Kent talks timber in new video series

This week, Republican candidate for Washington’s 3rd Congressional District Joe Kent debuted a new virtual video series, “Get Local With Joe,” in which he holds recorded one-on-one conversations with individuals around the district.

This week, Kent recorded a conversation with Mike Rotschy, owner of Rotschy Timber Management in Amboy, about the timber industry in Southwest Washington and “how regulations that Marie Perez has voted for are strangling it,” Kent wrote on a social media post.

In the conversation, Rotschy shared his thoughts on government overregulation of the timber industry and how it has affected loggers. Kent also asked what loggers can do to protect themselves from forest fires. The main talking point of the five-minute video was the The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act (REINS Act).

The REINS Act recently passed the house through a 221-210 vote with every democrat except one voting against the bill. The act requires federal agencies to get congressional approval before enacting any “major” agency rules — rules that would have an annual economic impact of $100 million or more.

Kent and Rotschy both support the bill. Rotschy said it will help the timber industry, as federal agencies must seek approval of their rules and “couldn’t just make it up,” he said.

The bill is popular among Republicans, who say it creates more transparency within the federal regulatory process. Proponents of the bill also say it could help mitigate federal spending.

Kent supports the bill. In the video, he said U.S. Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, D-Skamania, decided to hurt the economy by voting against the bill.

“The REINS Act would prevent presidents like Biden from strangling the economy with red tape,” Kent said. “(Perez) voted to allow the bloated federal agencies to crush the timber industry with red tape. She claims to be on the side of working class people, but she’s voting to make it harder for them to earn a living.”

Critics of the REINS Act say the bill is overstepping. They emphasize that there is already a review process for rules under the Congressional Review Act.

New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity stated the act is “burdensome, irrational, and legally questionable” for several reasons.

“The REINS Act would hamper agencies’ ability to carry out their statutory duties and protect the public,” the organization wrote of the original bill in 2017. “The REINS Act would put a tremendous burden on Congress, while likely worsening outcomes for the American public. The REINS Act also raises a number of red flags about its legality.”

— Carlos Fuentes

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