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By Lou Marzeles

Herrera Beutler speaks at sudden first town meeting in Goldendale


Lou Marzeles

FIRST MEETING: Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler speaks at Ayutla’s Friday.

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler spoke in Goldendale Friday morning at Ayutla’s Restaurant in her first town meeting in Klickitat County since the county was officially included in the 3rd Congressional District on Jan. 3. Despite its sudden notice, a crowd filled the room to overflowing and drew faces not seen at a public meeting in Goldendale in at least months.

“We do these town meetings a lot,” Herrera Beutler said. “We do a lot of them in this format because it’s a little bit more functional to have the back and forth with the people that I serve. The largest that we’ve had is probably 150, maybe 200 people down to the smallest where we have 20, 25. This is a great turnout, and I’m excited to be here, now you’re officially part of the 3rd Congressional District, even though we knew it was coming.”

Most people heard of the event only a day or two before and largely by word of mouth.

Herrera Beutler talked of her background initially, describing growing up in a small home on two acres with a dedicated family. “My family taught me about family, about faith, and about serving,” she said. “That’s a big part of why I wanted to get involved in public office.”

House Budget Committee

WHICH WAY?: This graph, used by Congresswoman Herrera Beutler Friday, shows the national debt percentage of the U.S. economy and its increase or decrease over years, depending on spending.

Among the first questions put to the Congresswoman was about gun control. While acknowledging the need to address the factors behind violence, she said she supported the Second Amendment.

Asked about what is next for the country regarding its budgetary crisis, Herrera Beutler stated the country has a long way to go to fix matters. “The real cliff is still ahead,” she said. She referred to a graph prepared by the House Budget Committee, using information from the Congressional Budget Office and the White House’s own Office of Management and Budget (see image on this page). It shows the possible long-term effect of debt as a share of the economy on the country. Herrera Beutler said she wanted to see the country the green path on that image, which would come through controlling runaway spending. “Even then we wouldn’t see the best result until 2048,” she pointed out. “The only way to get the attention of a bureaucrat is through their budget.”


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