In The News


The Cybersecurity 202: Congress is offering millions in election security. States may not use it by November.

by Derek Hawkins

States are now free to claim their shares of the hundreds of millions of dollars Congress set aside to secure election systems across the country. But for many states, getting their hands on the money - and deciding how to spend it - is easier said than done. In Minnesota, Secretary of State Steve Simon (D) told me he wants to use part of the $6.6 million in federal funds his state was awarded to hire three coders to immediately upgrade the state's aging voter registration system. The clock… Continue Reading


House panel clears bills to fund USDA, FDA, Corps

by Steve Davies

The "Waters of the U.S." rule promulgated by the Obama Administration would be repealed in one of two spending bills approved by the House Appropriations Committee Wednesday. Despite opposition by Democrats, who attempted to remove all of what they called "poison pill" riders, the WOTUS repeal provision remained in the energy and water spending bill that cleared the committee. EPA is already working through the administrative process to rescind the rule and expects to publish a new proposed rul… Continue Reading


An 'Exploration Exhibition' to launch the new Planetary Science Caucus

by Casey Dreier

The congressional Planetary Science Caucus formally kicked off last Wednesday with an "exploration exhibition" at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. to raise awareness of the caucus and of the many ways in which industry and scientific institutions participate in the exploration of the planets. Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye and its board of directors were on hand to welcome hundreds congressional staff and seven members of Congress, including the caucus co-Chairs Rep. John Culberson (… Continue Reading


Nation's Leading Policy Voices Gather Today for Peterson Foundation's 2018 Fiscal Summit: Debt Matters

Leading lawmakers and policy experts gather today for the Peter G. Peterson Foundation's 2018 Fiscal Summit: Debt Matters. Following recent tax and spending legislation that add significantly to our national debt, the Fiscal Summit will examine the urgent need for a fiscal reset that puts America on a sustainable course for economic growth and prosperity. As campaigns for the 2018 midterm elections get underway within a rapidly changing policy environment, the ninth-annual Fiscal Summit… Continue Reading


Port Angeles City Council prepares to fight park service over water treatment

The City Council has approved a $360,000 payment to Seattle law firm to prepare a lawsuit against the National Park Service as a backup to settlement negotiations for the Elwha water treatment facilities. Council members voted 7-0 Tuesday to authorize City Manager Dan McKeen to execute a third contract amendment with Lane Powell PC, a firm with expertise in federal litigation. The city hired Lane Powell in 2016 to help with the transfer of the Elwha water facilities from the National Park Serv… Continue Reading


Marchand, Joseph take Colville's concerns to Washington D.C.

by Justus Caudell

Following the testimony of Colville Business Council chair Dr. Michael Marchand, U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, issued to his fellow members of the U.S. House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee an invitation to attend the Colville Reservation's Omak Stampede and World Famous Suicide Race. "I don't want to break the serious mood, but I just want to get it on the record: I watched a very exciting Kentucky Derby this weekend and it's nothing compared to the Omak Stampede and Suicide Race," sai… Continue Reading


Port Angeles City Council prepares to fight park service if needed

by Rob Ollikainen

The City Council has approved a $360,000 payment to Seattle law firm to prepare a lawsuit against the National Park Service as a backup to settlement negotiations for the Elwha water treatment facilities. Council members voted 7-0 Tuesday to authorize City Manager Dan McKeen to execute a third contract amendment with Lane Powell PC, a firm with expertise in federal litigation. The city hired Lane Powell in 2016 to help with the transfer of the Elwha water facilities from the National Park Serv… Continue Reading


What’s Happening in Space Policy

by Marcia Smith

During the Week Two House committees will mark up funding bills for defense and civil space programs this week. The full House Armed Services Committee (HASC) will mark up the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Wednesday beginning at 10:00 am ET. These marathon sessions have been known to run past midnight, so get the coffee ready. Subcommittee markups were on April 26 and HASC Chairman Mac Thornberry released a summary of what will be in the bill on Friday. There's an ent… Continue Reading


Congressman Kilmer to host telephone town hall meeting Monday

Congressman Derek Kilmer (D-Gig Harbor) will hold a telephone town hall meeting, his fifth "teletownhall" of the year, Monday, May 7 at 6 p.m. Participants will have the opportunity to ask Kilmer a question or leave a message with their comments. "You're the boss, and I want to hear directly from you," said Kilmer. "Your input Monday night will help me represent our region in the important debates coming up in Congress." Kilmer has also conducted four in-person town hall meetings across the 6t… Continue Reading


Restore Integrity

Former Congressman Mick Mulvaney recently told banking industry executives and lobbyists that they should increase their campaign donations if they want to influence lawmakers. Mulvaney revealed that when it came to meeting with lobbyists, he only agreed to meet with those who contributed to his campaign. Admission of this hierarchy based on campaign contributions is no surprise. It is just one more affirmation that our political and policy system is broken. Fewer than 7 percent of Americans d… Continue Reading


We need to keep the parks affordable

by Amy Grondin

I'm heartened by progress Congress is making toward addressing the $11 billion maintenance backlog at national parks across the country, including the $152 million needed to fix broken infrastructure at Olympic National Park. Legislators are considering legislation that would provide dedicated, reliable funding to draw down the maintenance backlog over time. Rep. Derek Kilmer, a cosponsor of one such bill, deserves our thanks and support as he continues to be a proponent of this impo… Continue Reading


KEDA's 35th brings record numbers on every level

by Monica Blackwood

Community leaders, in record numbers, recently attended our Kitsap Economic Development Alliance's 35th annual meeting convened at the Kitsap Conference Center on March 30. The event kicked off with Congressman Derek Kilmer sharing his perspective on the dynamics of both our local and national economies. As a public servant holding a deep background in economic development, Derek reminded the 200-plus attendees that Kitsap competes every day with every community everywhere for capital - both h… Continue Reading


Clallam commissioners approve short-term move to aid Serenity House

by Jesse Major

Clallam County commissioners have agreed to a short-term solution to Serenity House of Clallam County's funding woes and are expected today to loosen the strings attached to $55,000 in funding approved earlier this year. This was in response to Serenity House announcing last week it had run out of funding for its night-by-night shelter, family shelter and single adult clean and sober recovery shelter and that it would close its night-by-night shelter May 15 if more funding wasn't found soon. S… Continue Reading


A collection of thoughts on the AK-15

by Marylin Olds

On Feb. 14, America shifted toward gun reform. That was the day the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida endured the mass shooting that killed 17 people. Those students decided they must speak out on behalf of their own safety. Thousands of students across the U.S. joined them in two "March for Our Lives" events last month. Another is planned for April 20. "We are Generation Z, the generation after millennials. Many high school seniors will cast their first ballots this November," w… Continue Reading


'Cyber blindspot' threatens energy companies spending too little

by Naureen Malik

What's the cost of securing the nation's energy from a cyber attack? Amid rising threats, including a recent attack on several U.S. power and natural gas suppliers, energy companies are now spending less than 0.2% of their revenue on cybersecurity, at least a third less than financial institutions, according to Precision Analytics LLC and The CAP Group LLC, security consultants that work within the industry. Meanwhile, Symantec Corp. says it's tracking at least 140 groups of hackers actively… Continue Reading


National Guard to tighten election security in Washington

by Natalie Brand

Cybersecurity experts with the Washington National Guard are teaming up with state election officials to tighten election security in Washington for the 2018 midterms. Other states across the country are forming similar partnerships with National Guard units. However, Washington's National Guard has long been recognized as a leader in cybersecurity. "You have a number of guard members who are Microsoft employees and Google employees, so they have been on the forefront of cybersecurity planning… Continue Reading


Who Else Is Fed Up With Pruitt? Congress.

by Heather Smith

"This is not dodge-question day," Representative Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) told Scott Pruitt about an hour in to what turned out to be six hours of questioning by two congressional committees on Thursday. But it was dodge-question day, because, for the embattled EPA administrator, every day is dodge-question day. While Pruitt's prepared statements before the hearings stuck to budget and policy, the EPA sent some lawmakers a 23-page document defending the multitudinous ethical infractions that Pruitt… Continue Reading


Tax breaks could help revive Bremerton, Port Orchard

by Chris Henry

A new federal program that promises tax breaks for investors in economically downtrodden areas could help revive the cities of Bremerton and Port Orchard. Gov. Jay Inslee has designated 139 Census tracts throughout the state - including two in Port Orchard and one in Bremerton - as "Opportunity Zones," enabling them to offer special federal tax incentives to encourage development and job creation. The program is part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, approved by Congress and signed by Pres… Continue Reading


Pruitt says he has "nothing to hide" as lawmakers slam him as unfit to lead EPA

In hearings on the Environmental Protection Agency's budget, EPA chief Scott Pruitt spent much of his testimony on Thursday before the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee defending himself against a string of ethics controversies that have prompted calls for his ouster from Democrats and even some Republicans. Pruitt said he has "nothing to hide" as it relates to how he runs the agency, comments he reiterated in a House Appropriations Committee hearing in the afternoon. "Facts are fact… Continue Reading


Herrera Beutler bill would allow tribes to operate distilleries

by Zack Hale

Native American tribes have been free to own and operate breweries and wineries since the 1950s, but they are still prohibited from operating distilleries on tribal land under a 184-year-old law. That would change under a bill co-sponsored by Southwest Washington Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, who is proposing to repeal a 19th-century prohibition on tribal distilleries. Herrera Beutler and U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, a Puget Sound-area Democrat, co-sponsored the bill… Continue Reading

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