News Releases

"Over the past month, I have traveled across our state talking with Washingtonians about the challenges they are facing today and listening to their hopes for the future. From Spokane to Aberdeen, the message was loud and clear: Washington state communities want to move forward.

That is why we need to move forward with the Senate Omnibus Appropriations bill when Congress returns to Washington, D.C. next week. I am saddened and angered that the Majority has turned this bill into a choice between putting people back to work today and protecting those workers over the long haul. I share the outrage of many of my colleagues who will choose to oppose this bill. I seriously considered voting against this measure as well.

But, I am also a realist, and I am passionate about the needs of Washington state. Right now, Washington state workers need jobs. Washington students need the funding they have been promised under No Child Left Behind. Our transportation projects need a green light, and our veterans need to know that they will have the services they require when they return from their dangerous missions abroad.

I have secured $245 million in transportation funding for our state, which is now part of the Omnibus bill. These critical federal dollars will help create thousands of good-paying jobs today and lay the groundwork for our state’s economic growth in the future. I have fought to increase funding for education and I am particularly proud to have secured an additional $1.2 billion for our most vulnerable special education programs. These are just a few of the priorities that could be derailed by delayed funding.

That is why, on Tuesday, I will vote for the jobs, security and growth that the Omnibus bill will bring to Washington state. We can not further destabilize our state's economy, schools and health care with the uncertainty of delayed funding.

We need to move this bill forward and continue to fight for our workers, consumers and schools. I am particularly outraged that this Administration is once again punishing workers by removing important overtime protections. Americans across our country are working hard, playing by the rules and trying to make ends meet, but the Administration and Republican majority are squeezing them once again. This is the wrong message to send to our nation's workers and I won't give up fighting for all the hard-working Americans - like our police, nurses and firefighters – who sacrifice for all of us.

I will continue to stand up for Washington state residents and fight for the issues that I have always stood for – worker rights, accessible health care and education, job creation and a healthy economy. By passing the Omnibus bill we will fund our federal responsibilities to infrastructure, health care, job training and education. This is an important step in moving our state forward."