WASHINGTON – Yesterday, U.S. Congressman Dave Reichert (WA-8), Chair of the Republican Policy Committee Law Enforcement Task Force, and Congressman Denny Heck (WA-10) hosted a roundtable with law enforcement officials and community leaders to discuss current, national tensions between communities and law enforcement and how Congress can help support both law enforcement and communities in efforts to reduce those tensions and address underlying causes.
“Yesterday, a Lake County Sheriff’s Office police officer in Illinois was murdered. This tragedy follows murders of police in Atlanta and Harris County, Texas. We can all agree that this is unacceptable. We have tracked the violence in our country from Ferguson until today and it is clear there is a crisis in our communities. We must get to the bottom of the underlying issues and find ways to take action to address them. I am pleased Congressman Heck was able to join me yesterday to hear from a wide range of men and women who have seen this first hand. This is a problem not just in Pierce County, or Washington State, but across this country, and we cannot ignore it if we are to keep our loved ones safe.”
The other roundtable participants were Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor, NAACP member Pastor Gregory Christopher, Tacoma Ministerial Alliance member Elder Toney Montgomery, Dr. Priscilla Lisicich of Safe Streets, Minister Marvin Charles of D.A.D.S., King County Police Officers Guild President Steve Eggert, Puyallup Deputy Chief of Police Dave McDonald, and Washington State Commissioner of Hispanic Affairs Manuel Reta.
The Law Enforcement Task Force Members are Republican Policy Committee Chairman Luke Messer (IN-6), Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Representatives Susan Brooks (IN-5), Jeff Miller (FL-1), Pete King (NY-2), Ted Poe (TX-2), Richard Nugent (FL-11), Steve Knight (CA-25), Mia Love (UT-4), and John Katko (NY-24).Read More
WASHINGTON – Today, Senators Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell and U.S. Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Dave Reichert, Jaime Herrera Beutler, and Dan Newhouse joined together to write a letter to President Obama asking him to quickly approve Governor Jay Inslee’s federal emergency disaster declaration.
The members of Congress said, “The ongoing wildfires are affecting Washingtonians all across the state, endangering lives and property. Our first responders have acted with selflessness and courage, battling to keep our communities safe while putting their own lives at risk. Nowhere is this more evident than with the sacrifice of the three United States Forest Service firefighters whose lives were lost last night. That is why it is critical that we can support those still on the ground to the fullest extent as well as assist our communities as they rebuild and recover from their devastating losses.”
Governor Inslee’s request was made on August 19th. The full text of the Congressional letter of support is below:
August 20, 2015
The Honorable Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We write to urge you to approve as quickly as possible the federal emergency disaster declaration requested by Washington Governor Jay Inslee on August 19, 2015.
As you know, Washington state is experiencing a historically intense wildfire season. Wildfires burning in Counties throughout Central and Eastern Washington have stretched our state’s wildfire fighting resources thin and have affected communities still recovering from last year’s Carlton Complex fire - the worst by fire acres burned in Washington state’s history. Hundreds of lightning strikes sparked numerous fires in the region over a period of six hours on August 13, 2015 and the National Weather Service projects that a similar storm system is moving into the area within the next two days. Taken together, wildfires this season have burned over 235,000 acres, 50 residences, 60 other structures, and currently threaten over 3,600 homes across eleven counties and four Federally-recognized tribes: Asotin, Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Klickitat, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Skamania, and Yakima Counties; and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Kalispel Tribe of Indians, the Spokane Tribe of Indians, and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakima Nation.
Major fires such as the Chelan Complex wildfire and the Wolverine Fire have burned over 58,000 and 40,000 acres, respectively, and threaten whole communities in the region. Local economies, still recovering from last year’s fires, have been further devastated. The Chelan Complex and Wolverine Fire have struck in the midst of the region’s economically vital summer tourist season and have further harmed an agricultural sector already weakened by extreme heat and drought. The destruction of the Chelan Fruit warehouse in Chelan alone may result in up to $80 million in losses and 800 jobs impacted. While thousands of firefighting personnel are working tirelessly to gain control of these fires, containment among major fires currently ranges from 0- to 30-percent.
We are proud of the first responders from multiple local, state, and federal agencies who have responded courageously to this disaster and mourn for the three firefighters who lost their lives combating the Twisp fire on August 19. Despite their heroic efforts and sacrifice, a disaster of this magnitude requires federal assistance. We therefore urge you to issue a federal emergency disaster declaration as soon as possible. Thank you in advance for your quick attention to this matter.
Patty Murray United States Senator
Maria Cantwell United States Senator
Dave Reichert Member of Congress
Cathy McMorris Rodgers Member of Congress
Dan Newhouse Member of Congress
Jaime Herrera Beutler Member of CongressRead More
Wenatchee, WA – Over the weekend, U.S. Congressman Dave Reichert (WA-8) toured the active fire zones around Lake Chelan with Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett, after attending a briefing on their status and overall damage. After seeing the devastation and gathering details about the United States Forest Service’s (USFS) plan to combat the fires, he issued the following statement:
“This has been a record-breaking fire season for our country, and we are feeling the effects right here at home. I have been spending time in Chelan County over the last few days and have seen the flames and the smoke resulting from the fires as well as the many lakeside homes that have been completely destroyed. The fires currently surrounding Lake Chelan are causing health risks from the smoke’s air pollution in addition to the physical destruction. However, I continue to be impressed by the coordination of the various agencies involved with fighting the fires and know that they will do everything within their power to protect the lives and property of the residents of this community. I will continue to monitor the situation and will continue to support the community’s requests for federal relief.”
The two currently active fires in Chelan County are the Chelan Complex Fire (which has also spread to Douglas and Okanagan Counties) and the Wolverine Fire. Combined, the two fires are affecting over 96,000 acres, with over 1,200 personnel deployed to fight them. Multiple areas have been evacuated. For the most up-to-date emergency information, residents are directed to the Chelan County Emergency Management Facebook page.Read More
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Members of Congress Dave Reichert (WA-8), Mike Coffman (CO-6), Dan Newhouse (WA-4), and Amata Radewagen (AS) have introduced the Protecting Orderly and Responsible Transit of Shipment (PORTS) Act (H.R. 3433). The prolonged contract negotiations and slowdown of cargo handling at the West Coast ports late last year and earlier this year caused significant disruptions throughout the economy. Accordingly it became evident that Congress must find a way to prevent this from happening again.
The Members of Congress said, “For our constituents who depend on trade, it is critical that we maintain the efficient movement of goods into and out of our ports. If we do not, our economy and our communities suffer just as they did during the most recent West Coast ports contract negotiations. The impact of these negotiations and the work slowdown that accompanied them was felt across the country: producers feared lost business,perishable products rotted or expired, manufacturers faced delays, and retailers worried about stocking their shelves. While the parties ultimately came to an agreement and concluded the contract negotiations, the process took far too long and the damage to the rest of our economy far too great. The update to the Taft-Hartley Act and a study on the slowdown called for in the act will help to ensure that future negotiations cannot cause such harm to our businesses, growers, manufacturers, and producers across the nation.”
The companion piece to the PORTS Act was introduced in the Senate by Senator Cory Gardner (CO). The Senator stated, “I’m pleased to see the PORTS Act introduced in the House, and I commend Reps. Reichert, Coffman, Newhouse, and Radewagen for their leadership on this important issue. This legislation recognizes the tremendous benefits of trade, and paves the way for local leaders to prevent and mitigate damaging disputes at our ports – protecting American businesses, consumers, and our economy.”
The Taft-Hartley Act currently allows the president to intervene when there is a “threatened or actual strike or lockout affecting an entire industry…[which] will, if permitted to occur or to continue, imperil the national health or safety.” The PORTS Act clarifies current law to ensure the president can intervene to protect the economy in the case of a slowdown. The bill would also allow governors to appoint boards of inquiry under Taft-Hartley as well as petition a court of jurisdiction to intervene in the case of a slowdown, strike, or lockout. The final piece of the legislation calls for a study on the recent West Coast ports slowdown in order to understand its impact and prevent future occurrences. The full text of the legislation can be found here.
From May of 2014 through February of 2015, the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) negotiated a multi-year contract covering the 29 West Coast container ports and the longshore, clerk, and foreman workers who are employed at these ports. On May 20th and 22nd, the respective parties each ratified the agreement reached in February. According to the Federal Reserve, exports from West Coast ports dropped by 20.5% in the first quarter of 2015.Read More
Issaquah, WA – Friday, U.S. Congressman Dave Reichert (WA-8) welcomed his 2015-2016 Youth Advisory Board (YAB). Rep. Reichert first formed the YAB in 2011 to recognize that constituents of all ages are affected by the policy created at the federal level and to get their feedback and perspectives on the issues of the day and the work of Congress.
After the new group’s welcome, Rep. Reichert said, “I am looking forward to working with this group of intelligent, driven young men and women. They are willing to take time out of their normal routines to discuss the issues facing our nation and that says something very positive about the future. These are the people who will be leading our future generations and I know that we will have a productive and informative time together.”
This year’s YAB new members are listed below:
Washington, D.C. – This week, U.S. Members of Congress Dave Reichert (WA-8), Derek Kilmer (WA-6), and Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-3) introduced the National Multimodal Freight Policy and Investment Act, H.R. 3398. The bipartisan legislation creates a multimodal freight investment grant program which would help states and communities reduce truck and rail network delays, eliminate congestion, reduce highway/rail conflicts, and invest in strategic new freight corridors in both urban and rural environments.
Rep. Reichert said “There is 54 million tons of freight moving across our country on any given day, and this number is only going to increase. Our ability to grow our economy, create jobs, and compete with other nations in a global marketplace is dependent on keeping our transportation system in good repair. However, we have a long ways to go in upgrading our infrastructure and making sure our transportation and movement of goods is as efficient as possible. This legislation will take a much-needed step in doing that and I am glad to partner with my Washington state colleagues to lead this effort.”
“Washington state’s economy depends on transporting goods to market,” said Kilmer. “In order to support job growth in our region, we need infrastructure that can efficiently get products out of warehouses and onto rail lines, highways, and waterways so they get into the hands of customers. Right now, too much of our outdated freight infrastructure results in delays and congestion. Our bipartisan legislation calls for a national focus on smart freight policy that will help businesses and keep us competitive in a 21st century economy.”
“As the U.S. House and Senate are developing a long-term transportation plan, the movement of freight must be a key component,” said Jaime. “The amount of goods moving through Southwest Washington is increasing by the day, and we need our infrastructure to keep up. By making this plan part of a transportation package, we’re better allowing our cities and towns to plan for future growth and economic success, and doing it without any additional costs to taxpayers. Whether its separating grade crossings, reducing congestion on the highway, or increasing port capacity, we can ensure commerce is flowing quickly and – more importantly – safely.”Read More
Washington, D.C. -- Today, Congressman Dave Reichert (WA-08) and Republican Policy Committee Chairman Luke Messer (IN-06) announced the official launch of the Republican Policy Committee Law Enforcement Task Force at a press conference on Capitol Hill.
The task force will be chaired by Congressman Reichert who has over 30 years of experience in local law enforcement.
“Before coming to Congress, I spent 33 years in law enforcement so I understand what it takes to make a good cop and to ensure they have the tools they need to serve and protect their communities,” said Congressman Reichert. “We need a return to civility in our nation. This task force is made up of people from many different perspectives who want to find the facts to achieve that goal – looking for ways to support our communities and our law enforcement so that they can find mutual respect for one another. I’m excited to begin our work, and I know that facts lead to answers and answers to solutions.”
“We all know that tensions between local law enforcement and the communities they serve have rarely been higher in this country,” said Congressman Messer. "That’s not good for America, and, as a nation, we have to do better. I believe I speak for everyone on the task force when I say, we, as Republicans, want to be part of the solution.”
The Law Enforcement Task Force expects to take a deep dive into the drivers of the tensions between police officers and the communities that they serve. The task force plans to hold field hearings, round-table discussions and meetings with relevant stakeholders in the hopes of coming back with recommendations that will help improve the vital relationship between communities and law enforcement.
Members of the Law Enforcement Task Force have over 90 years combined experience in law enforcement. Members include Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), Reps. Susan Brooks (IN-05), Jeff Miller (FL-01), Pete King (NY-02), Ted Poe (TX-02), Richard Nugent (FL-11), Steve Knight (CA-25) and Mia Love (UT-04).
A video of the press conference can be found here.Read More
Washington, D.C. – Ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), U.S. Congressman Dave Reichert (WA-8) issued the following statement:
“This landmark legislation was critical to ensuring all Americans living with disabilities were guaranteed equal access to opportunities to live a full and meaningful life without being discriminated against. With over 55 million people living in our nation with disabilities, it is sometimes hard to realize that before 1990, so many barriers stood in their way to leading happy, successful lives.
“My own godson lives with significant disabilities and if this law had not been enacted before he was born, his life would have turned out very differently – it would have been difficult to access transportation, public and private spaces, and receive an education. It is so important that we continue building upon the successes of the ADA and that we do everything within our power for those who need us to fight just a little bit extra for them, and that is why we must remember this anniversary.”Read More
Washington, D.C. – Today, after the House passage of H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, U.S. Congressman Dave Reichert (WA-8) issued the following statement:
“Today, I voted for the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act and supported consumer choice. By establishing a national standard for labeling, it will help ensure that there is consistency across the country for consumers and producers. This is an important step to making sure consumers can make educated choices about the food they are eating and putting on the table for their families.”
The guidelines set out in H.R. 1599 establish a voluntary non-genetically engineered food certification program within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The bill does not impact the authority of the Food and Drug Administration to require labels under certain circumstances and further directs the FDA to establish rules for defining “natural” foods. For additional information about the bill, please click here.Read More
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Dave Reichert (WA-8) applauds the House Passage of legislation to reauthorize the Highway Trust Fund through the end of the year:
“Yesterday, we voted to ensure our country’s infrastructure needs are met. I supported this legislation, because it continues funding for construction projects through the end of the year while giving us time to come together on a solution that funds a multi-year transportation bill. In my district, it doesn’t take more than a short drive along Highway 18 or Interstate 90 to see the very real need for Congress to act on a plan. A plan that includes a multi-year highway bill that offers communities greater certainty to plan for the future, improves our roads and bridges, reduces congestion, and eases the movement of goods. By the end of this year, I want to say our plan has become law. So this week, we took the first step by passing this bill. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to act quickly.”Read More
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.
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My thoughts and prayers are with their families and their communities. Violence against law enforcement cannot be tolerated
The tragic murders of Louisiana State Trooper Steven Vincent and Officer Harry Nelson remind us of the sacrifice of those who wear the badge