U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert deserves two more years, despite leaving the distinct impression that he could do more to burnish his moderate credentials.
TWELVE years into U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert’s career switch from law enforcement to member of Congress, he remains a good advocate for trade and fiscal responsibility and has some legislative successes in conservation and human services.
The Times recommends:
U.S. Congress, District 8
Strengths: Advocate for trade and fiscal responsibility; has had some legislative successes in conservation and in human services
Representing the 8th Congressional District, which straddles the west and east slope of the Cascades, Reichert is the closest approximate for a moderate in Washington’s GOP congressional delegation."
Representing the 8th Congressional District, which straddles the west and east slope of the Cascades, Reichert is the closest approximate for a moderate in Washington’s GOP congressional delegation.
He is an unabashed supporter of trade in his trade-dependent district. He played a strong role in getting the Export-Import Bank reauthorized despite GOP obstructionism and is supporting changes to a federal harbor-dredging fund so it does more for Washington’s deep-water ports.
He also pushed through a good bill to address sex trafficking of foster kids and has joined with Democrats, including U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., to make permanent the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which uses federal oil and gas leases to protect public land. He supports a path to citizenship as part of immigration reform and rightly calls Donald Trump’s wall “ridiculous.”
But Reichert leaves the distinct impression that he could do more. Since his district boundaries were redrawn in 2012 making the district more conservative, Reichert’s ratings from the League of Conservation of Voters dropped from those of a moderate to that of a conservative Republican. He did fail to show leadership in the pointless and destructive government shutdown in 2013 and joined in the House GOP’s attacks on Planned Parenthood.
Despite his flaws, Reichert is better than his leading Democratic opponents, international consultant Alida Skold and real-estate broker Santiago Ramos, neither of whom actually live in the 8th District. Ramos, with an inspiring story as an immigrant’s son, should stick around in politics and run for another office.
Voters should return Reichert one more time and hope he burnishes his moderate credentials.