Jaime works to help local Veterans find housing

Jaime works to help local Veterans find housing

Eighteen months ago Andy Wilder stood on the Cowlitz Way Bridge, considering ending his life. The veteran was homeless, suffering from epilepsy and drug addiction.

“I was standing (on) the bridge ready to just give it up and I said, ‘You know what God, if you’re really here, I need some help,’ ” Wilder recalled. At that moment, pain shot through his abdomen and he collapsed on the sidewalk. A passerby noticed him, and he was taken to St. John Medical Center. He was treated and released a few days later.

The experience was a turning point for Wilder, who has seizures as the result of a head injury from his service the U.S. Navy in the 1970s. After his hospital stay, he lived with friends for a few weeks before moving into a veteran’s emergency shelter. He entered a drug treatment program, and last July landed a flat in the Stratford Apartments on Hemlock Street in Longview.

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Jaime helping those with psychiatric issue obtain asisstance

The House Appropriations Committee recently approved an amendment to address the national shortage of psychiatric beds for patients, according to a press release from the House of Representatives.

The amendment included language from representatives Jaime Herrera Butler and Derek Kilmer, with the language directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to present a report to the committee about how to best assist government agencies in increasing the number of inpatient hospital beds and access to medical care.

There are only 11.7 hospital beds for psychiatric use per 100,000 people, according to a report from the Treatment Advocacy Center. In Washington, only 10.2 hospital beds per 100,000 people were for psychiatric use, and 90 percent of physicians surveyed by the Treatment Advocacy Center reported that mentally ill patients were being held in emergency rooms because no other suitable facilities were available.

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Jaime emerged as the clear winner of Tuesday’s primary, with Democratic challenger, state Rep. Jim Moeller of Vancouver, coming in distant second.

Jaime emerged as the clear winner of Tuesday’s primary, with Democratic challenger, state Rep. Jim Moeller of Vancouver, coming in distant second.

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, might be holding off on saying whether she will vote for her party’s presidential candidate, but it isn’t stopping her party from backing her.

Herrera Beutler emerged as the clear winner of Tuesday’s primary, with her most formidable Democratic challenger, state Rep. Jim Moeller of Vancouver, coming in second.

Herrera Beutler captured 53.85 percent of the vote, according to preliminary results. Moeller, who served as speaker pro tempore of the state House, pulled in 25.67 percent of the vote.

Herrera Beutler said she’s not taking anything for granted, but she is grateful for the affirmative nod from voters.

“What’s important to me is people have access to health care, a good job, they can thrive and raise their families,” she said Tuesday night.

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Jaime met Friday with Coast officials on how to keep residents safe in the event of a major earthquake and tsunami.

Jaime met Friday with Coast officials on how to keep residents safe in the event of a major earthquake and tsunami.

LONG BEACH — U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler met Friday with Long Beach city officials, Pacific County emergency managers, local first responders, a U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant commander and a U.S. Geological Survey geologist, to discuss what can be done to keep Peninsula residents safe in the event of a major earthquake and tsunami.

“What do we know? What needs to be done? How can we advocate?” Herrera pointedly asked the roundtable of concerned leaders.

As a member of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, the congresswoman recently helped secure $10.2 million in additional funding for early earthquake detection.

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Accomplishments

Southwest Washington has a diverse set of interests that keep Jaime extremely busy on a complex set of issues. Here are some of the accomplishments Jaime has achieved in the first ten months of her third term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Jobs
· Regulation from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act: Jaime strongly supported and helped the U.S. House advance this bill which would simply require any regulation with $100 million in economic impact to obtain Congressional approval.
· Regulatory Accountability Act: Jaime supported this bill that requires federal agencies to consider the economic impact of new regulations and implement them in the most cost effective way.
· CDBG Letter: Jaime addressed the serious problem that certain rural communities were being denied community development grants based on inaccurate economic data. In this letter addressed to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, Jaime worked with federal agencies to get better data that more accurately reflects the economic realities of rural communities.
· State and Local Sales Tax Deduction Fairness Act: Jaime supported permanently extending the state and local sales tax deduction, which allows residents of states without a state income tax, like Washington, to deduct those sales taxes from their federal tax returns.
· Save American Workers Act: In order to avoid federal mandates from the Affordable Care Act, many employers cut workers’ hours. Jaime voted to reestablish America’s traditional 40-hour work week.
· America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act: Jaime voted to provide small businesses permanent tax relief for investments back in their own operations of equipment, software, and property. Jaime received the “Hero of Main Street” Award from the National Retailers Federation.

Veterans
· VA Mobile Medical Unit: Jaime worked with the VA to bring the 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.
· Improving VA Care: The House Appropriations Committee unanimously approved Jaime’s legislative directive to address high VA staff turnover rates that are contributing to veterans being forced to wait 30-plus days for health care appointments.
· Sergeant Roy Long: Jaime worked to help Staff Sgt. Roy Long, a constituent from Lewis County, obtain the Bronze Star medal he had earned for his service in World War II.

Fish
· Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act: Jaime sponsored this bill that enables trained members of tribal communities and government fish managers to remove sea lions that pose a threat to the Columbia River’s endangered fish population.
· West Coast Dungeness Crab Management Act: Jaime sponsored and helped advance this bill that will permanently extend a 17-year fishery management agreement that has been vital to Washington state’s Dungeness crab fishery.
· Pollock and King Crab Labeling: Jaime sponsored a bill in response to the flood of mislabeled fish from less sustainable fisheries that harm U.S. pollock fishermen and the businesses they support.
· REFI Act signed into law: Jaime led a bill to boost the West Coast groundfish industry, and support Washington’s 148,000 maritime industry jobs, that was signed into law.

Natural Resources
· Clean Power: Jaime reintroduced a bipartisan bill to have Congress recognize hydroelectric power as a source of clean, renewable energy.

Transportation/Infrastructure
· Oscar B. Ferry: Jaime worked with Senator Patty Murray, Wahkiakum County officials, and the Army Corps of Engineers to help navigate the complex permitting process and make sure the Oscar B. Ferry was completed before its deadline.
· Energy and Water Appropriations bill: As a member of this subcommittee, Jaime helped craft this bill that funded Columbia River maintenance small port dredging and Hanford cleanup, while also saving $633 billion from the President’s spending proposal.
· Transportation Funding Bill: Jaime helped write this transportation funding bill that funds critical rail safety efforts including at-grade train crossing improvements, oil by rail safety, Positive Train Control technology, and other safety efforts.
· Responsibility and Professionally Invigorating Development (RAPID) Act: Jaime voted in support of this bill that maintains current federal environmental standards while providing a faster approval process for federally funded and federally permitted transportation, energy, and other construction projects.
· Spirit Lake Tunnel Letter: Jaime joined Senators Murray and Cantwell 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 also asked the federal agencies to develop a safe long-term solution regarding drainage from the lake.
· Timely Permitting Accessibility Act: Jaime sponsored this bill that would allow private entities to pay for additional U.S. Army Corps of Engineers staff to expedite the permitting process for important economic development projects.
· Six-year transportation bill with strengthened funding for Southwest Washington buses and bridges: Jaime championed two amendments to a six-year transportation bill that boosted funding for Southwest Washington buses and Columbia Gorge bridges – all without raising the federal gas tax.

Education
· H.R. 529: Jaime voted with a bipartisan majority to help students and families save money for higher education. This bill would allow students to use their 529 college savings to purchase computers, and make it easier to redeposit funds for expenses into the account.
· Secure Rural Schools Program: Jaime joined a bipartisan majority to extend a two-year program that provides critical school funding for rural counties, including those in SW Washington.

Health Care
· 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.
· Securing Seniors’ Health Care Act: Jaime voted in support of this bill to protect seniors’ option of choosing the best Medicare plan to meet their needs, including Medicare Advantage.
· Improving parents’ education on prenatal screenings: Jaime is leading a bill to strengthen parental information and education around prenatal screenings – tests that indicate potential health problems for expectant parents but have high rates of flawed results.
· Preserving the rights of employers and employees regarding health plans: Jaime sponsored this legislation to preserve association health plans, which allow small businesses to band together to offer high-quality, affordable health care to employees and their families.
· Maternity Care Caucus: Jaime joined with Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) to form the Congressional Caucus on Maternity Care in the House.

Environment
· Regulatory Integrity Protection Act: Jaime voted in support of this bill that would reject the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers’ new and expanded definition of “navigable waters” under the Clean Water Act.
· 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, extends Secure Rural Schools authorization through 2020, and improves “early seral” habitat for elk and other wildlife.

Human Trafficking
· Victims of Trafficking Act: Jaime joined a strong bipartisan majority to advance 12 pieces of legislation through the 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 in March.
Iran
· The Justice for Victims of Iranian Terrorism Act: Jaime supported this bill that denies Iran the benefit of lifting their economic sanctions until it honors the settlements ordered by U.S. courts to pay $43 billion in damages to victims caused by terrorist acts it supported.

Protecting Privacy
· Email Privacy Act: Jaime cosponsored this bill that would extend protections to citizen’s private e-mail and online communication. Under this bipartisan bill, a government agency would not be able to access a U.S. citizen’s emails without a court-ordered search warrant.
· The Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration Act of 2015 (FAIR Act): Jaime cosponsored this bill that would protect citizens’ private property from seizure by government agencies until those agencies present clear convincing evidence prior to the seizure of a person’s personal property.

Resource Fairs
· Southwest Washington Jobs Fair: Held five annual Jobs Fairs that brought together employers from many different industries with prospective employees. Also brought in instructors to provide applicants with resume, interview and job search tips.
· Veterans Resource Fair: Veterans, along with those on active duty, were brought together with organizations, businesses, and groups to learn about opportunities and benefits.
· Southwest Washington Seniors Resource Fair: Seniors and their families were brought together with organizations and experts on senior issues. Information on job and learning opportunities was made available, as was assistance for obtaining benefits.

Herrera Beutler’s bill on forest roads included in Farm Bill compromise

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Language that would spare timberland owners from what they say are expensive and onerous federal regulations for forest roads has been included in a House-Senate compromise version of the federal Farm Bill expected to come up for a vote on Wednesday. Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler has been pushing for inclusion of the language and says it helps preserve thousands of wood products industry jobs.

Herrera Beutler led the effort to include her “forest roads” bill in the House-passed version of the Farm Bill last July. It was absent in the Senate’s Farm Bill, but made it in the final compromise.

In 2011, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned nearly 40 years of EPA regulatory policy by requiring forest roads to go through a more stringent process. It would cost the forest and forest product-related industries in the Northwest up to $883 million per year and be impractical for the Forest Service to administer, the congresswoman said.

Herrera Beutler introduced the Silviculture Regulatory Consistency Act with lead cosponsor Kurt Schrader, D-Ore.

“In a resource-rich region like Southwest Washington, maintaining working forests is critical to providing good family-wage jobs for thousands of moms and dads,” said Herrera Beutler. “By keeping in place four decades of science-based approach to our forests, we take a giant step forward to make sure these jobs are protected from burdensome red tape and costly litigation. I am thankful for the hard work of Agriculture Chairman Frank Lucas and my colleagues in the Senate to include this permanent, bipartisan job protecting initiative in the Farm Bill.”

“The passing of this bill will be a blessing for jobs in the forest industry,” said Dean Rudolf, Western Regional Director of the Pulp and Paper Resource Council. “It will save forest land owners thousands of dollars in permits, which they would of been required to obtain just to remove timber from their own land. The housing and paper industries rely heavily on this system to sustain thousands of forest products jobs, and they have always worked hard to watch over our environment.”

– See more at: http://thedailyworld.com/news/local/herrera-beutler-s-bill-forest-roads-included-farm-bill-compromise#sthash.3OmbzSBv.dpuf