A Long Time Coming

Dear Friend, As many of you know, my approach to this job is guided by my belief that I work for you. It's why I enjoy traveling across our region to listen to your ideas and thoughts and bring them back to Congress. That way, we can build progress together. Another key part of that is helping you, your family, or your business get the service you deserve from government. I'm proud of the extraordinary casework my office does on a daily basis. I encourage anyone who is grappling with a federal… Continue Reading


Modeling Good Behavior in the Pacific Northwest

Dear Friend, Too often Congress - and our political scene in general - looks like a clip from the World Wrestling Federation. Lately, we've seen far too many insults and jabs (though thankfully, we've mostly avoided actual body slams). But even the biggest Hulkamaniac has got to feel the need for greater civility. For more progress. For the voices of the American people to be listened to in our political process. Having said that, despite the smackdown that we see on TV every day, I've got som… Continue Reading


A Call to Action

Dear Friend, Is there a better place to be in August than the Pacific Northwest? Sunshine, the outdoors, and a bevy of delicious food to eat at fairs, parades, and festivals. Plus, can you think of another organization in baseball that would mark Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz's last game at Safeco Field by giving him 34 pounds of salmon? I don't think so. We also try to encourage civic engagement in our neck of the woods. Here in Washington, we've tried to make it easier for folks to cast… Continue Reading


Need to get it done

Friends, The former coach of the Miami Dolphins, Don Shula, was known as a great motivational leader. When asked the secret of his success, he said, "I'm just a guy who rolls up his sleeves and goes to work." Like most folks, I'd like to see Congress follow that ethic. Less bickering. Less games. More progress. More work. Sadly, Congress recently went into one of its longest recesses in recent decades. And worse still, it did so without getting the job done on a multitude of issues. Congress… Continue Reading


A Difficult Week

Friends, This past week was a difficult one for our country. After several days of tragedies, it's important that we don't simply go about our business. Rather, now is a time for reflection and dialogue. Too often, in Washington DC, these moments lend themselves to partisan bickering. But something constructive and unique happened on Friday when House Speaker Paul Ryan and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined together to make a joint statement. Speaker Ryan commented, "Every member of this bo… Continue Reading


Time for a Sit-Down

Dear Friend, Many of you know that I first got involved in public service because I wanted to leave a better world for my kiddos. As a representative - and as a dad - I've been heartbroken to read the stories of lives lost in Orlando. These folks were just out on a Saturday, enjoying a place where they felt at home and could be themselves. This also happened during Pride Month. A time where, in general, we note the important strides we've made in securing equality and dignity for every America… Continue Reading


School's Out

The first day of summer might not be until next week but you can feel it in the air. The sun is shining, the Mariners are winning (honestly! Not far from the Rangers!), and Sophie and Tess are counting down the minutes until the end of school. When school is out, we try to keep our daughters busy. Whether it's summer camps, day trips, or bike rides in the neighborhood, we try hard to avoid hearing the perilous refrain: "Mom, Dad - we're bored." For our family, the great outdoors are a "go-to"… Continue Reading


Working for those who protect us

Today our nation takes a moment to pay tribute to those patriotic Americans who have lost their lives in service to our nation. I'm reminded - not just as your representative - but as the dad of two little girls that our country is stronger and freer as a result of the service and sacrifice of those who serve. To me, it begs a larger question: What do we do to honor their memory? Certainly, saying thank you to every service member, to every family member, is a start. To try to h… Continue Reading


Transformers: 2016

Many of you know that I'm a big movie buff. I love everything about the movies. Popcorn - love it. Milk Duds - love them. Milk Duds in my popcorn - LOVE IT! Not only do I like the one-off classic movies, I'm a fan of franchises. As the biggest Star Wars fan in Congress, I'm a fan of that whole series (though I admit, I'm still not keen on Jar Jar Binks). I've enjoyed every single one of the Hunger Games films. And why have one Rocky movie when you can have seven? I confess, though, that I've … Continue Reading


6th District Art at the U.S. Capitol

For the record, I am not an artist. But I love art. In fact, I love the fact that ? every morning before I open my refrigerator ? I get to look at a Tess Kilmer original. Over the years, my kiddos have shown their creativity in paintings, drawings, and even funky-looking apples made with tiny pieces of tissue paper. But their work makes our home a lot more fun. That's true in our communities too. Think about the amazing cultural assets we have throughout our region. The theaters, museu… Continue Reading


A Win for Everyone

As the Representative for our region I get a lot of good questions. Sometimes people want to know about how we can get veterans the care they need. Or they want to ask a question about the budget dysfunction in DC. But since my daughter's birthday some folks want to know??who was that copy of Star Wars: The Force Awakens really for? Well, I can assure you that this was, in fact, my present to Sophie for her 10th birthday (but that doesn't mean I can't watch it with her). My next Star W… Continue Reading


A big week for our family!

This is a week of big milestones in our family. My oldest daughter, Sophie, turns 10 today (yes ? I've talked her into birthday pie rather than cake? that's my girl!). And at the end of last week, my grandmother ? aka Oma ? turned 106 years old! Many of you might have heard me talk about how I hope to have inherited her genes. I've continued to eat my vegetables and hit the gym ? but Oma has yet to reveal the secret sauce for how she does it. Oma has seen a lot during her lifetime. She's witn… Continue Reading


Oh Canada

Dear Friend, Since my last update I was honored to meet Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. I joined six of my colleagues and several of the senior government officials from Canada in a meeting to discuss some of our common interests. Among the issues I raised with the Prime Minister was my strong interest in protecting our shared waters. As many of you know, for decades the Victoria area of British Columbia has been dumping raw sewage into the shared waters of the Strait of Juan d… Continue Reading


Remembering Our Neighbors

Dear Friend, By and large when I send you these email updates, I generally start with an upbeat story or a joke. But, honestly, as I write this, I do so with a heavy heart. Recently, tragedy struck our region when a shooting in Belfair took the lives of a family and one of their neighbors. This senseless violence shocked us all. It's something we have seen too often, in too many communities. As is often the case in our region, this tragedy also showed how we support one another. People … Continue Reading


The town hall tour

Dear Friend, I just wrapped up my week-long town hall tour this past Saturday. Following my "Town-Hall-a-Palooza," Sophie, Tess, and I went up north and visited grandma and grandpa for a delicious meal. It was some great family time before flying back to D.C. today! Over the course of the week, I held seven town halls, visiting every county in the district I represent. We had a terrific turnout and even had a few citizens attend multiple town halls (I kind of wanted to get them a "Town Ha… Continue Reading


Lutefisk! Get your Lutefisk here!

Dear Friend, We know that we have a lot of work to do to fix a broken Congress. Two weeks ago, legislation was not the only thing that was stuck in place as Snowpocalypse 2016 hit Washington, D.C. The snowy mess gave me additional days to work in our region and I enjoyed meeting and listening to many of you - and a chance to chow down on some tasty Lutefisk. What can I say? It's growing on me. (Honestly, if you put enough butter and bacon bits on anything, it can be… palatable). Thi… Continue Reading


Education, like Wheaties, is good for you

Dear Friend, A quality education can unlock so many doors. It can broaden our horizons. It can help people pursue a new career. It can empower someone to make it in America. Education all starts with memorable teachers that make a difference. I see that when I run into someone who was inspired after having had my mom or dad as a teacher in school. I'm reminded of it when I think of the instructors that made an enormous impact on my life. And it's something I touched on while marking my dad… Continue Reading


Progress with your help

Dear Friend, One of the most memorable moments of the 1990s for me took place on October 8, 1995. Watching Ken Griffey Jr. in a dead sprint, running around the bases, and scoring the winning run against the Yankees in the Division Series was unforgettable. Though it happened more than twenty years ago, in some ways it feels like just yesterday. How cool was it to see "The Kid" with a giant smile on his face at the bottom of that pile as his teammates celebrated?!?! I watched the clip of th… Continue Reading


Year in review

Dear Friend, I hope you had a terrific holiday! Thankfully, the Kilmers had a fun few days of family, friends, food and football (that's about as much alliteration as I can use in a sentence - my high school English teacher, Mrs. Elliott, would be proud). First things first: Congrats to the Huskies and the Cougars for two Boxing Day victories in bowl games. Sophie and I pounded through a whole vat of the Kilmer Secret Recipe Bean Dip and watched some good football. As we look to 2016, bo… Continue Reading


Holiday deadlines

Friends, As you read this, Congress is trying to avert another shutdown. Congressional approval ratings have hit the single digits before, seeming to signal that only close friends and family members gave a thumbs up. If Congress can’t get its act together before the holidays, I imagine ratings like that could go even lower. The dysfunctional way in which Congress approaches budgeting gives you a strong sense of how Congress earns such a low approval. Need proof? At the end of Septemb… Continue Reading

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