I remain steadfast in my commitment to repeal and replace Obamacare with health care solutions that better serve all residents of Southwest Washington. But we can do better than the current House replacement plan, and I cannot support it in its current form. While I appreciate this week's effort by Speaker Ryan and his leadership team to better protect older Americans from health care cost increases, the difficulties this bill would create for millions of children were left unaddressed. I’m disappointed that it appears my amendment to strengthen the Medicaid safety net for the kids who depend on it for their health care will not be considered. Protecting vulnerable children is a core purpose of the Medicaid program and when the program fails to do so, it fails entirely. I will not vote to let those kids fall through the cracks. Southwest Washington residents also deserve a greater commitment to lowering health costs so that out-of-pocket expenses, premiums and taxes are taking up less of their monthly paychecks. Congress should more purposefully move ahead with free market reforms that increase competition between insurance providers and drive down premiums and deductibles. Obamacare also levied numerous taxes on hardworking Americans, and in our effort to pull back this harmful law we should more quickly repeal them. In the final analysis, this bill falls short. We can't give up on replacing Obamacare with a solution that provides affordable, high-quality health care to all Americans. I will remain active and engaged at every step until Congress gets this right.
As long as sea lions overpopulate the Columbia River, I will continue to advocate on behalf of endangered salmon. My bipartisan bill to protect salmon & steelhead received a congressional hearing today and I appreciated the opportunity to testify. I'm glad to see this common-sense legislation moving forward.
In his statement today, the president said he does not favor punishing children for the actions of their parents. I agree, and Congress must now act to treat DACA recipients with compassion. The president is not revoking DACA status immediately, but is giving Congress time to provide permanent relief for those who've been caught in legal limbo. A lasting solution can only be provided through the force of law, and President Obama created a difficult situation for everyone when he circumvented U.S. laws through Executive Order. I believe we can uphold national security, protect opportunities for American citizens, and provide assurances to DACA recipients in Southwest Washington who have done nothing wrong that we understand their plight and that they can build a future here in the only country that many of them have ever known.