Herrera Beutler on Obama speech: Get serious about cutting regulations

Camas Republican gets quick word in with president

By Stevie Mathieu, Columbian assistant metro editor

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Following President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray expressed agreement with the president’s desire to make the wealthiest Americans pay more taxes, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell touted his plan to keep manufacturing jobs in the country, and U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler said he needs to get serious about cutting government regulations.

Herrera Beutler, a Republican representing Washington state’s 3rd District, said she made her way down to the good seats to greet the president as he made his entrance Tuesday night. The congresswoman said she shook Obama’s hand, said “It’s going to be a good year,” and he replied, “Yes it is.”

Prior to the president’s address, Herrera Beutler said on Twitter she hoped he would discuss dismantling cumbersome government regulations. After hearing him speak, she said that although she heard Obama reaffirm a commitment to reign in regulations, new regulations still come across her desk often.

“It’s time he join with us and actually make some of those things happen,” Herrera Beutler said, adding she especially wants to see regulations that impede small businesses disappear.

Regarding Obama’s idea to make all millionaires pay at least 30 percent in taxes, Herrera Beutler said she can’t support any tax increases until the government combs through its budgets and completely cracks down on wasteful spending.

“Raising taxes won’t solve our nation’s problems,” she said.

Herrera Beutler did say that she agreed with Obama’s plea that Congress pass the Stock Act, legislation she co-sponsors. The proposal would keep lawmakers from using inside information to make stock purchases.

As for the rest of the president’s address, “I heard a lot of ideas tonight, and I want to add them up and see what they’re going to cost,” she said.

Meanwhile, Murray, a Democrat who represents Washington, said she agrees with the president’s plan to make sure millionaires pay a tax rate closer to the rates paid by middle-class Americans.

“We are going to fight to make sure the wealthiest Americans and the biggest corporations contribute their fair share,” Murray said in a news release.

Murray also said she supports the president’s mission to increase funding to the Veterans Affairs department, spend more on infrastructure, and increase science and technology training so more Americans can compete in those fields.

Cantwell, also a Democrat, said she agreed with the president’s desire to invest in clean energy and to make college more affordable. She also honed in on Obama’s message to end tax incentives for companies that send jobs overseas, noting that manufacturing jobs in industries such as aerospace are crucial to the economic health of Washington state.

“We are at a pivotal point for the competitiveness of our nation,” Cantwell said in a news release. “Washington state is a national leader in many industries including aerospace, biotech, clean energy technology, software, and agriculture. We need policies that will help the manufacturing sector grow.”

Stevie Mathieu: 360-735-4523 or stevie.mathieu@columbian.com or www.facebook.com/reportermathieu or www.twitter.com/col_politics