Former Member, Congressional Friends of Animals Caucus, United States House of Representatives
Former Member, Congressional Internet Caucus, United States House of Representatives
Former Member, Congressional Nanotechnology Caucus, United States House of Representatives
Former Member, Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus,United States House of Representatives
Former Member, Democratic Homeland Security Task Force
Former Member, Medicare and Medicaid Fairness Caucus, United States House of Representatives
Former Member, Oceans Caucus, United States House of Representatives
Former Member, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus, United States House of Representatives
Former Co-Char, Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, United States House of Representatives
Date of Wedding Anniversary:
August 27, 1972
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H.R.4192 - Due Process and Military Detention Amendments Act
Latest Action: House - 03/08/2012 Referred to the Committee on Armed Services, and in addition to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.Tracker:
Latest Action: House - 03/15/2012 Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.Tracker:
H.R.4059 - To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to establish a position for a representative of Indian Tribes on the Joint Board overseeing the implementation of universal service, and for other purposes.
Latest Action: House - 02/16/2012 Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.Tracker:
By Jay Inslee My first interaction with an orca whale took place when I was 5 years old. I was fishing on a boat with my dad in the San Juan Islands, a place known for some of the most breathtaking water views in the country. The fog circled our boat like it does most Washington mornings. It was quiet. Suddenly, an unearthly sound enveloped us--I heard a deep whoosh that sounded like a giant creature breathing. I asked my dad what it was. He said the fog was too dense to tell but he imagined it could be a killer whale. He was right. The orca started to glide next to our boat. I felt its sound vibrate deeply in my chest and it swam around our boat two or three times. To my delight, I watched its black dorsal fin rise out of the water like an apparition. The fin was almost 6 feet tall. As a young boy, I was impressed--the fin was taller than me. That was the first time I connected to a life force bigger than myself. When I heard that orca breathe, my reverence for the wild truly began. My memorable moments with nature stretch throughout my entire life. My dad was a teacher and led Student Conservation Association groups in the summer, something I fondly remember taking part in. My dad took children from all over the country up into the Washington mountains to do trail and shelter work. I took my wife, Trudi, water skiing on Lake Sammamish for our first date in 1968. We raised our sons to appreciate the beauty of our state and spent years kayaking, cross-country skiing and fishing together. Now, we teach our grandkids the importance of connecting with the outdoors. Outdoor experiences are constantly in demand in Washington, especially around our more than 100 state parks and state-park properties. I joke that I want a governor-override button on the state park reservation system for cabins at Cama Beach just so I can get in. But even I can't get a reservation there. What resonates with me about the outdoors is that it refreshes the senses. It heals. There's something about fresh air that makes me feel optimistic and connected. And as long as you're wearing a good hard-shell jacket, being outside on a rainy Washington day is better than being inside. You're connected to the rest of life when you're outside. Part of our state government's responsibility is to develop and foster great outdoor recreation opportunities. But the question I think about every day is whether or not the ravages of climate change will propel us into a time when we will have nothing left to connect to outside. When my grandkids reach my age, what glaciers will we have left? What animals will be extinct? What months will prove too hot or smoky to go outside? Will snow no longer top the peak of Crystal Mountain? The world knows Washington state for its lush beauty and unique outdoor experiences. You can sea kayak in Puget Sound. You can hike through the rainforest at Olympic National Park. You can explore the geography of the Ice Age floods in Central Washington, dig clams in Long Beach under a costal night sky that highlights the Milky Way, and see the northern lights if you're lucky. Washington has it all and we must work to make sure we always have it. But we know it's difficult to convince people to take climate change action if they haven't experienced the natural world. How do you tell someone we need to put a price on carbon when they've never hiked a trail to Mount Ellinor or enjoyed the view at one of our coastal state parks? To keep our state healthy, we need to keep outdoor experiences a priority. We need to develop our land wisely. And we need to understand that in a growing economy, we can't do things the way we always have and expect to keep the same outdoor opportunities. We've made such an incredible impact on the landscape here. But today, more people travel farther to get to work. And wilderness areas have dwindled significantly over the past decades. That makes it harder to experience something as simple as a hike. We need climate policy that directly protects the outdoor experience and the health of Washingtonians. As governor, fighting climate change drives many of my priorities. Earlier this year, I signed the most progressive clean energy bill package in the nation. Washington state is passing legislation that invests in alternate renewable energy sources and creating clean transportation technology. We'll keep fighting for clean fuel standards so we can lower our carbon emissions and minimize harm to our oceans as ocean acidification threatens them. States are leading the nation in climate action, despite an absence of federal leadership and attempts by the current administration to roll back many environmental protections. The chance of losing our greatest natural places must motivate us to act. It's up to us to not only care and upkeep the land we fiercely love--we must also intentionally create new ways to protect our wildest places from climate threats. Only then, will our efforts matter to current and future generations. We must protect what we love. We must protect what we value. And that doesn't happen accidentally. It requires action. It's a choice. That's why we must experience what we may lose. We must connect to the world around us. Only then, will we understand the power of connecting to something greater than ourselves.
By Kate Brown and Jay Inslee Brown is governor of Oregon. Inslee is governor of Washington. The only stoplight on Interstate 5 between Canada and Mexico is on the bridge over the Columbia River. As the governors of Washington and Oregon, we know that for too long the antiquated bridge has held our region back, literally and figuratively. More than 138,000 vehicles cross the I-5 bridge each weekday. People travel between Vancouver and Portland for work, recreation, shopping, and visiting friends and family. The bridge's importance to the entire region and our connectivity cannot be overstated. This crucial link has become a major congestion point, and instead of moving the entire region full speed ahead, the bridge has become a symbol of traffic and frustration. Congestion can be so severe during morning and evening commutes that speeds on this interstate highway can be reduced to 15 miles per hour. We've been stuck behind the traffic accidents -- the rate of which quadruple during bridge lifts -- and stuck behind one of our country's worst freight bottlenecks that constrains the economy. We've been stuck with insufficient high-capacity transit and active transportation options even as our population centers grow. And we've been stuck behind a century-old structure built on river sand that's susceptible to damage in even moderate earthquakes. None of that benefits Oregonians, Washingtonians, and the millions of people who drive this stretch of highway every year. For safety, traffic relief and jobs, we are recommitting to replacing the I-5 bridge. We are dedicating $44 million dollars to reopen a project office and begin a transparent, data-driven process that builds on previous work and truly listens to the community's needs. We never stopped fighting for this bridge and much has been accomplished in recent years. In 2015, we secured over $98 million for key infrastructure like the I-5/Mill Plain Boulevard interchange that's an integral piece of the project. In 2017, we re-established a baseline of planning information to help move the project forward. And this year, we secured an important extension from the federal government to keep our funding options open. Share your opinionSubmit your essay of 500-700 words on a highly topical issue or a theme of particular relevance to the Pacific Northwest, Oregon and the Portland area to email@example.com. Please include your email and phone number for verification.Through our renewed efforts, both Washington and Oregon will save money by using some of the technical planning work from the previous project. This includes using or updating geotechnical evaluations, pile-drive tests, and foundation work, as well as archeological and historic property studies. We've jointly instructed our departments of transportation to assign dedicated staff to establish the program office and keep the work on track to meet important milestones. As these efforts are vital to the entire region, we will engage the public at every step in the process. We have an obligation to not just share accurate and timely information, but also listen to community ideas and concerns. We are committed to public engagement through neighborhood meetings, open houses, public festivals, and community group presentations. Regular updates will also be available on the project website, and through email and social media. We've worked hard to align our states for a restart of this project, and we're encouraged that leaders in Washington and Oregon have expressed an interest in coming back to the table, including a new joint legislative action committee. Leadership requires the humility to listen and the courage to act, and these lawmakers are helping us think through foundational principles important to both sides of the river. As we take this next step, we encourage the community to join us in giving this bridge the green light it needs to move the entire region forward.