America’s New Congress is filled with hundreds of Members and thousands of stories. Each week, GOP.gov will introduce you to a new House Republican with “10 Questions.”
This week’s Featured Member is Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, who represents Washington’s 3rd Congressional District. She serves on the House Committees on Appropriations and Small Business.
In the summer of 2013, Herrera Beutler gave birth to Abigail Rose Beutler, who was born with Potter Syndrome and faced long odds to survive. Despite the difficulties, Abigail survived and was called a ‘miracle baby’ by news outlets across the nation. Read her story here.
We asked Rep. Herrera Beutler 10 questions:
1. What motivates you to serve the people of your district in Congress?
I am incredibly honored to represent the people of Washington’s Third District. Southwest Washington has been my home ever since I was a small girl and it is the only place that I can truly ever call home. Not only are the people of Southwest Washington my friends, family, and neighbors, but they are hardworking patriotic Americans who want their children and grandchildren to have the same freedoms and opportunities they enjoyed growing up. As long as I am their federal representative, I will work tirelessly serve the communities that mean so much to me.
2. What’s one piece of advice that has helped shape the course of your life?
My hero is Abigail Adams and I have learned so much from her life. One of my favorite quotes of hers is, “These are the times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, and animated by scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant, wake into life and form the character of the hero and the statesman.”
3. When did you realize you were a Republican?
I knew I was Republican very early on in life. I can remember canvassing for local candidates and walking in the parades for conservative causes in elementary school.
4. What was your first job?
When I was a young I was hired to pick blueberries on a farm in Battle Ground, WA. I also babysat and my senior year of high school, after I was done with basketball season, I got a job at a trendy jewelry store at the Vancouver Mall.
5. What were you most surprised about when you started serving in Congress?
Unlike many other freshman representatives, I had worked on the Hill before and was already familiar with the layout of the House Buildings and the Capitol. The biggest surprise came in my second term when I was pregnant with my daughter Abigail. After doctors diagnosed her with Bilateral Renal Agenesis- a fatal diagnosis- I was overwhelmed and moved by the support I received from both sides of the aisle. My colleagues’ empathy reminded me that despite our differing political views, we are all human beings who experience hardships throughout our lives. I will always be thankful for the friends I made during that time.
6. What’s the most important — but under-reported — policy issue you work on?
Many important issues never earn a spot on the front page of the newspaper, but they affect Americans around the country. Wildfire and forest management is one of those issues. Last year, many communities across Washington and California were threatened by wildfires that burned hundreds of thousands of acres. The damage and the efforts to contain the fires cost millions of dollars. While there was wide coverage of the destruction caused by the fires, there was not enough talk about what we must do to prevent future outbreaks. I plan on continuing to work with my colleagues in the 114th Congress to reevaluate how we manage national forests so that fires do not break out in the first place as well as pass responsible legislation that will provide sufficient resources to fight fires in times of emergency and adapt our forest policy to help prevent forest fires.
7. What book are you currently reading?
Just finished the “Five Love Languages” by Gary Smalley and I am part way through Katharine Graham’s Biography.
8. What is your favorite vacation destination?
Stay-cation. When we get a break from the congressional schedule I either like to stay home and relax or stay close by at a river or lake.
9. Where are you most likely to be seen dining when you’re home in your district?
Eastland Sushi in east Vancouver! Best, absolute best sushi I’ve ever had.
10. What is your favorite professional sports team?
The defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks, of course.