Making Our Budget Work

Hello friends,I hope April is treating you well. The Mariners are winning! Schools are getting a Spring Break! The cherry blossoms are out in both D.C. and the better Washington (that sound you hear is me sneezing from the tree pollen). And it feels like spring may finally be here to stay! Spring in D.C. also means it's budget season. It's the time of year when the President proposes a budget for Congress to consider, and folks start getting to work on the next year's funding priorities. We've g… Continue Reading


Focusing On Getting Stuff Done

Hi all, As many of you may know, I'm a big movie buff. In fact, my first job was at Westside Video in Port Angeles (for my younger readers, we used to have these things called video stores...).Because I'm such a fan, I'm often asked in the run-up to Academy Award season, "So what movie should win Best Picture?" During the past few years, since I'm usually super busy with work and kids, I confess that I often haven't seen a lot of the Best Picture nominees. I'm usually able to read some reviews … Continue Reading


What Happens In DC (Doesn’t Need To Stay In DC)

Hi Folks, As many of you know, I travel around our region quite a bit. I do a lot of town hall meetings and meet with many of the folks I represent. At these get-togethers, I've found that some of the same questions come up over and over. Perhaps more than anything, I get asked "Why on earth would you want to be back in DC when it's such a mess and you have two little kids?" I always tell folks the same answer - "Because it's a mess and I have kids! I don't want their future dictated by a me… Continue Reading


Getting Things Done

Hello friends, I can't believe it's already March...The year is zipping by, and I've been up to a lot these past couple weeks! While cable news has focused its attention on some of the chaos in DC (warning: don't watch cable news within an hour of eating), the last couple of weeks have actually seen some forward progress on issues that matter to folks in our neck of the woods. Read on for details! Protecting our Natural Treasures One of the big wins from the past week was the passage of the … Continue Reading


Flurries - of Snow... and Activity!

Hello friends, I hope everyone stayed safe during Washington's snow-pocalypse. I was back in DC working, so I missed the "snow days" (and the accompanying sledding, snowman building and difficult driving conditions). My daughters Sophie and Tess reported that our neighborhood looked more like the Hoth ice planet than Gig Harbor... which I thought was pretty cool. Meanwhile, we saw a flurry of activity back in DC. I often joke that I'm reticent to give an update on what's happening in Congress … Continue Reading


Hearing From You!

Hello friends, When I first started this job, my daughter Sophie was six-years-old (now she's a giant 12-year-old). I look back on those days fondly - in part, because she seemed a bit more inclined to hang out with me (those were the days before she had fully discovered phones and videogames) and in part because she was wonderfully inquisitive about the goings-on in this job in only the way a 1st grader could be. It felt like every time we sat down for a meal together, it was a mini-civics les… Continue Reading


Making Our Government Serve the People

Friends, My newsletter is going to take a bit of a different form this week, because I think it's important to lay out exactly what is going on. I've gotten a lot of questions this month, and I'll try to answer some of them to my best ability. What On Earth Is Going On In DC? The government has now been shut down for 32 days, the longest government shutdown in our nation's history. If you're like me, you find all of this completely unacceptable. This shutdown is a direct threat to our region… Continue Reading


New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year! I hope your 2019 is off to a good start.Things have already been fast and furious on this end...I watched, mourned, and have already recovered from the Rose Bowl and the Seahawks-Cowboys losses. I turned another year older (January 1st was 45!). And I made a good chunk of New Year's resolutions. Some of them are personal. This year, I'm committed to eating better and getting more steps in (I want to average at least 11,000 steps per day. Last Thursday I hit 26,000, so we're off… Continue Reading


Holiday Wishes!

Hello friends, Happy Holidays! I'm excited to report that I'm nearly done with my Christmas shopping (I've got to find one or two more things for the girls!). Unfortunately, as I write this, the holiday spirit is not exactly flourishing in Washington, DC. As you may have seen from the news of the past week, there are still disagreements in our nation's capital regarding government spending for the next year. President Trump has said he will refuse to sign both of the agreements on the table, … Continue Reading


Doing Right By Our Vets

Hello again, I hope this newsletter finds you well. Like many of you, I was touched by a number of the tributes to President George H.W. Bush after his passing over the weekend. President Bush lived a life of patriotism and public service. One example that struck me this weekend was a letter President Bush wrote to President Clinton and left for him in the White House. Here is the text: Dear Bill, When I walked into this office just now I felt the same sense of wonder and respect that I felt f… Continue Reading


What I’m Thankful For

Hello everyone, Thanksgiving is so close, I can almost taste the pie!I always spend some time during this part of the year reflecting on what I'm thankful for, and I wanted to spend this week's newsletter focused on that.I'm Thankful For... First and foremost, I am thankful for the opportunity to represent you. Thank you for the chance to serve our community. I take my responsibilities to you very seriously, and I will continue working hard to try to keep Congress focused on its most important … Continue Reading


Honoring Veterans

Hello everyone, Every year when Veterans Day approaches, I keep coming back to one question. If you were asked to describe Veterans Day in one word, what would it be? I keep landing on the same one: sacrifice. Since it was created, Veterans Day has been a time to acknowledge our family, friends, and loved ones who selflessly sacrifice for our nation. On this day, we remember those who wore the uniform and their families. We say thank you, and we recommit ourselves to making sure that every vet… Continue Reading


Bringing our Community Together

It has been a difficult few weeks since I last reached out. Between a spate of pipe bombs targeting elected officials and the press, and then a cowardly act of violence at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, there has been a lot of soul-searching going on across the country. It is occasionally tempting to feel overwhelmed with bad actions like these. Having said that, we can also choose to feel consistently overwhelmed by the good that Americans are capable of. It says a lot about our country that, when… Continue Reading


Disagreeing without being Disagreeable

Hello again, You've got to love this time of year. The leaves are turning. Pumpkin spice latte is back! Both the Huskies and the Cougars got wins this weekend! Life is good! Perhaps the only cloud on the horizon is the daily toxicity we see on our televisions these days. With that in mind, I want to focus this newsletter on a simple concept - civility. This past year, I joined a group called the Congressional Civility and Respect Caucus. The group formed as a response to some of the incivili… Continue Reading


Bills, More Bills, and a Law!

Hello everybody, Fall has arrived! I love this time of year! The leaves are turning! Football season is cooking! The baseball playoffs are in full gear (maybe next year, Mariners!). And, the Kilmers are getting ready for pumpkin carving (and, admittedly, have already had our first pumpkin pie of the year). In addition to sports season, it's also theater season, with all of the Kilmer women participating in The Secret Garden at CSTOCK. Tess was "Colin," Sophie was a "dreamer girl," and Jen… Continue Reading


Derek and Steve’s Excellent Adventure

Hello again, I've had a busy couple of weeks since my last update. Last week I was able to host Rep. Steve Womack from Arkansas for a tour around our district. Rep. Womack is the Chairman of the House Budget Committee and the Co-Chair of the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform, where I also serve. When I'm out and about in our region, people often say, "Why can't members of Congress make the effort to try to work together?" I agree. In fact, both Rep. Womack and… Continue Reading


Respecting Workers

It was a busy district work period in Washington state. Throughout the month of August, I met with folks in nearly every nook and cranny of our region. Following Labor Day weekend, Congress went back into session. (You wouldn't know that summer is over based on the weather ... Last week in DC was filled with 90-degree days with 75% humidity). I'm looking forward to a busy Fall ... while the Seahawks season isn't off to a great start, I'm hopeful things will turn around. Working for Us … Continue Reading


Heading Back to School

Hello friends, I can't believe it is almost September. We're dusting off our backpacks and lunchboxes in the Kilmer household, figuring out that first day outfit and stocking up on school supplies for the year ahead. Across the region, college students are packing the car, and teachers are putting the final touches on their classrooms. As we gear up for another year and students everywhere recommit to doing their best (and savor these final evenings without homework), it is a great time disc… Continue Reading


What DC Can Learn From Our More Beautiful Washington

Hello everyone, Congress is now midway into the August District Work Period, but this is no time for rest. These last few weeks I have travelled from pillar to post across the region meeting with organizations, businesses, and communities that make our state so great. I wish folks in DC could learn a few things from the things I've seen over the last couple of weeks. Competing to Win in Our Economy Last week I met with the staff at the Bremerton Goodwill's Job Training and Education Center. … Continue Reading


Breaking Through the Gridlock

As we head into August, the US House is heading into "recess." But unlike my daughters' schools, my recess isn't going to involve much playtime. In the month ahead, I'll be traveling all over our region - from downtown Tacoma to Neah Bay, from Ocean Shores to Bainbridge Island, and all points in between. I'll be visiting local employers, working on local projects to support job growth, and meeting with constituents. Keep an eye out for me at your favorite fair or festival - I'll likely be the gu… Continue Reading

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