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What I can say

by Suzanne Bonamici

August has arrived, Congress has adjourned, and it’s great to be back in beautiful, sunny Oregon for a couple of weeks.

As I travel around Northwest Oregon this month, I’ll be speaking with my supporters and constituents and letting them know about some of the work we’ve been doing in DC.

I wish I could say that we've done more to tackle the big challenges facing our country – that we fixed the highway trust fund so we can continue to build roads and bridges, reformed our broken immigration system, raised the federal minimum wage, passed equal pay for equal work - and so much more.

Sadly, I can’t say those things.

Partisan grandstanding has prevented us from doing the big things that need to be done. In fact, some of the time in the House has been spent debating whether there should be a lawsuit against President Obama – that’s time that could have been used to take care of the real business of the country.

Even if Congress won’t do the big things, I’ll continue to work hard to find places where I can get things done.

I’ve been reaching across the aisle to work on and pass legislation that doesn’t always make the front page of the paper, but is important for the district I’m honored to represent and for our country.

For example:

I was able to work with my colleagues on the Science, Space & Technology Committee to pass bipartisan legislation to combat toxic algae blooms, which threaten our fishing industry and the overall health of our beaches, lakes, and waterways. That’s critical for communities around the country and along the Oregon Coast and Columbia River.

I’m also proud of what we’ve accomplished on the Education & Workforce Committee to invest in job training. We will now have job training programs in Oregon that are preparing workers for in-demand, 21st century jobs and helping to match them up with local businesses that need skilled workers.

With strong bipartisan support, the House passed a bill I sponsored to help college students better understand the real cost of college and the terms of the loans and grants they receive.

I go to work each day determined to accomplish as much as I can for the people of Northwest Oregon. But there’s so much left to do, like allowing our college graduates to refinance their loans at today’s low interest rates, creating more opportunities so those who work full time don’t have to live in poverty, assuring equal pay for equal work, and tackling climate change.

Others in Congress may spend their time shouting on cable news. As for me, I’ll keep working to find ways to get things done for Oregonians. Thank you for standing with me.

Suzanne

Posted on August 12, 2014.