidents.
- Glenwood Valley: Jaime worked with ranchers in the Glenwood Valley and the Fish and Wildlife Service to finalize a plan that will allow the ranchers to continue to operate their lands and still satisfy the Endangered Species Act protections for the Oregon Spotted Frog.
- Resilient Federal Forests Act: Jaime helped to advance this bill that corrects the funding process for funding wildfire disasters, allows the Forest Service to approve projects that reduce fire risk, and improves “early seral” habitat for elk and other wildlife.
- Better Forest Management: Jaime continues to be a leading advocate in the U.S. House for better forest management, working with the U.S. Forest Service to create a mosaic of age classes across federal forests that will benefit forest health, wildlife and rural communities.
- Community Development Grants for Rural Communities: Jaime is addressing the serious problem that certain rural communities, like Toledo, Pe Ell, Vader, and Morton –were erroneously being denied critical federal grants for sewage and road project based on inaccurate economic data showing they are “too affluent.” Jaime is working with federal agencies to restore this funding by obtaining data that more accurately reflects the economic realities of rural communities.
- Secure Rural Schools Program: Jaime helped successfully extend a two-year program that provides critical school and emergency funding for rural counties in Southwest Washington that have lost much of their taxable land to the government.
- Opposing Oil Drilling off Washington and Oregon Coast: Jaime, along with a bipartisan group of lawmakers, sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior, Zinke, expressing strong opposition to oil drilling and exploration off the Pacific Northwest coastline. An oil spill from drilling along the Pacific coast poses an extreme environmental threat and would be detrimental to fishing populations, tourism, and the regional economy as a whole.
- Ocean Acidification Innovation Act: Jaime helped reintroduce bipartisan legislation to fight ocean acidification that is threatening coastal shellfish farming businesses. This legislative solution uses no new taxpayer funds but incentivizes the management, research, and monitoring of ocean acidification.
- Victims of Trafficking Act: Jaime joined a strong bipartisan majority to advance 12 pieces of legislation through the U.S. House that aim to end the terrible epidemic of human trafficking. President Obama signed The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 into law on May 29, 2015
Strengthening Mental Health Resources
- Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Accessibility Act of 2017: Jaime helped introduce a bipartisan bill that would provide resources to combat the shortage of mental health providers and inpatient beds across the nation. According to the Treatment Advocacy Center, there is a shortage of nearly 100,000 inpatient beds nationwide. This vital solution will help address the lack of resources.
- Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act: Jaime long championed this legislation that represents the biggest reform to the U.S. mental health system in decades; many of its important provisions were signed into law as part of the 21st Century Cures Act in December 2016. The bill helps improve the mental health care system with many reforms including removing federal barriers that hinder same-day access to appointments for Medicaid patients in crisis, increasing training for first responders and local mental health professionals, and reinstating the national suicide prevention hotline.
- Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act: Jaime supported this bill that would help combat the opioid and heroin problems that are plaguing our nation. Under this bipartisan bill, the U.S. would better identify the root causes of these addictions as well as prevention measures.
- Byrne Grants: Jaime secured funding in the Byrne Grant program that will provide drug enforcement programs like Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Narcotics Task Force with additional resources.
Face-to-face Assistance for Southwest Washington Residents
- Veterans Resource Fair: Jaime brought together veterans, along with those on active duty, with organizations, businesses, and groups in Cowlitz County to learn about opportunities and benefits.
- Grants Seminar: Jaime and her office have hosted multiple “Guides to Grants” seminars, bringing together a variety of federal agency and foundation representatives and successful grantees to provide best practices and strategies on how to produce more competitive proposals and applications for grants.
- Southwest Washington Seniors Resource Fair: Jaime brought seniors and their families together in Clark County with organizations and experts on senior issues. Information on job and learning opportunities was made available, as was assistance for obtaining benefits.
- Town hall meetings: Jaime has hosted more than 72 town halls/open community meetings in every corner of Southwest Washington and via live tele-conference where individuals ask questions, offer ideas and share criticisms with Jaime. She has also hosted dozens of in-person roundtables, forums and public hearings for small business owners, anti-trafficking advocates, forestry experts, health care specialists, fishermen, tech leaders, veterans, law enforcement, addiction specialists, and others in communities throughout the region.