In Focus: Making Central Washington visible in D.C.

I have begun my travel to our nation’s capital to meet with my new colleagues and start the process for committee assignments. As I start this new role, there are some things I would like to say.

First, I would like to thank the voters of Central Washington for the honor to serve you in the U.S. House of Representatives. I am humbled by your trust. I promise that I will spend the next two years working hard to make you proud of my efforts.

Next I would like to thank the many people who helped my campaign. To the thousands of volunteers who waved signs, knocked on doors, called voters, encouraged friends, gave financially and did all the other things that make a campaign a success — we could not have done this without you.

I also want to thank my opponent for running a spirited campaign. We didn’t see eye-to-eye on everything, but we agreed on many issues. For those of you who may have supported the other candidate in this race, I plan to work hard to represent you to the best of my abilities. I’d be happy to work with you and my door will always be open.

Finally, I would like to thank Rep. Doc Hastings for being a dedicated public servant during his 20 years in Congress. He has set a high standard for his successor to meet.

Now it’s time to get to the hard work of getting Washington, D.C., to listen to us. Central Washington, and all Americans, have important issues that need to be fixed.

We need to stop the wasteful spending and pass a balanced budget amendment. We have to simplify the tax code and make our job creators more competitive. We must reform out health care system so that it actually reduces costs and increases access and quality of care. We need to reform our immigration system to secure our border and provide a stable workforce going forward. We need to make sure land-use decisions are handled at the local level using sound science rather than by distant federal bureaucrats. We have to hold the federal government accountable for cleaning up Hanford. And we need more water storage in Central Washington.

That’s a lot to do and it won’t be easy, but I’m excited to get to work.