Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, May 09, 2008

Cathy Cares

Alex McGregor has a nice letter in this week's Gazette concenring Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and the Farm Bill:
The bountiful crops raised east of the Cascades are the results of hard work by dedicated farm families, outstanding people who’ve persevered through many lean years in a high risk, often low return enterprise. It was only a couple of years ago when a bushel of grain was worth less than a gallon of fuel—for the first time since the Great Depression. It is vital that these dedicated families have some “safety net” protection against wild swings in worldwide demand and production costs if they’re to endure in their essential trade.

As a new farm bill finally nears completion, we’ve been fortunate to have Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers serving on the Conference Committee that has been reconciling differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. Cathy has played a vital role in ensuring Northwest farmers are here for the long haul and that our food supply stays strong.

Kudos to Cathy for understanding our needs here in Eastern Washington and for working hard to make sure the new farm bill reflects them. We’re lucky she’s been on the Conference Committee, but we’re even luckier she cares.

Alex McGregor, Colfax
Cathy really does care, and not just about farmers. This press release was issued yesterday:
McMorris Rodgers Announces New Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus

(Washington, D.C.) Today, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers and other members of the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus held their first briefing. Today’s briefing marks the first official event of the bipartisan caucus since its launch last week.

McMorris Rodgers co-chairs the caucus. She and her husband Brian have a one-year-old son, Cole, who has Down syndrome.

“The news of Cole’s Down syndrome was at first difficult to get our arms around and we were eager to learn all we could,” McMorris Rodgers said. “I’m often asked how being a mother has changed my life and changed my priorities, and I can assure you that it’s all been for the better. I have a new passion and a new energy for everything that I do. We have every intention of doing everything possible to ensure Cole has every opportunity to reach his full potential. I believe the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus will be a vehicle to help bring this information to the forefront so all families of children and adults with Down syndrome can lead happy lives.”

There are more than 350,000 people with Down syndrome in the U.S., but past and current funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is disproportionately low when it comes to finding treatments and increasing understanding of secondary disorders that often afflict people with Down syndrome, like Alzheimer’s disease and atherosclerosis.

Today, the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus held its first briefing on what research is being done at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH updated us on its 10-year research plan which calls for increased research on the medical, cognitive, and behavioral conditions that occur in people with Down syndrome.

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