Cathy McMorris Rodgers continues her work for the people of Eastern Washington

Dear
ABC Member:

Thank you for contacting me to share your thoughts on pending
legislation in the 114th Congress. While this Congress has come
to a close, I’m honored to have been re-elected to serve as your Representative
in the 115th Congress. 

Delivering on behalf of the people of Eastern Washington has
been and will continue to be my top priority here in Washington, D.C. To do
that, I believe we must make the government more responsive and more
accountable. That starts with bringing the federal government into the 21st Century by reviewing, rethinking, and modernizing
programs so they’re efficient and effective. Here are just a few of our
accomplishments from this past Congress as we focused on making the priorities
of Eastern Washingtonians and Americans across the nation a reality. 

Expediting 21st
Century Cures

Today, health research and development are moving at lightning
speed, and our greatest minds are constantly thinking up new treatments,
therapies, and cures. The bureaucracy hardly knows how to respond to this
innovation except to say “no” and outdated laws create unnecessary roadblocks
on the path to discovery. After listening to patients, innovators, researchers,
providers, consumers, and regulators, it was clear to me that we needed to
streamline processes and empower the medical industry so that these ideas can
come to fruition. For these very reasons, the House passed the 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 34), on November 20, 2016, with my
support. This landmark legislation will speed up the discovery, development,
and delivery of new treatments and cures, and ensure America continues to be a
global leader in biomedical innovation. The Senate passed Cures on December 7,
and the president signed the bill into law on December 13. With this historic
legislation, we’re offering hope to millions of Americans facing life with an
incurable disease. 

 
Ensuring Better Care for Veterans

The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) is a prime example of a
federal agency that is disconnected from its mission. Two years after the news
broke of the horrific treatment of veterans in Phoenix, little has changed.
It’s time to modernize this outdated government model to better fit the needs
of its patients. For instance, today many of our veterans have to schedule
appointments at the VA by calling a 1-800 number, when millions of other
Americans can simply use an app or computer and schedule a doctor’s appointment
in 30 seconds.  Our veterans should have the same options as everyone
else, which is why I introduced H.R. 4352, the Faster Care for Veterans
Act of 2016, with my colleague Rep. Moulton. This legislation requires the
VA to use off-the-shelf technology to ensure our veterans have the ability to
schedule appointments online.  Earlier this month, the House and Senate
passed H.R. 4352, and the president signed it into law on December 16,
2016.  This is one step forward to ensuring our veterans have options when
it comes to when and how they receive their health care. 

Providing Spending Accountability

I believe Congress has an obligation to use taxpayer dollars
responsibly, and the people of Eastern Washington and across this country
should know that every dollar that every program and agency spends is accounted
for and effectively used. That starts with proper oversight and detecting and
preventing waste, fraud, and abuse by cutting down on unauthorized spending –
spending that hasn’t been reviewed by Congress. I introduced legislation to
address this, called the Unauthorized Spending Accountability (USA) Act,
which requires Congress to either reauthorize or eliminate federal programs
before deciding to fund them. This requirement is enforced by annual spending
cuts for three years. On the fourth year, if a program has not been
reauthorized, it will be eliminated. This legislation will empower the American
people, through their elected representatives, to review, rethink, or eliminate
programs and to reclaim the power of the purse. 

I recognize you’ve placed a
great deal of trust in me, and it’s a responsibility that I don’t take lightly.
I’m excited and energized about our plans for the next two years, and I look
forward to working with my colleagues in Congress and the new administration on
behalf of the American people. We’re going to think big and reimagine how
government works so that it’s more accountable to you. 

Thank you again for contacting me on this important
issue. As your Representative in Congress, I am committed to putting the
best interests of Eastern Washington first. Please visit my website at www.mcmorrisrodgers.house.gov
for additional information or to sign up for my e-newsletter. Please do
not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,

Cathy McMorris
Rodgers

Member of Congress