All Politics is Local

Herrera Beutler doesn’t read the comments

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, doesn’t want to “feed the beast.”

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, met with The Columbian Editorial Board on Wednesday. She said she’s working on legislation to make individual tax cuts from the tax overhaul permanent. (Ariane Kunze/The Columbian)

The beast to which she refers is social media. Herrera Beutler stopped by the Columbian office last week and in-between talk of taxes and tolling,  she said she doesn’t spend much time checking her response on social media.

“I try to live not on my social media. I found I live longer if I don’t read Twitter,” she said. “Why read (comments)? They have nothing to do with policy. What helps us move the ball down the field?”

A quick survey of Tweets in response to Herrera Beutler’s vote on the tax plan found 96 out of 100 were against the plan or the Representative herself, for example.

She does, however, take phone calls, emails and meetings with constituents seriously, Herrera Beutler said.

“I take very seriously any feedback that is directed at me in my office,” she said.

Talking Trump

In October 2016, Herrera Beutler said, “I refuse to accept this is the best we can do,” and announced rather than vote for Donald Trump in the presidential race, she would write-in Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, who was also running for the Republican nomination but lost to Trump.

It seems with time her views on Trump have changed.

“His record so far, in terms of policy, I have appreciated,” she said. “Last time for me he was untested and all I saw were character problems.”

Character still counts for something, Herrera Beutler said, but added that her district knew who Trump was and voted for him anyway.

“Why would anybody be surprised (about his character)?” she said. “I have a constitutional responsibility to my bosses here to respect their wishes.”

Does that mean Herrera Beutler would vote for Trump in the next election?

“I think so, but I don’t know,” she said.

Katy Sword

I cover the city of Vancouver and federal politics. Reach me at katy.sword@columbian.com.

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