Despite these objections, Democrats in the Northwest House remained silent on the BPA’s provision ahead of the vote on the infrastructure bill. The spokesperson asked every lawmaker in Washington and Idaho, as well as three representatives from Oregon whose districts border the Columbia River, if they supported the provision increasing BPA’s borrowing power.
Among Democrats, only Rep. Rick Larsen of Everett has confirmed through a spokesperson that he supports the measure, along with a general statement explaining his support for the infrastructure bill as a whole. “because it puts Washingtonians back to work, ensures essential local projects stay on track, and builds a greener national transportation system.”
Despite the fact that BPA’s territory covers all of Washington, Idaho, and Oregon – as well as parts of five other states – most House lawmakers did not respond to questions about the ‘increased borrowing power, including Washington Reps Suzan DelBene, D-Medina, Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle, Kim Schrier, D-Sammamish, Adam Smith, D-Bellevue and Marilyn Strickland, D-Tacoma; Simpson and his colleague Idaho GOP Rep. Russ Fulcher; Oregon Democratic Representatives Suzanne Bonamici and Earl Blumenauer, and Oregon GOP Representative Cliff Bentz.
Two Republicans, Reps Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Spokane and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Battle Ground, have said they support increasing BPA’s credit limit while opposing the infrastructure bill as a whole.
“One thing is clear, taxpayers in the Pacific Northwest are paying too much,” McMorris Rodgers spokesman Kyle VonEnde said in a statement. “While Cathy supports measures that will correct the long-standing imbalance, such as increasing BPA’s borrowing power, she believes the approach must be holistic and advance the goal of achieving a fair deal. “