Larsen

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen speaks to a gathering of around 30 people on Saturday at the Civic Garden Club in La Conner

LA CONNER — U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., addressed a wide range of topics, including climate change, holding the president accountable and health care, during a forum on Saturday at the Civic Garden Club.

The forum, held as a community coffee event that drew about 30 people, was hosted by Larsen to hear his constituents’ most pressing concerns.

Larsen represents Washington’s 2nd Congressional District, which encompasses parts of Whatcom, Skagit and Snohomish counties, as well as all of Island and San Juan counties.

The congressman opened the forum by giving a rundown of the House of Representatives’ recent efforts, such as passing the decade’s biggest public lands bill on Tuesday, approving two pieces of gun control legislation and working to terminate President Trump’s emergency declaration on the Mexico border.

After the address, multiple hands in the audience shot up for questions.

Lori McKole of Oak Harbor asked Larsen about his commitments to addressing climate change and his stance on the Green New Deal.

Larsen spoke to the numerous efforts he’s made to fight climate change, including supporting transit agencies in their endeavor to reduce carbon emissions, encouraging the Navy’s efforts to reduce energy use and investing in the creation of green jobs.

Larsen also led the passage of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Reauthorization Act of 2018, which protects funding to develop aircraft technologies that reduce noise and air pollution on local communities.

“I’m not waiting for the Green New Deal,” Larsen said.

In response to a question posed by La Conner Councilman John Leaver, Larsen said he endorses Jay Inslee as a presidential candidate.

Larsen said he supports Inslee’s efforts in workforce development, something Larsen himself said he focused on in his 2018 re-election bid.

Larsen also spoke on his views on health care.

“I support the ACA (Affordable Care Act),” he said. “I have lived and died on the ACA.”

Larsen said there is a need to eliminate restrictions that prohibit Medicare from negotiating drug prices.

— Reporter Leah Allen: 360-416-2149, lallen@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Leah_SVH

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