Environmentalist group grades Rep. Herrera Beutler

The environmental advocacy group League of Conservation Voters gave U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, a 9 percent out of 100 when it came to her 2012 voting record on legislation that benefits the environment.

Herrera Beutler, who was first elected to Congress in 2010, scored slightly higher — 11 percent — when the group examined her entire Congressional career. The lower the score, the less a Congress member’s voting record supported protecting the environment.

This year, Herrera Beutler lost points with the league for voting against an amendment to a bill providing disaster relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy. That amendment cost $33.6 billion and requires the government to invest in “natural storm protections, such as national parks and refuges that house wetlands, dunes, and other natural flood barriers,” according to the league. The amendment also requires the Army Corps of Engineers to address the impacts of climate change.

The amendment to the bill passed, and Herrera Beutler ended up voting for the Hurricane Sandy disaster relief legislation, which helped improve her League of Conservation Voters score. The disaster relief bill passed Congress and was signed into law.

How does Herrera Beutler’s score compare with 3rd District Congress members from the past?

When Democrat Brian Baird was in office, he received a career score of 92 percent from the league.

His predecessor, Republican Linda Smith, received an average score of about 15 percent during her four years in Congress. Democrat Jolene Unsoeld, who served right before Smith, received an average score of 71 percent during her six years as the 3rd District’s congresswoman.

You can read past congressional reports by the League of Conservation Voters here.


Stevie Mathieu

Stevie Mathieu

Stevie Mathieu is a political writer at The Columbian. Contact her at 360-735-4523 or stevie.mathieu@columbian.com or www.facebook.com/reportermathieu or www.twitter.com/col_politics.

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