Washington, DC – Today U.S. Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA), Chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade, and member of the President’s Export Council, issued the following statement after the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement was signed in Auckland, New Zealand:
“Today, representatives from the U.S. and the other 11 Pacific Rim partner nations came together to sign a historic trade agreement years in the making. The promise of this agreement to American workers and businesses and our nation’s leadership in the region cannot be overlooked. That is why I urge the Administration to work with us to address the concerns of Members of Congress and to develop a path forward. Our work must result in a TPP that has the support of Congress because it will create more good-paying jobs here at home, allow us to sell more American-made goods, and increase our global competitiveness.”
Washington, DC – Today Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA) made the following statement after President Obama concluded his eighth and final State of the Union Address to the U.S. Congress.
“As our Commander in Chief, the President’s first and most important duty is to keep our nation safe and instill confidence in the American people. Tonight, with the eyes and ears of the nation on him, the President had the opportunity to do that by laying out a strategy to defeat ISIS and the Islamic extremism threatening our nation and the world. Unfortunately, we did not hear a new plan to put us on the path to victory. In today’s dangerous times, we must listen to the wisdom of our military leaders. We must formulate a plan to not only stop the spread of extremists, but eliminate the threat altogether.
Just as critical is the safety and security of our families and their children here at home. Over the past year we have seen rising tensions between law enforcement and communities they serve. We must be committed to strengthening this deteriorating relationship by restoring trust and building stronger partnerships. That is why I founded the Law Enforcement Task Force this past summer. It is important not to point fingers, but to work with a wide range of stakeholders to address the underlying issues that are causing the tensions. I look forward to continuing to have meaningful conversations around Washington State and throughout the country so we can bring people together and restore civility.
While the President and I disagree on the approach the United States should take to secure the homeland, we share the same belief that strong free trade agreements strengthen our economy and create good-paying American jobs. Tonight, the President highlighted the need for Congress to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership. As the Chair of the Trade Subcommittee overseeing the agreement, I urge the Administration to work with Congress to quickly and thoroughly address our concerns. Together, we must develop a path forward, because the economic and strategic importance of this agreement is vital to America; we must get this right.
To create more jobs here at home we must also fix our outdated and complicated tax code. American workers want to keep more of their hard-earned dollars and our businesses want an updated tax code that allows them to grow, hire, compete and succeed. I look forward to continued work with my colleagues on the Ways and Means Committee to produce a pro-growth tax code that works better for American families, businesses, and workers.”
Recently, the University of Virginia’s and Vanderbilt University’s Legislative Effectiveness Project ranked U.S. Congressman Dave Reichert as one of the most effective Members of Congress between 2013 and 2014. Specifically, Rep. Reichert earned the second-highest score among Washington State lawmakers after Rep. Doc Hastings who is now retired, ranking 27th among Republicans, and 28th among all 435 House members.
This past year, Rep. Reichert has built upon his achievements from previous congressional terms and has continued to focus his efforts on growing jobs in Washington, enabling Americans to keep more of their hard earned dollars, and keeping our communities safe.
Here are some of the highlights from 2015:
· Named Chairman of the Trade Subcommittee: Rep. Reichert was given the opportunity to lead the Ways and Means Committee, Subcommittee on Trade and champion some of the issues that have the greatest impact on Washingtonians.
Throughout the year, Rep. Reichert also continued to support trade in Washington by fighting for the reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank and serving as the lead advocate in Congress to resolve the West Coast Ports dispute. He is also a member of the President's Export Council.
· Served as Chairman of the Tax Subcommittee: Prior to being named as Chairman of the Trade Subcommittee, Rep. Reichert chaired the Subcommittee on Tax Policy, where he focused on reforming the tax code to make it work better for American workers, families and businesses. Now as the Chairman Emeritus and second in seniority, he will continue reforming the outdated tax code.
· Named Conferee to Customs and Highway Conference Negotiations: With a bipartisan, bicameral group of colleagues, Rep. Reichert worked to negotiate two important bills for the American people. This year’s Highway Bill is the first long term highway bill in a decade, giving states the certainty they need to invest in long-term infrastructure projects. The Highway Bill also included Rep. Reichert’s language advising states to strengthen laws regarding secured loads to increase public safety. As a Customs Bill conferee, he worked with his colleagues to negotiate a bill that will strengthen enforcement of our trade laws and increase opportunities for our businesses here at home.
· Launched the Law Enforcement Task Force: Earlier this year, Rep. Reichert launched a task force aimed at opening conversations between members of law enforcement and the communities they serve throughout the country. This task force will explore and identify opportunities for communities and law enforcement to build upon mutual respect for one another and increase civility in our nation.
· Launched the Congressional Freight Caucus: This past October, Rep. Reichert launched the bipartisan Congressional Freight Caucus in an effort to raise awareness about the need to expand the nation’s freight infrastructure and improve the movement of goods. This issue is especially important to Washington State, where our freight systems support 1.5 million jobs and produce $129 billion in annual revenue.
Sponsored Legislation Passed into Law:
· H.R. 1269 (P.L. 114-12): The Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act was signed into law on May 19th and creates a nationwide alert system to apprehend violent criminals who have seriously injured, killed, or made an imminent or credible threat to cause serious harm to a law enforcement officer.
· H.R. 2146 (P.L. 114-26): The Defending Public Safety Employees’ Retirement Act ensures fairness for federal public safety officials by allowing them to access retirement savings at the age of 50 after 20 years of service without the application of the 10% penalty. This is the same treatment state and local public safety officers receive.
· H.R. 1892 (P.L. 114-27): The Trade Adjustment Assistance Reauthorization Act provides temporary assistance, including training, to American workers who have been impacted by international trade.
The following bills Rep. Reichert sponsored were enacted as part of the FY2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 114-113), which was recently signed into law on December 18th.
· H.R. 629, The Permanent S Corporation Built-in Gain Recognition Period Act of 2015: This bill makes permanent an important provision that supports our small businesses in doing what they do best – creating jobs and strengthening our local economies. Specifically, it allows S Corporations greater access to their own capital, so they can grow, reinvest, and hire by reducing the time they must hold certain assets after changing to a S Corporation from a C Corporation.
· H.R. 630, Permanent S Corporation Charitable Contribution Act of 2015: This bill makes permanent a rule ensuring consistent treatment of charitable contributions for S Corporation shareholders, thereby providing certainty and encouraging charitable giving.
· H.R. 869: This legislation ensures that public employees in Washington State including school teachers, utility district workers, and many others, are able to enjoy the fruits of their labor and pass on medical benefits earned over years of service to their families and loved ones.
· H.R. 2940, Educator Tax Relief Act: This bill makes permanent the educator tax deduction, which allows teachers to deduct the cost of classroom supplies and professional development expenses up to $250. Just like companies can deduct certain business expenses, teachers should be able to deduct the amount of their own hard-earned dollars they put into making classrooms the best learning environment they can for our kids and grandkids.
· H.Amdt.271, to increase funding for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program by $100 million: This amendment, which passed the House on June 2nd and was included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act , provides funding to help local police departments meet their hiring needs to ensure our communities have enough cops on the street to keep us safe.
Today, Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA) made the following statement in response to Gov. Jay Inslee's announcement that the Washington State Department of Corrections has mistakenly released thousands of prisoners early over the past thirteen years: Yesterday’s news of yet another mishap by the Department of Corrections is as disturbing as it is infuriating. Over the past several months I have heard from folks throughout Washington state who are deeply concerned and baffled by the decisions coming out of Olympia.
Over the summer I was notified by victims of one of the most heinous crimes in Washington’s history that the Indeterminate Sentence Review Board was considering the early release of Timothy Pauley, a man serving three life sentences for a triple homicide in 1980. As one of the detectives who carried the bodies of his victims out of the building where he and his accomplice tortured and killed three people and left two more for dead, I can attest to it being one of the worst crime scenes we’ve ever processed. Unfortunately, it appears the ISRB believes 35 years in prison will suffice for the three life sentences he was given.
Numerous people including victims, lawyers, and King County Prosecuting Attorney, Dan Satterberg have called into question the method used to calculate Pauley’s minimum sentence. We now know it is not only Pauley’s sentence but thousands of others that have been miscalculated by the DOC. Ultimately those questions were ignored, and the ISRB is moving forward with a hearing on Pauley’s release on January 5th, less than two weeks from today. What’s worse, Pauley’s victims and their families were given little-to-no notice of previous hearings or decisions, and the Governor has refused to meet with them.
We also learned this summer that the DOC, again without notifying the victims’ families, moved the Green River Killer, Gary Ridgway from isolation in the Walla Walla State Penitentiary to a prison in Colorado where he would be able to mingle with the general population. Only after public outcry was the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history returned to solitary confinement in Washington. In total, the move cost taxpayers $40,000.
Now we have been told that the DOC has been miscalculating sentences for 13 years. Even more upsetting is that they have known about the error since 2012 and, until yesterday, have not bothered to address it or inform victims, law enforcement or the public. This is unacceptable. Our communities and the first responders dedicated to protecting them deserve better. We need to know who these 3,200 criminals are; what crimes they were convicted of and ultimately granted early release for; and exactly how the state is going to ensure this mass injustice is resolved.
Yesterday’s announcement and the recent actions of the DOC are not isolated incidents; they are part of a much larger problem. In the eyes of the state, victims of crimes and their families are taking a back seat to the criminals who have caused them so much pain. The DOC, through its incompetence and the decisions by its ISRB, has shown it is more interested in reducing the sentences lawfully handed down by judges than ensuring justice is served.
Washington, DC – Today Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA) made the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which will fund the government through Fiscal Year 2016.
“I am proud that today the House came together to vote on bipartisan legislation that will keep our government up and running, ensuring that our military has the resources it needs to protect our national security and that our seniors are cared for. With this bill, Washingtonians also secured some important wins, including preventing significant harmful tariffs from being placed on our high-quality goods, like apples and cherries, and the reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. It also boosts funding for the National Institutes of Health which supports researchers in our state who are working to find new treatments and cures for cancer and other diseases. Additionally, under this funding bill, the COPS Hiring Program, an initiative I have consistently fought for, will be restored so that local law enforcement agencies can adequately staff their departments in order to keep our cities and neighborhoods safe. With the certainty that the government will remain funded through September 2016, Congress can now return in the new year with a renewed focus on making the country safer, stronger, and better for all Americans.”Read More
Washington, DC – Today Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA) applauded the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act, which includes several provisions Rep. Reichert championed. Prior to the vote, the Congressman spoke on the House floor about the impact this bill will have on Washingtonians. To watch the video, click HERE.
Rep. Reichert made the following statement after the bill’s passage:
“The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act does exactly what its title implies – it ensures families across the country will keep more of their hard-earned dollars and provides our small business owners with much-needed certainty to plan for future investments and hirings. I am proud to say this bill includes several provisions I have championed on behalf of America’s teachers, workers and small businesses,” Reichert said. “And for Washingtonians, this bill not only guarantees fairness by making permanent our ability to deduct sales tax, but it also ensures that tens of thousands of local public employees, like public utility workers and teachers, will be able to pass on savings they set aside for health care to their loved ones. Today’s vote puts us on a path toward tax reform and guarantees certainty for American workers to provide for their families and for American businesses to compete, innovate and thrive.”
After the vote, stakeholders reached out to Rep. Reichert, thanking for him for his continued effort to fight for tax relief for Washingtonians:
“Main Street businesses owe Congressman Reichert a big THANKS for his tireless efforts on behalf of millions of S corporations across the country. The passage of the PATH Act means these businesses will no longer need to wait until the end of the year to know if they are going to get relief from the built-in gains tax or whether they’ll be able to deduct their full charitable contributions. These and the other Main Street business provisions in the bill will provide job creators with certainty for the first time in decades, so they can make decisions based on what is best for the company rather than the dictates of an outdated tax code.”
- Brian Reardon, President, S Corporation Association
“NEA applauds Rep. Reichert’s bipartisan efforts to provide much-needed financial relief for the 99.5 percent of public school educators who put their own dollars toward classroom supplies and instructional materials for our children. For the first time, the tax deduction is permanent, includes professional development as a deductible expense, and will go a long way towards helping educators provide the additional resources our students need to succeed.”
- Lily Eskelsen García , President, National Education Association
“We are very thankful this bill has been passed. It provides a much-needed change for local government employees who for years have worked hard to set money aside in their VEBA accounts to provide for their health care and that of their families. These prudent savers deserve options in designating beneficiaries so the earnings they have accumulated during their years of service are rightfully retained by their families.”
- Steve Pfaff, Commissioner of the Soos Creek Water and Sewer District
Reichert, Blumenauer Introduce Bill to Eliminate HRA Tax Rule:https://reichert.house.gov/press-release/reichert-blumenauer-introduce-bill-eliminate-hra-tax-rule
Reichert and House Members Work to Provide Educators with Tax Relief:https://reichert.house.gov/press-release/reichert-and-house-members-work-provide-educators-tax-relief
Reichert, Kind Introduce Bill to Reduce Burden on Small Businesses: https://reichert.house.gov/press-release/reichert-kind-introduce-bill-reduce-burden-small-businessesRead More
Washington, D.C. – December 11, 2015 – Today, Representatives Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Dave Reichert (R-WA), and Dan Newhouse (R-WA) introduced a bipartisan bill to expand key disaster assistance to rural communities in Washington state and across the country. The Individual Assistance Improvement Act of 2015 would increase opportunities to access the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Individual Assistance Program.
The Individual Assistance Program provides housing and unemployment assistance, counseling, and other personal support to families and individuals in the wake of a disaster. However, the current formula FEMA uses to evaluate damages and send disaster declaration recommendations to the President frequently leaves smaller towns and communities out. The assistance cannot be utilized without a federal disaster declaration.
In Washington state, rural communities have been impacted by wildfires this year that burned more than one million acres and left 46 families without temporary housing. On the Olympic Peninsula severe storms have triggered flooding and mudslides that have caused significant damage to residential property.
“From wildfires to mudslides, natural disasters cause significant damage to residents and businesses across our state,” said Representative Kilmer. “Folks who have to pick up the pieces after their property is damaged need a helping hand. They shouldn’t have to worry about bureaucratic and technical hurdles to getting back on their feet. This bipartisan bill ensures that rural communities in Washington state don’t get left out when we need to rebuild after disasters strike.”
“Wildfires affect both urban and rural areas the same, they consume whatever stands in their path,” said Representative Reichert. “Communities throughout my region learned this the hard way this past summer. Chelan County alone lost 122,845 acres to wildfires, costing it over $4.7 million in damages. Many other smaller communities in Washington State and the country are impacted by wildfires and other disasters every year but do not receive the same FEMA consideration for Individual Assistance as more urban communities do. I was pleased to work with Congressmen Kilmer and Newhouse on bipartisan legislation to update this shortcoming in existing law and ensure that rural communities receive the financial support they need in order to help them pick up the pieces and rebuild after devastating disasters.”
“Two years of historic catastrophic wildfires have destroyed hundreds of homes and burned 1.4 million acres, despite this the residents of Central Washington have repeatedly been denied access to Individual Assistance aid without an adequate explanation,” said Representative Newhouse. “Current rules for disaster aid prioritize relief efforts to areas of concentration, or urban areas. This means even after a major federal disaster is declared all too often residents in devastated rural communities are left to fend for themselves. No family facing the aftermath of a wildfire, or any natural disaster, should be denied federal aid simply because they live in a rural community. This legislation will revise eligibility criteria, providing much-needed clarity and objective standards for the formula used for federal assistance. I thank my colleagues, Rep. Kilmer and Rep. Reichert, for their efforts on this critical legislation to ensure rural communities are not unfairly excluded from federal aid.”
The members’ legislation would eliminate a factor FEMA uses to evaluate rural areas that treats them as a metropolitan area – putting too much emphasis on population density. The bill would also seek to set clear guidelines for how FEMA helps small states and rural communities gain access to assistance and would give Governors and Tribal Executives clear guidance as to why requests are accepted or rejected.
Washington, DC – Today the U.S. House passed the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act, which works to remove barriers for American importers and exporters and provide Customs and Border Protection officers with the tools they need to enforce our trade laws. As Chairman of the Trade Subcommittee, Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA) was named as a conferee to the committee that negotiated the final bill. Prior to the bill’s passage, Rep. Reichert spoke on the House floor about the benefits of passing this bill, both for Washington State and the country as a whole. A video of the speech can be found HERE.Read More
Washington, DC – Yesterday, Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA) supported and the U.S. House and Senate passed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which included language to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank. Rep. Reichert made the following statement after the bill’s passage:
“After many months of uncertainty, Congress made the responsible decision to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank, which provides thousands of businesses throughout the country with the tool they need to reach new foreign customers and expand globally. This resource is especially critical to Washington State, where Ex-Im has supported over 230 businesses – many of them small - and helped generate over $15 billion in exports just last year. I am proud to have served on the conference committee for this bill and to have been part of the team that saw the Bank’s reauthorization across the finish line. Getting to this point has taken a lot of work from both sides of the aisle, but I am confident that when Washington State businesses operate on a level playing field with foreign businesses, they win, and create hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs here at home.”
Since Congress failed to reauthorize Ex-Im this past summer, Rep. Reichert has been working with a bipartisan group of colleagues to revive the Bank. He joined with over 40 Republicans in signing a petition to bring a bill to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank to the House floor. This bill passed the House with strong bipartisan support by a vote of 313-118 – and because of this bipartisan support it was included in the Highway Bill.
Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which reauthorizes our nation’s highways, transit, and safety programs as well as fully funds the Highway Trust Fund for the next five years. As a member of the highway bill conference committee, Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) was part of the bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers that worked together to reach an agreement on the final conference report.
Congressman Reichert made the following statement after the bill passed the House:
“After years of short-term fixes, Congress voted this afternoon to give states the long-term certainty they need to make investments in job creating infrastructure projects that are critical to our roads, bridges, economic competitiveness, and public safety. The bill gives states more control and flexibility in prioritizing funding for much-needed highway projects and contains provisions that will help us better compete in a 21st Century economy, including improvements in freight mobility and port performance measures to address future port slowdowns. This is especially important to Washingtonians as our freight systems and ports support 1.5 million jobs and produce $129 billion in annual revenue. The bill also includes provisions to improve highway safety such as encouraging states to address unsecure loads.”
“Although this legislation is not perfect, I am proud of the work we have done as a bipartisan group to move a long-term highway solution to the President’s desk.”
1127 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Dave Reichert brings over 40 years of public service experience to Washington. Reichert is serving his fifth term as the Representative from the Eighth Congressional District of Washington.
Congressman Reichert serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, with appointments to two subcommittees: Trade and Human Resources, of which he is Chairman.
Reichert has a remarkable record of service. Decisive leadership, integrity and tireless dedication are his hallmarks. From 1971 through 1976, Reichert was a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve. In 1972 Reichert joined the King County Sheriff’s Office and in 1997 he became the first elected sheriff in 30 years. Under his leadership, the county saw a significant drop in violent crime. Reichert brought national recognition to the Sheriff’s Office as head of the Green River Task Force solving the largest serial murder case in U.S. history. As Sheriff, Reichert also brought an unprecedented $28 million in federal funding to King County law enforcement efforts.
Sheriff Reichert established himself as a leading voice against domestic violence and an advocate of strong family values. In 2004 Reichert received the prestigious National Sheriffs’ Association’s “Sheriff of the Year” award. He is a two-time Medal of Valor Award recipient from the King County Sheriff’s Office and was honored with Washington Policy Center’s Champion of Freedom Award. Reichert received the Families Northwest Public Policy Award and took top honors in a local television network’s (King 5) leadership poll.
Reichert served as president of the Washington State Sheriffs’ Association and an executive board member of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. He has served on numerous advisory boards including the King County Criminal Justice Council and the King County Domestic Violence Council. Reichert co-chaired the Washington State Partners in Crisis, a statewide coalition targeting issues related to mental health. Reichert also was a leader in the fight against Meth in Washington State by implementing annual Statewide Conferences, State Meth Action Teams, and was co-chair of the KC Meth Coalition. As Sheriff, he was also a member of the KC Committee to End Homelessness. He currently serves as a member of the Special Olympics of Washington State Board of Directors.
Dave Reichert was born in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, in 1950, the oldest of seven children and grandson of the town marshal. His family moved to Washington State in 1951, living first in Renton and later in Kent, where Reichert attended Kent Meridian High School. He graduated with an A.A. degree from Concordia Lutheran College in Portland, Oregon, where he played football and met his wife of 42 years, Julie. The Reicherts currently live in Auburn and have three grown children, Angela, Tabitha and Daniel, and six grandchildren.
Sending condolences to family of Maj. Greg Barney. 5th officer in 4 days. Unacceptable. https://t.co/WQIJkEjRHM