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By Brad Halm 

Open letter to the US House of Representatives and District 4 Representative Dan Newhouse

Letter to the Editor


I am very concerned about the current state of affairs in the U.S. House of Representatives. Bills are being voted on willy nilly with minimal input from constituents, across the aisle, and from the Congressional Budget Office, apparently in a quest to meet an arbitrary legislative agenda. In the words (through Twitter) of Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) regarding the replacement for the Affordable Care Act: “House health-care bill can’t pass Senate w/o major changes. To my friends in House: pause, start over. Get it right, don’t get it fast.”

Our representative here in District 4, Dan Newhouse, appears to be succumbing to this pell-mell rush to pass shoddy legislation. The Affordable Care Act, while in need of improvements, has brought many benefits to our rural district: increased health care coverage, improved funding for our hospitals, and employment opportunities for healthcare professionals. An ill-conceived replacement would have detrimental effects on our economy and access to quality care for many. Representative Newhouse has publicized his zeal to repeal the ACA but has offered no detail on what he intends to replace it with or if he intends to support the replacement that is currently being rushed along in the House.

This is an important time for a representative to meet with constituents and hear what they think before hastily voting the party line. However, despite repeated requests from constituents, Representative Newhouse did not schedule any town halls during the in-district work period in February, and there is still not one on his calendar for the mid-April in-district work period. Representative Newhouse: let’s take it slow and get it right. Listen to your constituents and work across the aisle for quality legislation that works for your district.

Brad Halm


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