I am a third-generation farmer from Central Washington, and before being elected to Congress, I served as Director of the Washington State Department of Agriculture. Throughout my life and career, I have seen firsthand the negative impacts federal decisions and one-size-fits-all regulations can have on rural areas—in fact, that’s what compelled me to run for office in the first place! Unfortunately, our rural communities continue to be plagued by burdensome regulations and red tape put in place by unelected bureaucrats who’ve never even heard of a Grange meeting.
As Chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus, I am honored to lead over 80 Members from across the United States to advocate for rural policy issues throughout the West and beyond. Over the past few years, our organization has expanded and has Members who hail from Georgia to Arizona, New York to Guam, and everywhere in between. And we’re only just getting started.
As your Chairman, I intend to build upon this foundation, expand our influence, and help achieve new victories for rural communities across the country. I am proud to work alongside Western Caucus Members to serve as champions for these communities who feel they have been left behind by the federal government’s over-reaching laws and burdensome regulatory red tape.
We will continue working to encourage responsible resource development and energy independence, unlock our public lands and meet the multiple-use mandate, protect our communities from wildfires by advancing active management of our forests, support the water infrastructure that makes our way of life possible across the West, and empower our Nation’s farmers, ranchers, and agriculture industry to continue to grow the food that feeds the world.
For the last 30 years, the Western Caucus has advocated for our rural and western way of life in Washington, D.C. We’ve seen the failures of a bloated, bureaucratic federal government firsthand: millions of acres of forests going up in flames annually due to decades of little to no forest management, the agriculture industry unfairly punished and left with uncertainty due to unclear and ever-changing federal regulations, vital infrastructure projects stalled for years, conservation and species management needs unmet, and American industries stifled by a Green New Deal agenda.
The threat the Biden Administration poses to rural communities across the United States is strong, but the commitment the Western Caucus has for rural America is stronger. We will protect our values and defend the local communities we represent—failure is simply not an option.
Throughout the 118th Congress, I encourage you to support the Western Caucus as we fight for rural communities and lift the voices of those who must be heard.