Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Battle Ground) Tuesday announced a trifecta of bipartisan bills that have become law or made significant steps forward recently, including her legislation to permit killing sea lions that eat endangered salmon.
President Donald Trump has signed into law Herrera Beutler’s bill repealing an 1834 law that prohibited distilleries on tribal land. Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., led passage in the Senate, and Herrera Beutler introduced the bill in the House of Representatives.
“This is a good day for tribal members, who can now expand economically in the distillery business and bring new skills training and jobs to our region,” Herrera Beutler said in a press release.
The legislation means tribes will be free to build and operate distilleries on their land. The Chehalis Tribe, which brought the matter to Herrera Beutler’s attention, is planning to build and operate a distillery, brewery and restaurant that would bring about 100 new jobs to Southwest Washington, according to Herrera Beutler’s office.
Another bill, the Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act, passed out of Congress Tuesday and is headed to the President’s desk to sign into law.
The legislation gives tribal members and government fish managers authority to remove sea lions from specific areas of the Columbia River system and its tributaries where they are posing the most harm to endangered salmon, steelhead and other native fish runs. Herrera Beutler and U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Oregon) led the effort.
A third initiative, which would improve care for children with complex medical conditions on Medicaid, passed the U.S. House.
“We took an important step today by passing my bill, the ACE Kids Act, that removes barriers families face when trying to get care for their medically-complex children,” she said in a release. “With passage of this bill, we are doing right by our kids – regardless of their zip codes, they’ll be able to get specialized medical treatment that can often be life-saving.”
Herrera’s first child, Abigail Rose Beutler, was born in 2013 with a rare condition known as Potter’s Syndrome, which means she was born without kidneys. She received a kidney transplant from an organ donated by her father, Daniel Beutler.