I am always fighting hard to protect a free, open Internet for all Americans. This year the struggle has intensified with an attempt to pass the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House.
Fortunately, thanks to over 14 million of your fellow citizens who used used the Internet to let Congress know that they opposed these bills, my effort to block them succeeded. While the bills identified some real issues, the solution they proposed would have done significant harm to social and economic innovation on the Internet - innovation that creates jobs in Oregon and around the nation. I’ve introduced other bills that would limit the taxation of digital goods, protecting Oregonians from online sales taxes, and to level the playing field for Internet radio against the big, incumbent industries.
At the same time, I’ve been working on an issue of great concern to many Oregonians: The renewal of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA.)
The Violence Against Women Act has been the law of the land for 20 years and must be renewed. While the Senate came together in a bipartisan fashion to do just that, I’m disappointed that the House passed a weaker version of the law that fails to include protections for college students, LGBT women, Native Americans, and immigrants.
Passing VAWA needs to happen this year. I will keep working toward that end and I hope you will join me in pushing the House will do the right thing and pass the stronger, Senate version during the lame duck session.
Lastly, Oregon and the rest of the western states are no strangers to forest fires. Unfortunately, as the fires get bigger, the fleet of aircraft the Forest Service uses to fight those fires has gotten smaller.
Congress and The White House recognized the need to get more planes and helicopters in the air as quickly as possible. In a week’s time, the Senate and the House passed and the President signed legislation to speed up the process the Forest Service uses to contract planes.
Once we’ve re-elected President Obama and sent a more Democratic Congress back to Washington, it will be time to step up and take responsibility for action that creates jobs, protects the economic well being of our families, young and old, and paves the way for a productive four years.
I’ll be in touch!