Words from Washington

People of Central Washington are the region's strengths

Serving you in Congress is a great honor and one of the most important parts of the job is meeting with and listening to local residents. Earlier this month while Congress was out of session, I traveled throughout Central Washington stopping in Union Gap, Moses Lake, the Tri-Cities, Yakima, Quincy, Wapato and Wenatchee.

Recognizing that small businesses create the private sector jobs that drive our economy, I took time to visit with the Grant County Economic Development Board in Moses Lake, AMTECH Corporation in Wapato and Liberty Bottleworks in Union Gap. Burdensome regulation, taxes and concerns about rising health care costs were common themes during discussions about jobs and the economy.

As chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, I am helping lead an effort in Congress to stop job killing regulations. Spending more taxpayer dollars and imposing new rules will not lead to economic recovery. Businesses and communities instead need relief from top down government policies that are costing American jobs.

Later in the week I visited Grant County where over 200 servicemen and women have relocated while Fairchild Air Force Base is under construction. On Feb. 1, the Grant County International Airport welcomed the Fairchild Air Force Base fixed-wing-airmen. I had the honor of meeting many of the servicemen and women, touring the aircraft and participating in the welcome ceremony.

I had the honor of presenting the Combat Action Badge to Joshua Young of Quincy. This award provides special recognition for soldiers who have engaged in combat. Mr. Young earned this award for his service to our nation in Iraq.

I also had the opportunity to tour the Surgical Implant Generation Network (SIGNs) offices in Richland. SIGNs founder Dr. Lewis Zirkle has established clinics around the world and treated more than 20,000 patients in 47 countries. Dr. Zirkle's social entrepreneurship and innovation is one example of a Central Washington company affecting people all over the world.

As a father and grandfather, I see the next generation of Central Washington as very important part of our community. I stopped by Rivers Edge School in Richland to speak to students and hear their questions on current events, natural resources and international affairs. These young people were well informed and energized to make a difference in the community.

The business owners, service men and women, and young people I met with remind me of the strength of Central Washington. Being home is always a clear reminder of why I travel to Washington, D.C. every week to represent Central Washington in Congress.

- Congressman Doc Hastings

(R-Pasco) represents Central

Washington's Fourth

Congressional District.


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