Reichert: "Juice' in Congress comes with time

By Pat Jenkins The Dispatch U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert isn't ready to restrict members of Congress like himself to the length of time they spend in office. Reichert, a congressman since 2005, is seeking re-election this fall in the 8th District, which sprawls through multiple counties and across the Cascades. And in response to an audience member's inquiry about his views on term limits during his speech to an Eatonville Chamber of Commerce meeting last Thursday, Reichert said the longer someone's in Congress, the better they are at the job. Proposed legislation introduced earlier this year in the House of Representatives calls for a constitutional amendment to limit members of Congress to 24 years in office. That would be 12 two-year terms for representatives and two terms for senators, whose terms last six years. Reichert didn't endorse or criticize the term-limits proposal, but did say, "One thing I've learned is that you have no juice" in congressional circles until after at least four years on the job. "That's just when you're getting started" at understanding the process and "making things happen,GÇ¥ he added. "I'm here because I want to serve." Now 63, Reichert was elected to Congress at the age of 54 after a 33-year career in law enforcement, including time as King County's sheriff. Reichert, a Republican, spent most of the rest of his time at Eatonville Community Center promoting bipartisanship and tax reform. He and Rep. Jim McDermott, a Democrat from Seattle, this month introduced House Resolution 4589, which they said would promote economic growth and raise revenue through updates of the federal tax code for foreign trade. Reichert said it would benefit the economy by helping businesses grow and create jobs, "meet the demands of the global business market head on and bring back cash trapped overseas by an outdated tax law." He said the legislation is an example of work in congressional committees that doesn't get full support immediately but "they're being discussedGÇ¥ by Democrats and Republicans. "America is about people having disagreements but working together,GÇ¥ he said. "Wherever you are, whatever you do, you must work with the people around you.GÇ¥ He noted that members of both parties are "coming togetherGÇ¥ in an effort to raise awareness of human trafficking. Reichert serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and the Trade and Human Resources subcommittees.


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