114th Congress Accomplishments
Stronger Economy, More Jobs
Growing our small businesses
- Rick worked hard for legislation and funding to make it easier for small businesses to export through the State Trade and Export Promotion program.
- Rick helped reauthorize the job-creating Export-Import Bank.
- Rick worked to develop a wide base of support for the Small Business Development Center in Everett. He also helped increase the federal funding available to the center so it can continue helping local small businesses grow.
Investing in our transportation infrastructure
- Rick led efforts to increase funding for our state’s ferries, because he understands they are an extension of our highway system.
- Rick also worked for more than 10 years with local, state and federal stakeholders to make sure Mukilteo gets a modernized and efficient facility.
- Rick pushed to include higher standards for oil tankers in the transportation bill: it requires improvements to the caps on older tank cars to reduce pressure and the potential for explosion in case of an accident.
- He has pushed successfully to direct funds to improve at-grade crossings and other critical freight mobility projects, because keeping the economy moving depends on safe, reliable movement of goods.
- Rick took a position on the railroad oversight committee to better enable him to improve rail infrastructure in the Northwest.
- Rick fought successfully to increase funding for the infrastructure that will continue encouraging biking and walking as mainstream ways to travel.
- Rick pushed successfully to streamline a popular transportation loan program to help midsized cities like Mountlake Terrace and Anacortes access the big-time funds they need. And he worked to make sure mid-sized cities can get federal funding for projects to help move goods more efficiently.
Protecting Our Environment
- Rick is working to protect our state’s environment by successfully renewing a popular conservation funding program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, that has helped preserve open spaces throughout the Pacific Northwest for 50 years, including Ebey’s Reserve, Chuckanut Bay and the Wild Sky Wilderness.
- Rick also is leading bipartisan efforts to preserve our estuaries, like the Puget Sound.
- Rick successfully secured funding for the main habitat restoration fund that invests in healthier waters for our fish.
- Rick also worked with other members of the Washington and Alaska delegations to make sure that fish are labeled accurately, including Alaska Pollock.
- Rick worked with the administration to include $4.6 million for the Mukilteo research station in the President’s 2017 budget. These funds will support the design and environmental work for a new facility so scientists can continue producing critical research about ocean acidification, the health of red abalone, algae blooms, fish stocks and more.
Supporting Veterans and Servicemembers
- Rick has long pushed for funding to assist veterans experiencing homelessness, and organizations that serve veterans in all five of the counties of the Second District received federal funding in 2015 to help more veterans get permanent housing.
- Rick also fought to renew a popular, bipartisan program that provides transportation for veterans to get to health care appointments.
- And Rick successfully pressed the Department of Veterans Affairs to improve access to care for veterans in Northwest Washington who face geographical barriers because of the region’s unique environment.
- Rick wants military families to count on support in the communities in which they live, so he worked with other local leaders to keep open the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) office on NAS Whidbey Island.
- Rick made sure the Navy brought new destroyers to replace decommissioned frigates at Naval Station Everett.
- Rick has also listened to the concerns of residents about noise from jets at public meetings on Whidbey Island and in the San Juans, and he has worked with the Navy and the base to reduce the impact of this noise.
Investing in Our Students
- Rick worked to make sure school districts that serve military and Native American families receive Impact Aid funding in a timely manner to make up for lost property tax revenue. The funds are critical to communities like La Conner, Marysville and Oak Harbor.
- Rick was an early leader in fighting to make sure interest rates on student loans did not double. He supports efforts, like the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, to help students reduce the amount of debt they have when they graduate so they can focus on their futures.
Ensuring Access to Health Care
- Rick has championed efforts to make sure people in Northwest Washington can get high-quality, affordable health care that meets their needs. He has long supported the Affordable Care Act, which has improved health care access for people in Washington state:
o Washington state’s uninsured rate has dropped by more than half, from 16.8 percent before the ACA, to 6.8 percent in 2015.
o More than 47,000 seniors and people with disabilities in Washington state are benefiting from closing the Medicare doughnut hole, which has saved individuals hundreds of dollars a year on average.
o Up to 36,000 children in the Second District with preexisting conditions can no longer be denied coverage.
o And 102,000 seniors in the Second District are benefiting from Medicare preventive services that do not require co-pays, co-insurance, or require them to have met their deductible.
- Rick know that the National Institutes of Health conducts critical research to help find treatments for many diseases, which is why he voted to increase funding for the NIH over the next five years.
Hearing from You
The letters, phone calls, emails and visits that Rick receives help him better understand your stories and the issues that are important to you. Here are some highlights from 2015:
- Responded to more than 60,000 emails, calls and letters.
- Successfully assisted more than 400 constituents facing issues with federal agencies.
- Held 15 public meetings throughout the district.