- Supporting Clean, Affordable Power: Jaime reintroduced a bipartisan legislative resolution to have Congress recognize hydroelectric power as a source of clean, renewable energy. Hydropower is the most affordable and reliable source of power in our region, accounting 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.
- 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 the 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.
- Southwest Washington Jobs Fair: Jaime has hosted six 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. This past year, over 350 members of the community and 50 employers participated in the jobs fair.
- “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.
- Timely Permitting Accessibility Act: Jaime wrote and introduced this bill that would allow private employers to pay for additional U.S. Army Corps of Engineers staff to expedite the permitting process for important economic development projects. This bill would maintain Army Corps’ strict environmental protections for all projects, responsiveness for public projects, and allow job-creating employers to receive approval for their projects at their own expense.
- 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 the “Hero of Main Street” Award from the association representing the nation’s retail businesses.
- Regulatory Integrity Protection Act: 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.
- 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 nearly two 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. As of July 1, she has worked to help 993 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.
Protecting Salmon, Fish Populations
- 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.
- 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. As of 2015, 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 – $35.5 million in 2016, a $4 million increase over 2015 levels. 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.
- 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 keeping Washington state’s Dungeness crab fishery sustainable. This bill has passed in the U.S. House and is awaiting passage in the Senate.
- Transportation Funding Bill:Jaime helped write the five-year transportation funding bill, the FAST Act, that was signed into law late last year 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 2016 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 WA 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.
- Strong Hanford Cleanup Funding: As a member of the Energy and Water Appropriations subcommittee, Jaime helped craft a bill that restored $75 million in cuts proposed by President Obama to Hanford cleanup efforts, while also saving $633 billion from the President’s overall energy spending proposal.
- 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 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.
- 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. This bipartisan bill is advancing through Congress and recently received a congressional hearing.
- 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. 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.
- Association Health Plans: Jaime wrote a letter along with other WA Representatives to urge Washington Insurance Commissioner, Mike Kreidler, to allow small businesses to continue offering affordable health care options.
Improving Maternity Care
- 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. The FDA recently 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: 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.
- Zika Prevention: Jaime voted to dedicate $1.9 billion to combat the Zika virus in the 2017 Agriculture Appropriations Bill. She also successfully championed Zika prevention measures for low income mothers to be included in a House spending proposal.
- Prenatal Screening: Jaime and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) 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. This bill is moving through Congress and has received a congressional hearing.
Protecting Environment and Local Rural Communities
- FD Prep Act: Jaime introduced this 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 joined a bipartisan majority to 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.
- 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.
Strengthening Mental Health Resources
- Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act: Jaime has long championed this legislation that represents the biggest reform to the U.S. mental health system in decades; it passed the U.S. House on July 6. The bill would 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.
- Southwest Washington Seniors Resource Fair: In 2015, 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.
- Face-to-face meetings: Jaime has hosted more than 60 town halls/open community meetings in every corner of the region for Southwest Washington residents where individuals ask questions, offer ideas and share criticisms face-to-face with Jaime.