Monday, July 7, 2014

Team Reichert AND DelBene

Back in the summer of 2010, I wrote a post about two U.S. House of Representative candidates in the state of Washington, incumbent Dave Reichert (a Republican) and challenger Suzan DelBene (a Democrat who I knew back when we were both students at Reed College). For the record, Reichert won that election - but DelBene won an election for another House seat two years later.

With all of the news about Washington (the city, not the state) gridlock, we often think that people from opposite sides of the aisle spend their time peppering each other with body slams.

But this isn't always the case:

Jun 12, 2013

Washington, D.C – United States Representatives Dave Reichert (R-WA) and Suzan DelBene (D-WA) today applauded House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings’s (R-WA) announcement that his Committee will soon begin consideration of new wilderness proposals. Specifically, the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation, Chaired by Congressman Rob Bishop (R-Utah), will hold a legislative hearing in July on Rep. Reichert’s Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act (H.R. 361). This legislation, which he re-introduced with Senator Patty Murray, along with Congresswoman Suzan DelBene earlier this year, proposes a 22,000-acre expansion of the existing Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area. The expansion would include important lower-elevation lands and complete watersheds, and designation of both the Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers as Wild and Scenic.

“I was encouraged to hear Chairman Hastings’s announcement last night,” said Reichert. “Protecting resources and preserving recreational opportunities has long been a strong, bipartisan tradition for the Washington delegation. I have been working with the support of my colleagues since 2007 to ensure the protection of these lands and encourage the benefits this could have for local communities and businesses that rely on the support of recreationists from across the country. Consideration of this bill by the Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Subcommittee is an important step so this legislation can finally be signed into law and our natural heritage and the incredible beauty of our state can be preserved for future generations.”

“Washington state has a long, bipartisan tradition of protecting our wild lands, rivers and lakes. The announcement by Chairman Hastings of the House Natural Resources Committee’s plan to take up the legislation to expand the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and protect the Pratt and Snoqualmie Rivers is great news for our state, outdoor enthusiasts and the local communities that depend on this precious habitat and pristine environment,” said Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, original cosponsor to the House bill. “I want to thank Chairman Hastings for his willingness to consider this important legislation and to Congressman Reichert for his leadership on the issue. This bipartisan bill is an opportunity for us to protect our natural landscapes and expand the great recreational opportunities that make living in the Northwest so special.”

When it is mutually beneficial to work with "the enemy," do so.

Of course, some allege that Republicans and Democrats already work together AGAINST the people, but that's a whole other topic.

Returing to Alpine Lakes, there were high hopes for passage in July 2013, but since H.R. 361 remains stuck in a subcommittee, the measure appears to be dead. Again.
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