When Congressman-elect Denny Heck starts his term Thursday, he will be at the forefront of determining action related to the federal budge deficit.
Heck, a Democrat who will represent Washington’s new 10th Congressional District, was appointed Dec. 20 to the House Budge Committee, which is chaired by former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan.
“This is the key committee that is all tied up in the fiscal-cliff fiasco,” Heck said. “It gives me the chance of contributing toward a balanced budget, job creation and protecting programs that help people stay in the middle class or get into the middle class.”
Heck said the nation’s middle class has been under severe stress for decades.
“The wages for middle class have been stagnant for 30 years, and when adjusted for inflation, they have decreased over the past 10 years,” he said. “Purchasing power has decreased. I think the most important thing to do is to take actions that create jobs and create economic growth.”
Heck said he will advocate for the completion of state Route 167 to the Port of Tacoma. Late last month, he met with business and labor groups who have a stake in the plan.
“It is a state road, but it intersects with a federal highway,” Heck said. “It’s a strategically critical project.”
Heck said completing SR 167 will have a direct impact on creating jobs in the local economy.
He also said he’s well-suited for the House Budget Committee because of his years of experience in starting and managing several small businesses. He was the co-founder and first CEO of TVW, a statewide government TV network. He also was the co-founder of Intrepid Learning Solutions. Today, that company has more than 300 employees.
Heck served four terms in the state Legislature from 1977-85. He was a majority leader during that time, served on the Ways and Means Committee and was the Chief of Staff for Gov. Booth Gardner during Gardner’s second term from 1989-93.
“The House Budget Committee is going to be at the heart of the biggest debate that will take place in Congress over the next two years,” Heck said.Reporter Andrew Fickes can be reached at 253-552-7001 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_andrew.