In The News


Seaworld, salmon, senators and saving orcas – NOAA’s role has limits

by Candace Calloway Whiting

"There are no silver bullets" The patience and equanimity of the NOAA officials was impressive at the recent public meetings that were held to discuss the status of the endangered Southern Resident killer whales. After sharing details, the staff opened the mic to the public - NOAA was there to listen, and listen they did as the public poured out concerns, demands, and judgments primarily on the lack of sufficient salmon and on the presence of SeaWorld in the medical treatment given to the now d… Continue Reading


Kilmer tours district with Republican chair of House Budget Committee

by Jesse Major

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK - U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, a Democrat, is hosting the Republican chair of the House Budget Committee on a tour of his district as the two appropriators look at how the federal budget affects the Olympic Peninsula and the Puget Sound region. Kilmer's first stop with Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark., was at Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park on Sunday, where park officials told them of their $120 million maintenance backlog and about how Congress' inability to pass budgets slo… Continue Reading


Cantwell Works To Give Tribal Leaders Equal Access to Social Security

Bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and John Thune (R-SD) to correct a long-standing inequity in the Social Security Act that prevents elected tribal leaders from contributing to and accessing Social Security benefits passed the U.S. Senate on Sept. 7 and will head to the President's desk to be signed into law. The Tribal Social Security Fairness Act would allow tribal governments to "opt-in" to Social Security, pay the related taxes, and receive the retirem… Continue Reading


Bill adds protections of religious community centers against hate crimes

by Jesse Major

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A bill co-written by U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer to protect religious community centers against hate crimes has been sent to President Donald Trump to be signed into law. The House of Representatives passed the final version of the Protecting Religiously Affiliated Institutions Act on Friday. Kilmer, a Democrat from Gig Harbor, co-wrote the bill after a string of bomb threats was made nationwide against religious institutions, including one at the Stroum Jewish Community Center i… Continue Reading


Local Threat to Mercer Island Jewish community center leads to new hate crime bill

by KING Staff

A bomb threat that forced the evacuation of a religious community center on Mercer Island in early 2017 is the inspiration for a new bill in Washington DC. Last year, the Stroum Jewish Community Center received a bomb threat that forced the evacuation of 250 people and closed nearby schools. The threat was deemed not to be a credible threat. Now, a community effort has backed a new bill that would recognize threats to religious institutions as hate crimes. The Protecting Religiously Affiliate… Continue Reading


Pay attention to the politicians working together

by Matt Ryan

Cary Bozeman's kind words toward Senator McCain are much appreciated. (Letters, "Will McCain's courage inspire others?" Aug. 30) However, his view that there are no others willing to reach across the aisle and work together isn't what I have seen and experienced. For example, I, a Republican, sought a change to the law so 150 KPS participants would be eligible for coverage elsewhere after KPS folded. 23rd District Senator Christine Rolfes got a bill passed and signed by the governor so that non… Continue Reading


How your U.S. lawmaker voted

by Thomas Voting Reports

WASHINGTON - Here's how area members of Congress voted on major issues during the week ending Sept. 7. House Small-scale natural gas exports: By a vote of 260 for and 146 against, the House on Sept. 6 passed a bill (HR 4606) that would speed Department of Energy approval of applications to export relatively small quantities of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries with which the United States does not have free trade agreements. This would codify a departmental regulation under which such a… Continue Reading


Mercer Island banker’s push for stiffer hate-crime penalties clears U.S. Senate

by Ryan Blethen

The U.S. Senate has passed a measure expanding federal hate-crimes laws to include threatening or defacing religious institutions, a victory for the Mercer Island banker who helped draft the measure after a bomb threat against a Mercer Island Jewish community center last year. The bomb threat, which was called in to the Stroum Jewish Community Center in February 2017, propelled Mercer Island resident Joseph Schocken - president of Seattle-based Broadmark Capital - to contact Rep. Derek Kilmer, … Continue Reading


U.S. should be part of international health efforts

by Beth Wilson

The infectious disease that kills the most people on earth is no longer AIDS or polio. It is tuberculosis. Over 10 million people contract the disease each year and 1.7 million lives are lost annually. Around the world, 40 percent of people who have active TB are not diagnosed or treated. Fully a third of the people alive on earth today have latent TB. TB crosses national borders and sickens people in every state in our nation and most cities in Washington state. It is for this reason that I a… Continue Reading


President Trump cancels pay raise for federal workers in January

by AP


Kilmer blasts Trump’s decision canceling federal pay raises

by Bob Smith

PORT ORCHARD - U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, the 6th District's Democratic congressman, criticized President Donald Trump's decision today - Thursday, Aug. 30 - to cancel a planned 2.1-percent pay increase for civilian federal workers as being disrespectful of "the important work done throughout our country by federal workers." In a letter to House and Senate leaders today, Trump called the pay increase "inappropriate" and at odds with his administration's "efforts to keep the nation on a fiscally su… Continue Reading


She’s lethal, graceful, priceless. Don’t underestimate Mount Rainier

by Matt Misterek

Taking a three-day, 34-mile backpacking trip on Mount Rainier may cause some people to question my idea of a fun summer vacation. Taking the trip during one of the region's worst air-quality weeks on record may cause them to question my sanity. One thing I hope they never question is the priceless value of the mountain - what Pierce County proudly claims as our mountain - and of the National Park Service as a whole. While preparing to lead my daughters, ages 19 and 22, on a circuit of the No… Continue Reading


Kilmer talks trade, tariffs in Aberdeen

by Dan Hammock

Congressman Derek Kilmer was in Aberdeen Wednesday to speak to local manufacturers about the impacts of the escalating trade wars and the uncertainty of tariffs on their businesses. "There's growing concern around the impact of the trade policy in D.C.," he said after an afternoon session at Greater Grays Harbor, Inc. "Some local businesses are feeling the impact of the escalating trade war." Montesano-based Vaughan Company, builders of specialty pumps and other products that are sold around t… Continue Reading


Kilmer invites Vietnam veterans, community to pinning ceremony in Elma

On Friday, Congressman Derek Kilmer invited veterans of the Vietnam War to participate in a pinning ceremony as part of the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Vietnam War. The ceremony will occur at the Elma Eagles Club on Wednesday, Aug. 22 at 5 p.m. At the ceremony, on behalf of the community he represents, Kilmer will present a commemorative pin created by the Department of Defense to attending United States veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time between N… Continue Reading


Port Angeles, National Park Service to sign Elwha water agreement

by Rob Ollikainen

PORT ANGELES - The National Park Service is expected to sign Monday a settlement with the city of Port Angeles over the transfer of the Elwha water facilities, a landmark agreement that the City Council approved last week. The council voted 7-0 Tuesday to accept the $6.65 million transfer agreement with the U.S. Department of Interior, ending a two-year stalemate over infrastructure built for the removal of the Elwha dams. The action quashes a lawsuit that the city filed against the federal go… Continue Reading


One year after Trump tweeted he'd ban transgender troops, the fight to stop him continues

by Soraya Ferdman

One year ago, President Trump used Twitter to announce a ban on transgender troops. Today, the fight to protect transgender service people is still very much alive. LGBTQ civil rights organizations and activists across social media are using the hashtag #TransBanTweetUp on Thursday to get people talking about Trump's continued attempts to bar transgender people from serving in the U.S. military. Led by Human Rights Campaign and Lambda Legal, the campaign makes strategic use of the president's f… Continue Reading


St. Regis Mohawk Tribe completes Northern Tribal Border Alliance aimed at improving border relations

AKWESASNE - The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, and Six Nations of the Grand River have announced the successful completion of the Northern Tribal Border Alliance July 19. The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne was unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances. The NTBA was first formed in August 2017 when more than 30 participants representing federally recognized tribes and First Nations communities met to discuss important common tribal interests along the Northern Border… Continue Reading


Kilmer-backed legislation would let servicemembers out of contracts before deployment

by Julianne Stanford

Shortly after Jill Jones and her husband, Jordan, moved back to the United States from an overseas duty station a few years ago, her application for an automobile loan was denied because of her credit score. "My score was really low, so I pulled it up and I was like 'Oh my gosh,' " Jones said. When she checked her credit score report, she discovered her number was being dragged down as the result of two reports for unpaid balances on service contracts she'd canceled before she and her husban… Continue Reading


Rep. Ryan Costello and Rep. Derek Kilmer Urge Colleagues to Pass HR 2409

Representative Kilmer speaks on the house floor to support a bill that allows service members to terminate contracts once they receive orders to relocate for more than 90 days.… Continue Reading


Rep. Kilmer Introduces Bill To Bring Broadband Internet To Rural Areas

by KXRO News

Representative Derek Kilmer has introduced the Broadband for All Act to assist rural residents. According to Kilmer, the bill creates refundable tax credits for businesses and groups of people who team up to build the infrastructure that connects them to the country's existing rural broadband service. "Too many rural communities are being left behind in our economy because America's internet infrastructure doesn't reach them," Kilmer said. "Connecting communities to high-speed internet will cr… Continue Reading

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