From her office in Washington, D.C. Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler talks about her willingness to resolve and improve issues that affect her citizens including bipartisan partnerships.
Herrera Beutler explains her thoughts on working with members of the Democratic Party and her views on disagreeing with members of the Republican Party.
One of Herrera Beutler’s passions is working to improve the environment for her citizens and also the animals that live in these areas. By working to improve the environment, the congresswoman believes that she can also improve employment and quality of life of the citizens of her district.
In her last term, she entered into a bipartisan partnership and took a stand against lumber industry regulations that would negatively affect her district. These regulations would have a massive effect on employment in her district, as many of her citizens depend on the forest for their livelihoods.
Recent studies, she said in a February 6 interview, have shown that the lumber regulations have not actually hindered the decline of specific species of animals that they intended on helping, such as the spotted owl.
Herrera Beutler stated that the new “forest polices have been detrimental to species and people over the past 20 years," instead of helping.
“The spotted owl has actually continued to decline since the regulations were put into place,” she said. "We need to evaluate our forest policies to protect animals and people, we can do better.”
In her last term, Herrera Beutler supported and voted to pass a memorandum signed by President Obama that halted these regulations for a year. That year has expired but, she plans to reintroduce this issue.
These policies are currently being argued in court so the policies have not been implemented yet. The congresswoman and her bipartisan partners will continue to follow and fight these lumber regulations in the future.
Kurt Schrader, Democratic congressman from Oregon, is one of Herrera Beutler’s partners who is in opposition to the lumber regulations and fears that they will also have a negative employment effect on the region.
Herrera Beutler believes that Republicans and Democrats can and should work together to achieve solutions to issues that best benefit the citizens they represent.
She does admit that there can be certain dangers involved with bipartisan partnerships and says, “anytime you challenge conventional wisdom some people become uncomfortable.”
Her key to keeping peace while being bipartisan is that she works with and listens to “like minded Republicans or Democrats” to solve solutions to the nation’s problems.
When asked if she had any concern about crossing party lines and leadership she explained that it is most important to be “mutually respectful” whether you agree or disagree.
She explained that she holds respect for others and their ideas in high regards and said, “I work with people I trust and even if you disagree be respectful."
She said she is not afraid of bipartisan relationships and stated, “that you should treat these partnerships as you would treat a husband and wife relationship.”
Herrera Beutler said she will continue to seek ideas and solutions that will improve the quality of life for the citizens within her district while teaming up with Republicans or Democrats.