U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, will have a key seat at the table when it comes to making federal spending decisions about the Columbia River Crossing project, her office announced today.
Herrera Beutler, who was named recently to the influential House Appropriations Committee, has learned she will sit on three subcommittees:
- Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
- Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
- Financial Services and General Government
In a statement released Tuesday, Herrera Beutler said there are few other positions in Congress that allow her to make a bigger impact on Southwest Washington’s 3rd Congressional District.
“From flooding in the Chehalis River basin, to the decline in forest health on our federal lands, to our need for an (Interstate 5) Columbia River bridge project that best serves Southwest Washington, I can work directly on challenges that matter most to our region,” she said in the statement.
“Additionally,” she said, “with critical housing and regulatory agencies directly under these subcommittees, I can continue to be a strong voice for solutions that get our economy back on track.”
The Appropriations Committee oversees federal discretionary spending. In addition to serving on that committee, Herrera Beutler will remain on the House Small Business Committee.
Herrera Beutler is the only House member from Washington on the Appropriations Committee and the only House member in the West to serve on the transportation and housing subcommittee, according to her office.
Washington’s Sen. Patty Murray chairs Appropriation’s transportation subcommittee in the other chamber of Congress.
Murray, a Democrat, has been an outspoken supporter of a CRC project that includes a light rail line extending from Portland into Vancouver, while Herrera Beutler has called for a redesign of the project that excludes light rail.
In addition to bringing light rail to Vancouver, the $3.5 billion CRC project would replace the Interstate 5 Bridge and rebuild five miles of freeway. Planners are counting on money from Oregon, Washington and the federal government to pay for the project.