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


Expanding Internet Access to Our Neck of the Woods

It is finally summer! I hope you're enjoying the great weather. These few weeks are the best of the year… After heading home to the Evergreen State on Friday night, I participated in a number of weekend events that showed the diversity of our district. I had a terrific discussion with the leaders of Tacoma's Black Collective. I joined the folks from the Asia Pacific Cultural Center for the 8th Annual Samoa Cultural Day at Mt. Tahoma High. From there, it was on to some of the events of th… Continue Reading


Celebrating our Independence

Hello friends, I hope you and yours are gearing up for a great Independence Day. I'm hoping to end my 4th of July with a bit of family time (with special guests - BBQ and pie!!!). Before that, though, I'll be participating in three local community parades around our region (and serving some pancakes in Kingston). It will be a full day, but if you've been following me on social media, you've probably gathered that they're all really full days. With that in mind … on to the news! Reme… Continue Reading


Standing Up for Families

Hey folks, I hope your summer is off to a great start. I can't believe it's already mid-June. To all you dads out there, Happy Father's Day! This weekend, I got to see my Dad and I also had the chance to participate in what has become a Kilmer Family Father's Day Tradition - passing out Salmon at the Manchester Salmon Bake. It's always a fun event in support of the local library. A lot has happened over the last few weeks. The House passed nearly 30 pieces of legislation related to the o… Continue Reading


Observing Memorial Day

Hello everyone, I hope you had time this weekend to enjoy the company of your loved ones, and to pause and reflect on the families nationwide who had an empty seat at their barbecues and family gatherings. Every year when Memorial Day approaches, I keep coming back to one question: "If you were asked to describe Memorial Day in one word, what would it be?" I keep landing on the same one: honor. Since it was created, Memorial Day has been a time to acknowledge our family, friends, and loved … Continue Reading


A Streetcar Named Tacoma Link

Hello everyone, Hope you had a great Mother's Day weekend. I celebrated with Jen and the kids over a delicious Tacoma brunch (who knew blueberry muffins could be turned into French toast?!?!). I also had a blast this weekend in Sequim at the Irrigation Festival. This year was the 123rd(!) year for the festival - it is the oldest in Washington State. I had a great time. The weather was great, the bands were better. And, while all the national news may be talking all about the big British wed… Continue Reading


Time for Some Spring Cleaning--of Our Political System

After spending two weeks back home traveling from pillar to post and hearing from a lot of you at the four town halls I participated in, I'm now back in DC. One consistent theme that folks asked me about when I was home was this: how do we make sure our federal government is working for "we the people" and not deep-pocketed special interests? Making Congress more accessible and accountable to you is one of my top priorities. In fact, that's one of the reasons I send out this newsletter every ot… Continue Reading


Lynxes, Tiger Grants and Bills, Oh My!

As we've seen in recent weeks, young people are stepping up in a big way. They are leading changes in our economy and speaking up about challenges in our country. Whether it's the threat of gun violence in our schools, the challenge of starting a career in today's economy, the high cost of college tuition, or the impact that money and special interests have in our democracy, young folks are working to make a difference in their community. I'm inspired by their passion and energy, and that's why … Continue Reading


March Madness

It's been a busy couple of weeks. And it's one of the best times of the year: March Madness! If you're like me, your bracket is already busted. (Who would've guessed that a team called the Retrievers would take out my national champ pick!?!?). Plus, there's only 10 days until baseball's opening day. And Ichiro is back! In addition to a great time for sports fans, this is a busy time of year. Let me provide a quick update. Working to pass an appropriations bill As you may recall, back in Febr… Continue Reading


Getting to Work

I'm heading back to Washington DC after what was a very full several days back home. Perhaps the highlight of the weekend was the ribbon cutting for the Bainbridge Island's first-mile of the Sound to Olympics Trail. I was excited to be there for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it provides a great path for folks to hike and bike in an amazing community. One of the reasons people in our region appreciate nature so much is because they have access to nature. As this trail gets expanded, … Continue Reading

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