Washington, DC – Reps. Dave Reichert (WA-08) and Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) will lead a bipartisan group of members in sending a letter urging funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the Ready to Learn (RTL) program, and the public television interconnection system, an essential public safety tool.
“For nearly 50 years, public broadcasting has served as a reliable source for public safety announcements, objective news, and critical educational programs for our children,” said Reichert. “Underserved families living in rural areas have especially benefited from initiatives like the research-based Ready to Learn program, which has improved early literacy and math skills for high-need children. These largely locally run stations and programs are invaluable to maintaining a well-informed public and must be preserved.”
“Public broadcasting is the most trusted name in news. Not only that, it provides vital educational and emergency services. These services are especially critical for rural and small communities, which don’t have an alternative and rely on federal funding,” said Blumenauer. “As we celebrate 50 years of public broadcasting, Congress should continue this partnership and reflect the overwhelming support of the American people for these important programs.”
The letter will be sent on April 6, 2017 to the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee. Reichert and Blumenauer are currently building support for this effort. Last year’s letter was signed by a bipartisan group of 132 members of the House.
Included below is this year’s letter.
Dear Chairman Cole and Ranking Member DeLauro:
Thank you for your steadfast support of our local public broadcasting stations. Under your bipartisan leadership, Congress has for many years consistently provided resources to support local public broadcast stations through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Ready To Learn grant program, and the replacement of public media’s interconnection system.
As you begin to craft the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill, we urge you to continue this legacy and strongly support the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the Ready To Learn program, and public broadcasting interconnection in FY 2018.
These federal investments are critical to public media’s mission to provide unique services in the areas of education, public safety, and civic leadership to all Americans. These services have helped more than three generations of Americans learn to read, improved the math and literacy skills of high-need children, deepened American’s connections to their communities and the world, and successfully brought in-depth, local news, information and cultural programming to communities large and small as well as parts of America that are underserved or otherwise unprofitable for traditional media to reach.
The relatively small federal investment in public broadcasting is leveraged for even greater impact. Approximately 70 percent of funds appropriated to CPB go directly to the more than 1,500 public television and radio stations across the country, supporting approximately 20,000 local jobs, and representing the only locally licensed, controlled, and directed media in America. Every federal dollar invested in public broadcasting is seed money that is leveraged by local stations to raise six additional dollars on their own from the communities they serve.
Public media is committed to education and service to all Americans. Thanks to public broadcasting, Americans at all income levels and from all parts of the country—rural or urban—have access to consistent, high-quality content for free. This innovative and educational programming is readily available to children, parents, teachers, senior citizens, those pursuing their general education degree, and many others.
Public broadcasting is making especially significant contributions to children’s education through the Ready To Learn program. More than 100 studies during the last several Ready To Learn competitive grant rounds have proven that this program’s research-based content builds and improves the early literacy and math skills for high-need children, ages two to eight. From June 2015 through May 2016, 19.1 million children viewed Ready to Learn television content, and in calendar year 2016 there were 12.3 million page views to all Ready To Learn web games. For the 54% of American children who don’t have the means or opportunity to attend preschool, Ready To Learn content provides an essential “school readiness” experience.
Public safety is an often overlooked mission that public broadcasters have embraced with growing impact. In times of national emergency, and as active participants in the presidential alerting system, the combined strength of local public radio and television broadcast signals can reach 98% of the American population. Public television stations provide critical redundancy through the Warning, Alert, and Response Network (WARN), which sends geo-targeted Wireless Emergency Alert messages from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to cellular carriers. Many stations are also effective partners with state and local public safety, law enforcement, and first responder organizations—connecting these agencies with one another, with the public, and with vital datacasting capabilities that use the broadcast spectrum to help first responders securely send critical information and video during times of crisis. Several recent datacasting pilots conducted by the Department of Homeland Security in conjunction with public television stations have demonstrated the ability of this technology to help address the communications challenges facing the public safety community.
Our public broadcasting system is a unique American institution that provides civic leadership, strengthens our local communities, and enables our constituents to have free, locally produced and focused programming as well as in-depth reporting. Public broadcasters have retained the trust of the American people in the comprehensive, transparent, objective, and civil coverage of news and public affairs, serving as essential resources for a well-informed citizenry. Public broadcasting stations are an indispensable source of information about the nation and the world, drawing on skilled journalists, documentarians, historians and local and national experts in a range of fields.
Whether it’s a state high school athletic tournament, public access to sessions of a state legislature, diverse reporting from neighborhoods in every American community, or debate coverage of a local election, public broadcasting keeps America’s communities informed.
In rural areas, where public broadcasting stations can be the only source of free, high-quality local programming available to families, funding from CPB can amount to more than half of some rural stations’ budgets. This is a gap that cannot be closed by increased underwriting revenue or donor support.
All of these services depend on public broadcasting’s interconnection – the technological infrastructure and supporting operations that provide every local public media station across the country with access to programming from national, regional, and independent content providers. Public broadcasting’s public safety work also relies on interconnection as the failsafe for presidential alerts and warnings and ensures that cellular customers can receive geo-targeted emergency alerts and warnings.
The current interconnection infrastructure for public broadcasting stations must be replaced as a result of aging technology and expiring long-term satellite leases. This multi-year project represents an essential element of public broadcasting’s continued public media service to every corner of America. Thank you for your recognition of this important project and for the year one funding that was provided in FY 2016 and proposed for continuation in the FY 2017 Committee bill. Continued funding is needed in FY 2018 to proceed with the critical work that is now underway.
We urge you to continue your support for our nation’s public broadcasting system by providing sufficient resources for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s two-year advance, the Ready To Learn grant program and the public broadcasting interconnection system in the FY 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill.
Thank you for your consideration and attention to this request.
Washington, DC – Today, co-chairs of the bipartisan Law Enforcement Caucus, Reps. Dave Reichert (R-WA), a 33-year law enforcement veteran, and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) sent a letter to President Donald Trump requesting the President to illuminate the White House in blue on the night of May 15, 2017 in honor of Peace Officers Memorial Day. Blue lights are traditionally used as a symbol of recognition and appreciation of law enforcement.
“This is an important show of support for the more than 21,000 officers who have given their lives while serving their communities,” said Congressman Reichert. “I hope the President will take this opportunity to recognize the difficulties and dangers that officers encounter every day in public service to us all. The men and women who wear the badge understand the dangers of their job, but they heed the call to serve and willingly face those risks every day in order to create safe communities for all Americans. Peace Officers Memorial Day is the perfect time to honor these great sacrifices made by those who wear the uniform.”
Requesting the President to illuminate the White House in blue on Peace Officers Memorial Day is part of Congressman Reichert’s #15ReasonsforMay15 campaign, which aims to build awareness leading up to May 15th by highlighting the positive contributions to and sacrifices law enforcement makes on behalf of our communities. Read the full text of the letter below or click HERE.
Dear Mr. President: As co-chairs of the Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus, we respectfully request that you illuminate the White House in blue on the night of May 15, 2017 in honor of Peace Officers Memorial Day. This is an important show of support for the law enforcement community. It is also an opportunity to honor the more than 21,000 officers who have given their lives while serving their communities.
In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15th as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15th falls, as National Police Week. Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. This year, nearly 400 new names will be inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, including the 139 officers who were killed in 2016. The total number of names on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial will increase this year to more than 21,000, dating back to the first known officer fatality in 1791. On average, one law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty somewhere in the United States every 58 hours. A Federal law enacted in 1994 authorizes the American flag to be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day as a richly deserved tribute to our nation’s fallen officers and their families. Illuminating the White House in blue on May 15th of this year would be a fitting complement to this great honor and an important show of support for the men and women who are serving and protecting our great nation. Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely, Dave Reichert (R-WA) Bill Pascrell (D-NJ)Read More
Washington, D.C. – This week, Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA) and a group of Republican lawmakers introduced a resolution calling for American innovation to be used to improve environmental stewardship.
The resolution introduced today calls on the House of Representatives to commit to working on economically viable solutions that address the risks of climate change, calling on “American ingenuity, innovation, and exceptionalism,” and citing the “conservative principle to protect, conserve, and be good stewards of our environment.”
“We are lucky to live in the world’s most innovative country with the brightest minds,” said Rep. Reichert. “We must use this incredible asset to tackle an issue that impacts all of us regardless of our age, income, or geography. Here in the Pacific Northwest, with Mt. Rainier as our backdrop and the Alpine Lake Wilderness in our backyard, we understand the important role nature plays in our lives and why we must preserve it for future generations. I will continue to work with individuals from all sides of the aisle to improve environmental stewardship and encourage American innovation.”
What They’re Saying:
David Jenkins, President, Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship
“The significance of this Republican climate resolution cannot be overstated. Real conservatives don’t deny reality, they face it. They don’t avoid problems, they tackle them head on. The resolution’s 17 initial cosponsors are stepping up on an issue that grows more urgent every day, and showing the prudent, fact-based—and yes, conservative—leadership our nation needs. We are grateful for this important first step.”
Mark Reynolds, Executive Director, Citizens' Climate Lobby
“The risks of climate change are far too great to get bogged down in partisan politics. With this resolution, these 17 Republicans are saying that business-as-usual is unacceptable when it comes to preserving a livable world for future generations. Hopefully, their leadership will help us turn the page and move forward on solutions to this critical problem.”
Diane Randall, Executive Secretary, Friends Committee on National Legislation (The Quaker lobby in the public interest)
“The leadership demonstrated by the 17 co-sponsors of this Republican climate resolution is such a hopeful step forward. This resolution shows that our moral obligation to address climate change and protect vulnerable communities transcends partisanship, and that there truly is political will to address this issue from both political parties in Congress. Now, more than ever, we pray that Congress will quickly pivot the dialogue towards meaningful climate solutions.”
Dan Misleh, Executive Director, Catholic Climate Covenant
“The Catholic Climate Covenant applauds the moral courage of the 17 Republican legislators who have introduced this resolution. The Catholic Church recognizes the threat that climate change poses to our common home and to human life and dignity – especially of the poor and vulnerable, and of those in future generations. We are heartened that Congress is responding to Pope Francis’s call in his address to Congress and in Laudato Si to “enter into dialogue with all people about our common home” (Laudato Si’, no. 3). We encourage House members take the next step of joining the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus.”
The Niskanen Center
“The sponsors of the Republican Climate Resolution understand that there is nothing conservative about ignoring the enormous risks of climate change. As conservatives, we believe the government exists to protect property rights and lives. It is clear that climate change will put both at risk for our kids and future generations. It is also clear that we have the means to significantly reduce those risks and leave a prosperous and clean future for posterity. The Niskanen Center applauds these Republicans who are looking to take positive steps forward finding practical and market-based solutions for climate change.”
Ken Kimmell, President, Union of Concerned Scientists
“I’m heartened to see Republican House members introduce a resolution committing Congress to address climate change and base its policy decisions on science and quantifiable facts. While the resolution doesn’t explicitly make the link to fossil fuel emissions, it shows that these Republican lawmakers are not in a state of denial about this key issue. The U.S. is seeing more extreme weather due to climate change, including flooding, droughts and wildfires, which cost taxpayers billions of dollars in damages. There’s strength in numbers, and I hope that this sizable group of responsible leaders will have an impact on votes in Congress.”
Francesco "Frank" Femia and Caitlin Werrell, Co-Founders and Presidents, The Center for Climate and Security
“This resolution demonstrates that the security risks of climate change are a reality that partisanship cannot continue to obscure. The Department of Defense and intelligence community have recognized this issue across both Republican and Democratic Administrations, and it's heartening to see Republican policy-makers from all parts of the country acting on that.”
Mindy Lubber, President, Ceres (A nonprofit mobilizing business and investor leadership for a sustainable global economy)
“Today’s announcement sends a loud and clear message that addressing climate change need not be a partisan issue. We applaud all lawmakers - no matter their party affiliation - who recognize the urgency of tackling climate change and the enormous economic opportunities of accelerating clean energy in all parts of the United States. The cosponsors of this resolution have shown bold leadership, and we look forward to working with them to craft bipartisan climate solutions that Americans want and expect from Washington.”
The Rev. Mitch Hescox, President/CEO, The Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN)
"We are proud of the courageous leadership of Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Rep. Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), Rep. Ryan Costello (PA-6), and the 14 other Republican co-sponsors of this House Resolution affirming that climate change is a serious problem that must be addressed in order for us to be "good stewards of our environment ...". We heartily concur and stand ready to support efforts to do so”.
Heather Reams, Managing Director, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions
“Addressing climate change through clean energy solutions is smart policy and smart politics. Time and again, CRES polling shows that voters overwhelming support lawmakers who prioritize clean energy to advance the economy, create good paying jobs, promote energy independence, and protect the environment.”
Admiral Frank "Skip" Bowman, U.S. Navy (ret), Member of the Advisory Board, The Center for Climate and Security, Former Director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program: “I support this Republican Climate Resolution. Putting aside arguments of cause and effect, there are measured and measurable data and global events that must be considered and accounted for in our defense planning.”
Rear Admiral David W. Titley, U.S. Navy (ret), Member of the Advisory Board, The Center for Climate and Security, Former Oceanographer of the Navy: "I'm very excited to see the Republican Climate Change Resolution introduced to the Congress. Our nation's long-term security is critically dependent on moving away from fossil-based fuels to lessen the worst risks of climate change. This change will not happen without support and leadership from the Congress, in partnership with the Administration. The Republican Climate Change Resolution is a good first step towards a serious bi-partisan policy discussion.”
Commander David "Deke" Slayton, U.S. Navy (ret), Member of the Advisory Board, The Center for Climate and Security: "The Republican Climate Resolution ably and well serves as an imperative and call for action for our Nation. The resolution captures the issues of an observable, changing climate and the dynamic events we see unfolding in the worlds oceans today. These critical events demand U.S. Congressional and national executive leadership, now. "
Sherri Goodman, Member of the Advisory Board, The Center for Climate and Security, Former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense: “The Republican Climate Resolution, whose signers represent a broad cross-section of America affected by climate change, from our coasts to rural agricultural areas, soundly recognizes that climate change is a “threat multiplier” that will adversely affect our national security interests as well as all Americans, where we live and work. The leaders of this effort should be commended for recognizing that we need both to study and address changes in our global and regional climates, and build more resilient communities for America’s future.”
Vice Admiral Lee Gunn, U.S. Navy (ret): "I am enthusiastically adding my support for this Republican Climate Resolution (Ms. Stefanik, et al., 'Expressing the commitment of the House of Representatives to conservative environmental stewardship.'). The resolution acknowledges, among other things, the enormous national security importance of stewardship of the environment for America. Our armed services depend on predictable conditions at home for training, maintenance, drills and exercises, and bases, all components of building ready military forces. Also, the demands worldwide on not only our military but our economic, diplomatic and political power, demands on all elements of our national power, will inevitably be greater if the environment becomes less predictable. The Republican Climate Resolution supports not only traditional American values, but the practical imperative of maintaining our security at home and abroad."
Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, U.S. Army (ret), former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, Visiting Professor of Government and Public Policy, the College of William and Mary: "The Republican Climate Change Resolution being introduced in the Congress--the Gibson Resolution under new leadership--symbolizes my political party's recognition of climate change's impact on national security, an impact already being felt from the shipyards at Hampton Roads to the Ship Channel in Houston, Texas. Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and her 16 Republican co-sponsors are to be congratulated for their herculean efforts to bring my political party to a firm recognition of these risks."Read More
Washington, DC – This week, Reps. Dave Reichert (R-WA) and John B. Larson (D-CT) introduced the Volunteer Responder Incentive Protection Act of 2017 (VRIPA), a bipartisan bill that would provide a tax exemption on the benefits volunteer firefighters and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel receive from their communities.
“Firefighters and EMS personnel along with members of law enforcement are the individuals who come to our rescue when we are most in need,” said Rep. Reichert. “I know this to be true from my personal experience. Years ago a first responder came to my side and because of their help, I am here today. Like I learned long ago, these men and women are essential to the safety of our loved ones and to the security of our communities. Giving them much needed tax relief is the least we could do for individuals who are willing to run into a burning building or provide life-saving care on our behalf.”
“Volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel put their lives on the line to keep our communities safe,” said Rep. Larson. “These brave men and women should not be taxed on the small tokens of gratitude localities bestow in return for their selfless actions. This commonsense, bipartisan legislation will help ease some of the burdens of our volunteer first responders’ experience. It is the least we can do when they already sacrifice so much. I thank Rep. Reichert for being a partner on this legislation for so many years and his continued leadership on this issue."What they're saying:
“The IAFC thanks Rep. Dave Reichert for his continued leadership in strengthening volunteer and combination fire departments across the United States," said Chief John Sinclair, International Association of Fire Chiefs president and chairman of the board. “This legislation will ensure that fire departments can continue offering recruitment and retention incentives that ensure fire departments are fully staffed and communities remain protected from fires and other life threatening emergencies.”
“On behalf of the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) I’d like to thank Representatives David Reichert, John Larson and all of the bi-partisan original cosponsors for introducing this important legislation, which will help local emergency response agencies recruit and retain volunteer fire, EMS and rescue personnel," said NVFC chairman, Kevin D. Quinn. "On average a volunteer firefighter in the United States donates services worth more than $18,000 to the community that he or she serves every year. It is common sense to clarify that the nominal incentives that some volunteers receive in recognition of their service should not be taxed by the federal government." “We commend Congressman Reichert and Congressman Larson for introducing this important legislation," said Bill Webb, Executive Director of the Congressional Fire Services Institute. "They understand the immense sacrifices our nation's firefighters make every day to protect our communities. Passage of the Volunteer Incentive Protection Act will help the volunteer fire service with recruitment and retention by enabling volunteer firefighters to keep certain benefits provided by state and local authorities, rather than returning a portion of that amount to the Internal Revenue Service. That's good legislation for the fire service and for our local communities.”Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA) cosponsored legislation introduced by Rep. Carlos Curlbelo (R-Fl), the Recognizing America’s Children (RAC) Act, which would provide a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.
The bill provides immigrants that have been vetted by The Department of Homeland Security with three pathways toward legal status: higher education, service in the armed forces, or work authorization. Following a 5-year conditional status, these immigrants would be able to reapply for a 5-year permanent status.
Additional original co-sponsors of the RAC Act are Representatives Mike Coffman (CO-6), Jeff Denham (CA-10), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), Mark Amodei (NV-2), Jenniffer González Colón (PR), David G. Valadao (CA-21), and Fred Upton (MI-6).
"Children who came to the U.S. by no fault of their own and grew up in our country should be permitted to pursue the American dream," Reichert said. "These individuals are our children's classmates, our neighbors, our friends, and our loved ones. They have sacrificed through military service, earned degrees to become doctors and teachers, and have contributed to our communities in immeasurable ways. I am proud to support a bill that recognizes what these individuals have given back to our great country."
“Over the years many immigrant children have arrived in our country – brought by their parents who either illegally crossed one of our borders or overstayed their visas,” Curbelo said. “For most of these young people, the United States is the only country they have ever called home. They attended school with our own children, graduated high school and today they are seeking to serve in our military, pursue a college degree or certificate and contribute to our economy by working.
“These are America’s children, and that is why I’m proud to lead this group of representatives from all over the country to introduce legislation to simply recognize them as such and provide them an earned path to legal status,” added Curbelo. “I hope Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate can get behind this legislation and that it can soon be sent to the President’s desk for his signature.”
“It’s so important to recognize that young people who were brought here as children, who grew up here, went to school here, and who often know of no other country, be allowed to legally remain in the United States,” Coffman said. “Let’s give them a chance to achieve the American Dream through work, education, or military service, and to help us together build a stronger America.”
“We have many undocumented young adults in America who were brought here through no fault of their own and know no other country to call home,” said Denham. “If these young men and women are willing to serve in the military, pursue a degree or contribute to the economy, then I believe they should have the opportunity to do so.”
“This bill recognizes those who were brought here at a young age by their parents and are living in the shadows,” Diaz-Balart said. “I am proud to support legislation that will allow hardworking and selfless individuals who want to pursue higher education, serve in our military, and become part of America’s work force to do just that.”
“I’m proud to be joining Carlos on this endeavor that will bring us closer to ensuring that our Dreamers, who were brought to our nation through no fault of their own, and who are also the future of our great nation, can continue to positively contribute to our society,” said Ros-Lehtinen. “Throughout my years in Congress, I have been a staunch advocate to protect these young men and women because they are the lifeblood of many communities and are as American as anyone else. We should nurture their talents so our country can grow and be strengthened by their inclusion.”
“I’m sick of defending nothing as it pertains to congressional action on immigration,” Amodei said. “I’d rather be criticized for attempting to move an issue toward solution than criticized for repeated inaction. I believe this bill is a step in the right direction and I’m pleased to team up with Congressman Curbelo and my colleagues in the House to reform our broken immigration system.”
“I’m happy to support this legislation that does justice to thousands of qualified and vetted undocumented immigrants who entered our nation as children through no fault of their own,” said González Colón.
“There is no doubt our immigration system is in desperate need of repair. And while it is important we reform our process and secure our borders, it is also critical that we treat those who came here through no fault of their own with compassion,” Valadao said. “This bill will provide legal status to those young people who choose to contribute to our society by pursing an education or serving in the armed forces, allowing them to stay in the United States, the only home they know.”
“For these young people, the United States is their home. They’ve been raised in our neighborhoods, attended our schools, and worked in our communities,” said Upton. “This legislation simply gives these kids, who have been carefully vetted by the Department of Homeland Security, the chance to earn legal status by pursuing higher education, serving in our armed forces, or entering the workforce. I’ve long-been supportive of common-sense, bipartisan reforms to our broken immigration system and hope to see this piece of legislation advance quickly.”Read More
Washington, DC – This week, Co-Chairs of the bipartisan House Law Enforcement Caucus Reps. Dave Reichert (R-WA), a 33 year law enforcement veteran, and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) sent a letter to President Trump outlining the importance of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), especially its hiring program. Reps. Reichert and Pascrell urged the Administration to put their full support behind COPS and the programs it supports.
“I know firsthand how important community policing is to reducing crime, keeping officers safe, and building trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve,” said Rep. Reichert. “Today members of law enforcement around the country are being asked to take on more while facing widespread staffing shortages. Our local law enforcement are our first line of defense, the first to respond to acts of domestic terrorism. We must support the men and women who risk their lives daily to keep our communities and our families safe. There is no greater way to do this than through strong support of the COPS Office and community policing.”
Congressman Reichert also testified before the House Appropriations Committee, calling on committee members to strengthen funding for the COPS Hiring Program. To watch his testimony, click HERE.
The full contents of the joint letter to the President can be found HERE or below:
Dear President Trump:
As Co-Chairs of the bipartisan House Law Enforcement Caucus, we write in strong support of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) and the programs the office administers on behalf of our nation’s law enforcement officers. With tensions between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve on the rise, we are concerned by any legislative or budget proposals that would jeopardize the work of the COPS Office. Now, more than ever, it is essential to support community policing efforts that build trust and mutual respect between law enforcement officers and communities.
For over two decades, the COPS Office has provided critical resources to state, local, territorial, and tribal law enforcement agencies to advance community policing efforts that have reduced crime and made towns and cities across America safer. These resources have helped implement initiatives to develop and test innovative policing strategies and provide training to community members, local government leaders, and all levels of law enforcement.
One of the most critical programs the COPS Office oversees is the COPS Hiring competitive grants program, which provides struggling communities with necessary funding to address their personnel needs. Since its inception, the COPS Hiring Program has placed approximately 129,000 officers in communities across the United States to advance policing and crime prevention efforts. These are critical bodies on the street patrolling neighborhoods, as well as school resource officers in our nation’s classrooms to help keep our children safe. Staffing challenges not only jeopardize the safety of our men and women in uniform, but also exacerbate the breakdown in trust between law enforcement and community. Police departments must have the staff necessary to effectively engage with their communities and proactively respond to their needs, instead of running from one crime to the next.
In fact, the study The Effects of COPS Office Funding on Sworn Force Levels, Crimes, and Arrests, completed by researchers from the University of Chicago, Duke University, and Cornell University, found that federal investment in local policing through the COPS Hiring Program led to a reduction in crime without a corresponding increase in arrests. This study demonstrates the effectiveness of community policing in reducing crimes while not exacerbating our nation’s incarceration rates and the strain on local economies.
The COPS Hiring Program is a modest investment with huge returns for our communities, but it is much more than that. The COPS Office is vital to our nation’s homeland security. Local law enforcement officers are our first line of defense - they are the first to respond to acts of domestic terrorism and they are increasingly tasked with additional duties in the national interest like drug enforcement and gang elimination efforts. As the federal government calls upon local cops to do more, we have a responsibility to ensure they have the tools and resources necessary to carry out their critical mission to protect the homeland.
The COPS Office is also responsible for implementing the Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act (Public Law No: 114-12), a law we authored in response to targeted attacks on law enforcement. This law establishes a nationwide Blue Alert communications system, modeled after Amber Alerts, to help disseminate information on the serious injury or death of a law enforcement officer in the line of duty, an officer who is missing in connection with the officer's official duties, or an imminent and credible threat that an individual intends to cause the serious injury or death of a law enforcement officer. The sharing of this information will help law enforcement officers more quickly identify and apprehend violent criminals and prevent further loss of life. We plan to continue to engage with the COPS Office to ensure that this law is implemented expeditiously to help ensure the safety of our police officers when they are in the line of duty. Unwavering support for the COPS Office is one of the best ways we can work together to support our law enforcement community. The Law Enforcement Caucus looks forward to working with your Administration to improve community policing efforts across the country to keep our neighborhoods safe.
Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.
Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA)
Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ)Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert (R-WA) and Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) released the following statements after President Donald Trump released his 2017 trade agenda.
Chairman Reichert said:
“I agree with the President that we must break down trade barriers for American manufacturers, farmers, and service providers through high-quality trade agreements that open up new opportunities for American businesses to sell their goods and services around the world. By forcing open markets and knocking down barriers abroad, we create here at home more good jobs that pay well—some 15 to 20 percent more than non-trade related jobs.
“If America wants to remain competitive on the world stage, we simply have to engage. Our competitors across the globe have already recognized the future belongs to those countries that trade outside their borders and create opportunities for their companies to tap into the enormous potential that is waiting in the international marketplace. We cannot afford to miss the chance for American businesses to reach new consumers—if we do not fill these markets with American products, other countries will seize them from us. And if we sit on the bench, our competitors will write the rules and create the trade standards we will all have to play by. They are ready to move ahead with or without us.
“Our current trade agreements have benefited families and communities across my home state and the country. We can—and do—hold our partners accountable to these agreements through rigorous dispute settlement proceedings with real teeth, including at the World Trade Organization. Dispute settlement allows us to win a level playing field for American businesses and workers when our trading partners have not followed the rules.
“I agree with President Trump that we can make improvements and update our agreements like NAFTA, which was negotiated many years ago. I am committed to working closely with the Administration and my colleagues in Congress to modernize our trade agreements and move forward on negotiating new ones that meet the objectives Congress has established and the high standards Americans expect and deserve.”Chairman Brady said:
“I appreciate President Trump’s strong support for trade agreements that grow our economy and create good jobs here at home. Done right and aggressively enforced, trade agreements turn one-way trade coming into America into two-way trade that levels the playing field for American workers around the world. Without solid trade agreements, we will see our competitors overtake us in more markets around the world and reach millions of new customers who should be ours. With 96% of the world’s consumers living outside our country, we must continue to move forward with bold new trade agreements that encourage more people to buy ‘Made in America’ products and services.
“I strongly believe that our current trade agreements—including the WTO—have been successful for Americans because these agreements establish a firm rule of law to hold our competitors in check and opening markets for us to sell our goods, services, and farm products. They have also made a broad array of products available to American families at affordable prices. And when other countries don’t follow the rules, our agreements give us powerful tools through a dispute settlement process to retaliate against them. However, I agree with President Trump that we should improve our agreements to make them better serve American workers. NAFTA, for example, is decades old, and we need new disciplines on digital trade, state-owned enterprises, labor, and other unfair trade barriers. Congress has set forth in statute many detailed negotiating objectives that we want to see to improve our trade agreements.
“I look forward to working intensively with President Trump and his Administration to strengthen our existing agreements and deliver strong new trade agreements that will improve the lives of all Americans.”Read More
Washington, DC – Today Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA) made the following statement after President Trump's address to a joint session of Congress:
“Tonight, President Trump stood before the American people and elected officials representing all corners of our country, promising to be the president for all people living in this great country. Out of all his campaign promises, this is the one he cannot fail to deliver on.
I am hearing from and talking to people across Washington’s Eighth District every day. I’ve heard their sincere hopes and I’ve heard their genuine fears. I can see it in their eyes and feel it in their voices. There are deep divisions in our country, and those divisions are driven by passion and concern. We have seen it in the rifts between law enforcement and community. We have seen it in protests within our cities, on our TVs, and across the dinner table at family meals.
Bridging the divide begins and ends with rebuilding trust between one another. While we may never agree on all policy proposals, we must look for areas where we can find common ground and remind ourselves that in the end, we are all on the same team.
I am confident Congress and the White House can begin working toward uniting the country by treating one another with civility and respect and implementing policy solutions that better the lives of all Americans.
Families in Washington’s Eighth Congressional District deserve affordable, accessible, and personalized health care. American families deserve a simpler, fairer tax code that allows them to bring home more of their hard-earned dollars. They deserve an economy where determination and sweat can lead to boundless opportunities. And, they deserve to live in neighborhoods where they know their loved ones are safe. These are human desires that are blind to class, color, and geography.
As we work toward these goals, I remain willing to work with all sides, but will also be ready to speak out when I feel Congress or the Administration are taking the country in the wrong direction.
When I was first sworn into office in 2005, I swore to protect the U.S. Constitution. That is a promise I have not forgotten and one I hold dear. The President took that same oath when he was inaugurated this past January. He must look to this document as a guide to his platform and a check on his executive authority.
During this new Congress and Administration we will continue to face challenges, but these challenges are also opportunities. I look forward – with optimism and energy – to working with the constituents of Washington’s Eighth District, Congress, and the Administration to find solutions that unite us as a country and better the lives of our families.”Read More
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA) released the following statement in response to the threat made against the Jewish Community Center in Mercer Island, WA and the more than 100 attacks on Jewish communities across the country.
“I am deeply disheartened and disturbed with what I have been seeing around the country and now in our own backyard,” said Congressman Reichert. “There is no place for hatred, bigotry, or antisemitism in our community. Religious freedom is a cornerstone of the values this nation was built on. Individuals of all religious backgrounds feeling anything less than safe in our region and in our country is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated. These malicious attacks on places of worship, community centers, and on sacred burial grounds must be investigated with urgency and those who committed these crimes must be held accountable.”
“I call on all Americans to join me in sending your thoughts, prayers, and support to the Mercer Island Jewish community and the Jewish communities around our country who have been threatened for no other reason but for peacefully practicing their faith.”Read More
There has been some misinformation circulating that I am holding a town hall in Cashmere on February 20th. That is not true. I will be joining Enrinque Cerna for a FB Live hosted by KCTS on Feb 23rd at 1 pm. The event can be viewed live on my Facebook page or on the KCTS 9 Facebook page. You can submit questions at the below link. Meeting with constituents and hearing your concerns is my top priority. I encourage you to visit my website to schedule an appointment with me or a member of my staff.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.
Tragic news out of WI. Sending prayers to the family of the fallen officer & the three victims & Everest Metro PD https://t.co/0yGcP03I3R
Way to go Kyle Millis of @IssaquahHigh for placing 1st in the 100 Yard Backstroke at state!