Rep. Reichert Named One of the Most Effective Members of Congress
Recently, the University of Virginia’s and Vanderbilt University’s Legislative Effectiveness Project ranked U.S. Congressman Dave Reichert as one of the most effective Members of Congress between 2013 and 2014. Specifically, Rep. Reichert earned the second-highest score among Washington State lawmakers after Rep. Doc Hastings who is now retired, ranking 27th among Republicans, and 28th among all 435 House members.
This past year, Rep. Reichert has built upon his achievements from previous congressional terms and has continued to focus his efforts on growing jobs in Washington, enabling Americans to keep more of their hard earned dollars, and keeping our communities safe.
Here are some of the highlights from 2015:
· Named Chairman of the Trade Subcommittee: Rep. Reichert was given the opportunity to lead the Ways and Means Committee, Subcommittee on Trade and champion some of the issues that have the greatest impact on Washingtonians.
Throughout the year, Rep. Reichert also continued to support trade in Washington by fighting for the reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank and serving as the lead advocate in Congress to resolve the West Coast Ports dispute. He is also a member of the President's Export Council.
· Served as Chairman of the Tax Subcommittee: Prior to being named as Chairman of the Trade Subcommittee, Rep. Reichert chaired the Subcommittee on Tax Policy, where he focused on reforming the tax code to make it work better for American workers, families and businesses. Now as the Chairman Emeritus and second in seniority, he will continue reforming the outdated tax code.
· Named Conferee to Customs and Highway Conference Negotiations: With a bipartisan, bicameral group of colleagues, Rep. Reichert worked to negotiate two important bills for the American people. This year’s Highway Bill is the first long term highway bill in a decade, giving states the certainty they need to invest in long-term infrastructure projects. The Highway Bill also included Rep. Reichert’s language advising states to strengthen laws regarding secured loads to increase public safety. As a Customs Bill conferee, he worked with his colleagues to negotiate a bill that will strengthen enforcement of our trade laws and increase opportunities for our businesses here at home.
· Launched the Law Enforcement Task Force: Earlier this year, Rep. Reichert launched a task force aimed at opening conversations between members of law enforcement and the communities they serve throughout the country. This task force will explore and identify opportunities for communities and law enforcement to build upon mutual respect for one another and increase civility in our nation.
· Launched the Congressional Freight Caucus: This past October, Rep. Reichert launched the bipartisan Congressional Freight Caucus in an effort to raise awareness about the need to expand the nation’s freight infrastructure and improve the movement of goods. This issue is especially important to Washington State, where our freight systems support 1.5 million jobs and produce $129 billion in annual revenue.
Sponsored Legislation Passed into Law:
· H.R. 1269 (P.L. 114-12): The Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act was signed into law on May 19th and creates a nationwide alert system to apprehend violent criminals who have seriously injured, killed, or made an imminent or credible threat to cause serious harm to a law enforcement officer.
· H.R. 2146 (P.L. 114-26): The Defending Public Safety Employees’ Retirement Act ensures fairness for federal public safety officials by allowing them to access retirement savings at the age of 50 after 20 years of service without the application of the 10% penalty. This is the same treatment state and local public safety officers receive.
· H.R. 1892 (P.L. 114-27): The Trade Adjustment Assistance Reauthorization Act provides temporary assistance, including training, to American workers who have been impacted by international trade.
The following bills Rep. Reichert sponsored were enacted as part of the FY2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 114-113), which was recently signed into law on December 18th.
· H.R. 629, The Permanent S Corporation Built-in Gain Recognition Period Act of 2015: This bill makes permanent an important provision that supports our small businesses in doing what they do best – creating jobs and strengthening our local economies. Specifically, it allows S Corporations greater access to their own capital, so they can grow, reinvest, and hire by reducing the time they must hold certain assets after changing to a S Corporation from a C Corporation.
· H.R. 630, Permanent S Corporation Charitable Contribution Act of 2015: This bill makes permanent a rule ensuring consistent treatment of charitable contributions for S Corporation shareholders, thereby providing certainty and encouraging charitable giving.
· H.R. 869: This legislation ensures that public employees in Washington State including school teachers, utility district workers, and many others, are able to enjoy the fruits of their labor and pass on medical benefits earned over years of service to their families and loved ones.
· H.R. 2940, Educator Tax Relief Act: This bill makes permanent the educator tax deduction, which allows teachers to deduct the cost of classroom supplies and professional development expenses up to $250. Just like companies can deduct certain business expenses, teachers should be able to deduct the amount of their own hard-earned dollars they put into making classrooms the best learning environment they can for our kids and grandkids.
· H.Amdt.271, to increase funding for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program by $100 million: This amendment, which passed the House on June 2nd and was included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act , provides funding to help local police departments meet their hiring needs to ensure our communities have enough cops on the street to keep us safe.