19th District Sen. Jeff Wilson, R-Longview, announced last week that he has joined the Senate Freedom Caucus.
The small group of Republican lawmakers say they are focused on individual liberties, economic growth and responsible government.
“If ever there was a need for a Senate Freedom Caucus, the time is now,” Wilson said in a press release. “This year’s legislation presents major threats to our economic freedoms and the principle of equal protection under the law for all individuals, regardless of race, ethnic background or place of residence. The Senate Freedom Caucus is a voice for solutions that keep taxes low and reduce government interference in our daily lives, and I am proud to join my colleagues in advocating these principles.”
The caucus was formed earlier this year. During the session, which ended Sunday, it backed proposals for “responsible spending of federal stimulus money, prevention of discrimination based on vaccination status, and sustainable highway-construction funding without higher taxes.”
“I don’t think you see the broad differences of opinion on our side of the aisle that you do among our colleagues,” Wilson said. “But within the Legislature, political-party caucuses and leadership have different responsibilities. The Senate Freedom Caucus calls attention to the enormous gulf between the Legislature’s majority party and the people.”
Founding members of the Senate Freedom Caucus are Sens. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, Phil Fortunato, R-Auburn, and Jim McCune, R-Graham.
"I've been encouraging Sen. Wilson to join us since his election," Fortunato said. "I am glad to have him join us."