Pre-Thanksgiving Update

It's the end of November, which means the Kilmer family is already thinking about the large amount of turkey (and, my personal favorite, PIE) that will be consumed by the end of the week. Our plan for Thanksgiving is to take the kids to serve food at the Rescue Mission for a few hours and then have some family time. This year, I'm thankful for my family. I'm thankful for those who serve our country in the military. I'm thankful for the opportunity to represent each of you. And I'm thankful tha… Continue Reading


Pumpkins and House Plans

If you're like my family, you might just be coming out of your Halloween-induced candy coma. The Kilmer pumpkins this year even changed themes. As you can see, my kids' obsession with Hamilton has been cemented (even if it is in the form of a giant, rotting fruit). Personally, I'm relieved that Star Wars jack-o-lanterns are still part of our tradition. Halloween wasn't the only exciting event in the past two weeks. Read on for the news! Pushing for a Fairer Tax System Here's the good new… Continue Reading


Preventing Electoral Funny Business

In my work throughout our region I meet a lot of folks. I treasure the conversations we have, the ideas I hear, and the opportunity to occasionally tell some stories and jokes. There has been a lot of talk lately on the national level about what divides us. It seems like we can't go a day without a new controversy exploding on Twitter and heating up cable news. But when you meet people supporting local nonprofits at Shelton's Oyster Fest, or talk with folks at local employers like Kitsap Cred… Continue Reading


The Waiting is the Hardest Part

It's admittedly a bummer for me to see the legendary musicians that I grew up with passing away. Every few months, I feel like another iconic performer leaves us. Just last week we saw the passing of the legendary rocker Tom Petty. Frankly, Tom Petty's greatest hits could describe much of what we've seen out of Congress in recent years. "Stop Dragging My Heart Around?" Yup."Don't Do Me Like That?" For sure!"Free Fallin'?" Check. And I can assure you that I've repeatedly listened to "I Won't B… Continue Reading


About that Friend Request

As readers of my newsletter, many of you have probably visited my Facebook page too (and if you haven't, what's stopping you?!?!) It's a great way to share where I've been in our region and what I'm working on as your representative in Washington D.C. I say this not as a shameless plug for my page (but really, you should visit) but to note that increasingly, folks are getting a majority of their news and information from social media. Social media networks like Facebook are now a public square … Continue Reading


Getting Back on Our Feet

In America, we all have disagreements. That's part of life. We can argue about what version of Pearl Jam's Better Man is the absolute best (I'll take the guitar and organ version on the Vitalogy Extended Edition any day). We can argue over fantasy football or over which team has the second-best fan base in the NFL (because obviously the Seahawks are first). And yes, in the public arena, we can have passionate debates about the best way to do things like reform our tax system. But even when w… Continue Reading


Fall Deadlines

Like a lot of families, the Kilmers are gearing up for back to school. It was a full summer for my daughters, Sophie and Tess, with trips to Hurricane Ridge, Neah Bay (this weekend - for Makah Days!), and a few summer camps. The highlight, for me, was watching their performance last weekend at the completion of their Theater Camp at the Admiral Theater in Bremerton. I was proud to watch Sophie fly across the stage (not literally) as Peter Pan and Tess embrace the role of Maleficent. It speaks v… Continue Reading


I've Been Everywhere, Man!

I'm beginning to understand what Johnny Cash was singing about when he said, "I've been everywhere, man." Over the past couple of weeks, I feel like I've visited most of the nooks and crannies of our region. Yesterday, I completed my summer town hall tour. I held one in each of the six counties that I represent (thanks to all who showed up in Chimacum, Tacoma, Port Angeles, Poulsbo, Belfair, and Aberdeen). Plus, I did a Seniors Town Hall on Bainbridge Island and took questions at both the Pouls… Continue Reading


Come Together

Raise your hand if you are able to jump in a canoe, push off from Seattle, travel 200 miles over waterways, and finally pull up to the Campbell River in Canada (Full disclosure: I am not raising my hand right now). With August starting tomorrow I wanted to highlight a remarkable group of Native Americans in our state that are doing just that by participating in the annual Canoe Journey. On August 5th about 100 canoes will land on the Campbell River Spit after paddling through ancient marine hi… Continue Reading


Working Hard to Grow Jobs

This past weekend was a busy one for me. From the Quileute Tribal Festival out in LaPush to Kitsap Pride in Bremerton, from the Summer Arts Festival in Gig Harbor to the Geoduck Festival in Allyn, I covered a lot of territory and had a lot of amazing conversations. In a lot of those discussions, I was struck by the fact that, folks didn't just talk about what they were against. People spoke to me about their hopes. They talked about what they're for. It's safe to say that I've got my fair shar… Continue Reading


Pancakes on Fourth of July

Not only are we fully in the summer season, tomorrow is also the Fourth of July! This Independence Day, I'll be starting my day with two pancake breakfasts (because you can never have enough pancakes), and then I'll be participating in three parades. I'm looking forward to seeing you out and about as we celebrate our country. Keep your eyes out and say hello if you see me. Remember - I work for you! It's been a busy couple of weeks so let's get on with the rest! Protecting our nation's secu… Continue Reading


An Example for Congress

Last week, a lot of Americans woke up to a breaking news alert that has become all too familiar: a mass shooting in a public place. This time, it was a baseball diamond near Washington D.C. and some of my Republican colleagues were attacked. These members, staffers, and others were up early for a practice ahead of the Congressional baseball game which is held each year to support charities. Sadly, instead of chasing fly balls, they had to scramble to get away from a man with a gun. We pray that… Continue Reading


A Need for Leadership

When I was kid growing up in Port Angeles, I played on a pee-wee soccer team called the Maroon Monsters. We were a decent team though, as kids, we could often be more interested in bugs in the grass than in kicking the ball. I remember our coach occasionally shouting from the sideline, "Get in the game, guys!" He reminded us that staying with it doesn't just mean you'll have a better chance to score. It also teaches you a thing or two about leadership and working together toward a common goal… Continue Reading


Walk and Chew Gum

What a glorious weekend! The last eight months have affirmed the old saying that here in our state we don't tan - we rust! In fairness, it's only really rained twice since October -- once for six months straight, and then again for two months. But beyond the weather, this weekend saw some amazing celebrations of community. I visited Port Townsend for the Rhododendron Festival Parade and participated in the Armed Forces Day festivities in Bremerton. It was terrific to see so many people, enjoyin… Continue Reading


Balls and Strikes

One of the most challenging things about the last week in DC was the fact that we saw examples of how Congress could work … and examples of how it shouldn't work. We saw bipartisan progress on a spending bill and on an issue of importance to our national security. In contrast, we saw a health care bill that - in substance and in process - fails the American people. Let me start with the good. Congress came together to do something the American people have been clamoring for; Democrats a… Continue Reading


Back to School

While Congress has been on "recess" for the past couple of weeks, I've been running from pillar to post around our region meeting with the folks I represent. I even took a page out of the Rodney Dangerfield movie Back to School (though no triple-lindy for me). In the past two weeks, I visited Tacoma Community College, Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen, and Olympic College in Bremerton to hold town hall meetings. I spent some time talking about what I'm working on, what's going on in Congress, and… Continue Reading


A Special Birthday with a Contribution from You

Since my last email update, my family celebrated some amazing milestones. My daughter, Sophie, turned 11. And my grandma (known to us as "Oma") turned 107-years-old. What do you think the secret ingredient is to living well past 100? Oma wasn't certain what did the trick for her, but her best guess was pretty awesome: CHOCOLATE! (Yes - you now have permission to eat as much chocolate as you want . . . it will help you live a long life!) My Oma has seen incredible changes in her life - includi… Continue Reading


A Special Visit

Oftentimes, it feels like our political discourse has descended into a World Wrestling Federation grudge match. As a representative - and, perhaps more importantly, as a dad - I think it's important to model good behavior, to follow the Golden Rule, and to treat people with respect. I've always admired people who can disagree without being disagreeable. This past year, I've often found myself turning off the TV because I don't want my daughters to hear how politicians are talking about each oth… Continue Reading


Helping Those in Need

As a still somewhat-new Member of Congress, I'm still growing accustomed to people asking me how I'm doing as though I've been diagnosed with a terminal illness. It goes without saying that Congress remains a fixer-upper. Despite the dysfunction and lack of legislative progress on many fronts, I'm pleased to report that there are still ways to make positive changes for folks in our region. Oftentimes, that starts with conversations I have with you. A couple of years ago, I sat down with a grou… Continue Reading


Showing Up

I was blown away at the level of participation at our first two town halls. It was really inspiring to see so many people show up and have a productive conversation about what's on your minds. It was real people-power in action. We had nearly 500 people show up in Tacoma and, according to the folks at the Admiral Theatre, we had nearly 1,000 participants show up in Bremerton. Take a look at some pictures from our first installment of the 2017 town hall tour. If you haven't had a chance… Continue Reading

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