Rick's Legislation

One of the most important aspects of Congress is developing, making and monitoring laws. New laws are created every week. As a Member of Congress, I am trying to be actively involved in sponsoring and drafting legislation about issues that are important to Northwest Washington. Please contact my office to share your thoughts on current legislation that may affect you, your family and your community.

Here are quick links to:

Full list of my bills during the 114th Congress:

H.R.2543 — STEP UP for American Small Businesses Act: Forty percent of all jobs in Washington are tied to trade, with small businesses playing an important role. This bill permanently establishes the State Trade and Export Promotion Grant Program to increase the number of small businesses exporting their goods and increase the value of their exports.

H.R.2587 – State Trade Coordination Act (passed House & Senate as of 2/11): When we help our small businesses sell their goods overseas, we create jobs here at home. This bill streamlines the federal agencies that play a role in trade promotion to provide more efficient, effective assistance to small businesses seeking to start exporting or grow their exports.

H.R.278 — TIGER CUBS Act: In Washington state, transportation means jobs. Every $1 billion we invest in projects to improve our highways and roads creates more than 13,000 jobs in our communities. This bill would set aside 20 percent of special transportation infrastructure funding specifically for smaller cities like Oak Harbor, Anacortes and Mountlake Terrace.

H.R.2933 — At-Grade Crossing Enhancement Act of 2015: Rail safety is an important issue to the Second Congressional District, with many communities located near rail lines that carry crude oil. This bill will increase rail safety by improving at-grade crossings, while also booting freight mobility.

H.R.1172 — Distillery Excise Tax Reform Act of 2015: Washington state is home to more than 100 small distilleries, including a dozen in my district, making it one of the top producers in the nation. Although they make much less than their competitors, small distilleries currently pay the same federal tax as large producers. This bill would lower the federal tax rates for small distilleries, similar to existing rates for small breweries and wineries.

H.R.1593 Arctic Ambassador: Our country faces a steep opportunity curve when it comes to living up to our commitments as an Arctic nation. This bill amends the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 to establish an Ambassador at Large for Arctic Affairs within the Department of State. An ambassador-level position will enable the U.S. to better manage our many interests in the Arctic and signal our country’s commitment to international cooperation on Arctic policy.

H.R.2224 — Youth Access to American Jobs Act of 2015: With technology changing rapidly, we need to ensure students are gaining skills needed for their future careers. This bill creates a 2-2-2 STEM apprenticeship pilot program, taking students from their junior year in high school through community college and into an apprenticeship, with a focus on manufacturing.

H.R.3364 — America Votes Act of 2015: State legislatures across the country continue to pass restrictive voting laws that disenfranchise citizens, including voter ID laws. This bill allows eligible voters who do not have identification documents required by their state to sign a sworn statement attesting to their identity, like we do in Washington state, to cast a standard ballot at the polls. This legislation does not preempt any other federal law on voting.

H.R.1728 Summer Meals Act of 2015: Making sure kids get regular, nutritious meals year-round is critical to their health and their ability to learn. This bill would provide children with year-round access to nutritious meals by expanding the eligibility requirements for federal summer meal programs, reducing red tape for local organizations, and making meals and snacks more readily available during weekends and after school hours. It would also support transportation needs in rural areas where access to summer meal programs is often more difficult.

H.R.2542 — Bereaved Borrowers' Bill of Rights Act of 2015: Many student loans through private lenders automatically go into default when a cosigner (often a parent or grandparent) of the loan dies or declares bankruptcy, even if students are making payments on time. The bill would create protections for students with loans through private lenders and establish requirements of lenders to protect borrowers’ credit.  

H.R.2291 — Rural Veterans Travel Enhancement Act of 2015: Veterans need and deserve accessible medical care, no matter where they live. This bill reauthorizes a Department of Veterans Affairs program to drive veterans to medical appointments if they lack the ability to transport themselves.

H.R.3365 — Women Veterans and Families Health Services Act of 2015: Severely injured veterans have already paid too high a price in service to our nation. They should not have to pay a higher cost to have a family. This bill will end the VA’s ban on in vitro fertilization, provide adoption assistance for severely injured veterans, facilitate reproduction and infertility research, expand child care programs, and expand the VA’s outreach to women veterans.

H.R.1632 — Samish Indian Nation Land Conveyance Act of 2015: The Samish Indian Nation has an important role in Skagit and San Juan counties, with about 1,500 member. The Samish Indian Nation Land Conveyance Act of 2015 would permanently put land owned by the Tribe into a federal trust, preserving their traditional way of life.

H.R.2667 — School Safety Act of 2015: The tragic shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School and similar incidents across the country have showcased the importance of preparedness for emergencies. This bill would reauthorize a school safety matching grant that funds physical deterrents, security assessments, security training and coordination with local law enforcement.