By Dave Reichert
How about those Seahawks? What an amazing time for sports in our state. First the Super Bowl and then sending two of our own, Torin Koos and Patrick Deneen, from the 8th Congressional District to the Olympics. As fun as it has been to watch the home team earn their first Super Bowl title and to root for our Olympians, there’s been a lot going on other than sports, both in Washington state and in D.C.
Three weeks ago, the president delivered his annual State of the Union address, and I was pleased to hear him speak about many issues important to Washington state. He spoke about important legislative priorities such as comprehensive tax reform, job-creating trade agreements, and immigration reform. In the 8th District, these initiatives will make sure that your taxes are lower, simpler, and fairer; that our software, airplanes, outdoor apparel, coffee, apples, and cherries can be sold around the world; and that our high-tech and agricultural companies have the workers they need to compete in the global market.
Another issue that clearly still needs to be addressed is the failures of the healthcare law. During my most recent trip back to Washington, I met with many different members of the healthcare community and I continue to hear about the problems this law is causing. I have repeatedly asked for answers in different hearings, as well as addressed this issue on the House floor, and I will continue to do so until real answers are provided.
You may also have caught my article in the Tacoma News Tribune on what we can be doing to prevent our foster youth from becoming victims of sex-trafficking. As chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources, I am focused on doing everything I can to protect those in our child welfare system so that they are not victims of this terrible crime. I will be introducing bipartisan legislation based on what my subcommittee has heard from experts, and victims themselves, in hearings. The bill will focus on ensuring youth are not vulnerable to traffickers in the first place.
In Auburn, I will be holding a field hearing focusing on local efforts to prevent trafficking and raising awareness of this tragedy. This is an area where we must come together to make a difference in these girls’ and boys’ lives.
I look forward to being back in the district, where I will have the opportunity to engage with many of you.
Dave Reichert is the U.S. representative for the 8th Congressional District, which includes Eatonville, Graham and other areas near Mount Rainier. He released this article last week as one of his updates to constituents.