October 3, 2015 by islandersvoice1
Congratulations on the launch of the Islanders’ Voice blog and for creating a forum where San Juan County Democrats can share their beliefs and engage voters on pressing issues ahead of the 2016 elections.
The recent news of Speaker John Boehner’s resignation at the end of October is on everyone’s mind. Conservative Tea Partiers may be celebrating Boehner’s resignation, but Democrats should not. Under Boehner’s leadership the Republican Party took a hard turn to the right; his resignation will put the pedal to the metal on the Tea Party agenda. The result of Boehner’s departure is that the Tea Party will not only control the Republican leadership: it will be the leadership. Get ready for a bumpy ride.
Congress has a full agenda this fall. Democrats must stay united and be prepared to fight. We successfully avoided a showdown over federal funds being allocated to Planned Parenthood in September, but it is clear that House Republicans will be relentless in their political agenda against Planned Parenthood. They have already created a select committee to investigate Planned Parenthood; a veiled effort to defund the organization. We should all be aware of another shutdown effort later this year. Taking away services from people in our communities who can least afford it to score political points is unacceptable. I have consistently voted to protect funding for family planning services and Planned Parenthood, and I will not back down from this fight. I stand with the millions of people who depend on the organization for their health care.
Another important issue Democrats must unite around is the environment. I am working hard to protect Washington state’s environment. Right now, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is set to expire. This fund has helped preserve public lands all over the Pacific Northwest, from the San Juan National Historic Park to Deception Pass and many more of our prized parks and open spaces. The LWCF operates at no cost to taxpayers because funds come from fees on oil and gas extraction on public lands. That is why I am on a bill which would permanently reauthorize the LWCF.
Finally, I want to make note of a major foreign policy vote I took earlier this month. I decided to support the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the international agreement to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon. The diplomatic deal that six countries reached with Iran restricts Iranian stockpiles, enrichment and technology. It is not a perfect agreement, but it is the best available option to give the international community tools and access to verify Iran’s progress toward upholding their end of the deal. I thank you for supporting this vital step in diplomacy.
Democrats have a lot of work to do this fall. There is a lot at stake and we must stay united if we have any chance of success to defend against the Tea Party and gain seats in 2016. I look forward to working with you and engaging on Islanders’ Voice.
Washington 2nd Congressional District