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


A plate of turkey, with a side of service

Dear Friend, I hope by the time you're reading this you’ve recovered from the food coma that seems to strike following Thanksgiving. I was thankful to spend some quality time with my family (not to mention some quality time with delicious turkey, stuffing, and corn casserole). If you follow me on Facebook or are a regular newsletter subscriber, you might have read about my efforts show support for those in need this season. That’s why last Monday I kicked off a ‘Week of Thanks’ where I g… Continue Reading


Saying thanks for service

Dear Friend, Each year on Veterans Day we get a chance to say thanks for the bravery and service our veterans have shown defending our nation. It means a lot in our neck of the woods since so many of our friends and neighbors have answered the call to serve. Around here we know it’s important for our kids to understand that it’s not just a day off from school or a day off of work to buy a mattress or an appliance. It’s meant to be a day to honor our veterans. Last week I joined the celebr… Continue Reading


A New (Budget) Deal

Dear Friend, As you read this we are flying through fall. Halloween has now come and gone (though, in my house, the candy will likely last for a few more days). Colorful leaves are now begging to be raked into a pile (and to become a target for my kids to jump into). And pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice latte, and pumpkin muffins have taken over grocery stores and coffee shops. We’re not just seeing seasonal transitions. We also had some changes under the Capitol Dome, as Speaker John Boehner re… Continue Reading


Time to get outside

Dear Friend, Sometimes on a weekend afternoon or a day off from school I run into a challenge. It usually starts along these lines - my two daughters have already watched Frozen 45 times. They’ve built entire communities in Minecraft and they’re uninspired by Barbie (and even Skipper). When they start to pull out the Pretty Pedicure Salon and eye my feet for a makeover, it’s about time for me to declare, “Let’s go outside!” For Sophie and Tess, there is nothing better than escaping the hou… Continue Reading


The Golden Rule

Dear Friend, At some point when you were growing up a teacher, pastor, or parent probably told you to never forget one thing: ‘The Golden Rule’. The idea of treating others the way you want to be treated follows you throughout life. It’s relevant when you are picking teams for kickball on the playground, meeting new kids at high school, or walking through the doors of your first big job. It’s also a lesson that Congress should pay attention to more often! Congress got its own reminder of t… Continue Reading


Avoiding a shutdown

Dear Friend, You can always count on certain things during the fall. The leaves are changing, the kids are back in school, and the Seahawks have kicked off another season. But these days, there are real concerns that Congress may also be kicking off a new tradition: shutting down the federal government. For the second time in two years, Congress is playing a dangerous game of political brinkmanship. Congress has until the end of the month to pass a spending measure or else funding for our … Continue Reading


Honoring America's workers

Dear Friend, Greetings from 30,000 feet above America. As I send this, I’m heading back to Washington, D.C. following the August recess. If you’ve been following my activities on Facebook, you’ll know that I’ve been busy (my wife, Jennifer, finds the word “recess” a completely unfitting description of the past month). I’ve enjoyed running from pillar to post around our region. Like many of you, I also enjoyed celebrating Labor Day weekend. This past weekend wasn’t just a time for summer fe… Continue Reading


Kilmer on a stick

Dear Friend, By the end of August, I will have visited 8 fairs and festivals in one month. It’s a great opportunity for me to get to visit with the folks I represent and hear what’s on your mind. It’s also a great opportunity for me to consume fair food. I’ve been alternating between the two basic fair food groups: 1) fried food and 2) meat on a stick. In Grays Harbor, I went chicken on a stick. In Clallam County, it was deep fried Oreos. Next up, the coup de grace...Combining the two food… Continue Reading


Milestones for America

Dear Friend, Milestones come in many shapes and sizes. Some are small but still memorable. Like the first time Sophie got a hit in baseball. There are graduations, new jobs, and birthdays. Just this past Friday, I attended a 20th anniversary celebration for Paladin Data Systems, a terrific employer in Poulsbo. Some milestones are bigger. Many readers and my Facebook friends probably know that my grandmother (aka Oma) turned 105 earlier this year. I hope I have the good fortune of inheritin… Continue Reading

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