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Jaime Herrera Beutler follow ups
No matter who we talk to, we almost always wish we had more time. There's always a list of unasked questions. Jaime Herrera Beutler was kind enough to answer a few questions after our show by email. One was a question from our blog was from "Bighat," who writes: Given the amazing success of Obama's Libya policies, have you rethought your opposition to them?
Rep. Herrera Beutler's response: I'm happy that we've sustained minimal losses so far, but the situation in Libya is very chaotic, and my concerns about our involvement there have not changed. The president has yet to state a compelling case for our involvement in the Libyan civil war. If we have learned anything over the past decade, it's that toppling a regime is relatively easy, but the aftermath can be very difficult to navigate. Now that we've had a hand in toppling the Libyan regime, will the President decide we have a responsibility to help stabilize the country? Nation building can be very expensive. The President acted without approval from congress, and while we are seeing a transition unfold, time will tell whether this successor “regime” will prove to be more cooperative with the west. I’m not sure we can yet call the President’s policy in Libya an amazing success.
A few people wanted to know how she arrived at the figure she quoted about the budget for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She said that agency's budget, coupled with those from other government agencies, had increased by 83 percent. We just did a quick search and came up with the list of EPA budget numbers from 1970 to 2011.
Rep. Herrera Beutler says: Since 2009, discretionary federal spending has increased by 83%. That includes almost all Cabinet-level federal agencies. Some have increased by more than 83%, some by less, but the total is an 83% increase.
One last question we didn't get to ask on the air was: What's the best and worst part of being the youngest woman in the US House?
Rep. Herrera Beutler's response: The best — I bring a different point of view to my party's caucus. I know Speaker Boehner values my opinion and the fact that as the youngest woman in Congress and first Hispanic to represent Washington my perspective is a little different than a lot of the other members of my party in the House. I also appreciate the opportunity to help more young women achieve their goals. Almost every day I talk to a young woman in school or just beginning her career, and it's gratifying to be able to offer what help I can. The worst — Congress has been doing things the same way for a very long time. Some of the old-school chumminess and backslapping that goes on in D.C. can be off-putting. But by and large, I wouldn't trade this for anything. It's such an honor to represent the people of Southwest Washington.