Heading Back to DC

Hello Folks - Following the August District Work Period, coming back to DC feels a little bit like heading back to school. There's that little bit of nervousness, and then things settle back in. And once you show up, you get a little bit of catching up time, but then the work really begins. You'll notice that I referred to it as the "August District Work Period" - not "August Recess." If you've followed me on Facebook or Twitter, you will see that I didn't treat the time Congress wasn't in ses… Continue Reading


Highlighting Our Region’s Priorities

Hello Friends - I hope you all had a fantastic Labor Day weekend! Labor Day is an important time to honor the contributions workers have made to the well-being of our nation. It's a day to talk about the progress we've made, and still need to make, to build strong working families. I'm happy to report that Congress this year has made progress on this front - passing the Paycheck Fairness Act to close the gender wage gap, the Raise the Wage Act to gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $… Continue Reading


Being There

Hi Friends - As many of you know, Congress holds a district work period in August to enable Members of Congress to spend more time meeting with the folks they represent. I've been running from pillar to post around our region - attending festivals and fairs; meeting with businesses, nonprofits, and community organizations; and making myself available on ferries, outside the shipyard, and everywhere else I can to connect with folks. Importantly, this extended period allows me to spend lots of … Continue Reading


Walking and Chewing Gum

Hello Folks - I write to you once again today following two more senseless, tragic, and heartbreaking mass shootings. Our nation saw these two terrible acts of violence just thirteen hours apart. This shouldn't be accepted as normal, but these tragedies have startlingly become somehow commonplace. We should not become numb to this or accept this. The lives lost were fathers and mothers, sons and daughters. Enough is enough. My prayers go out to the families and friends of the victims and th… Continue Reading


Growing Economic Opportunity from the Middle Out

Hello Friends - Tomorrow I will be heading back to Washington, DC for what's expected to be the final legislative week until after Labor Day. There's a lot cooking as Congress works out an agreement with the Trump Administration on budget caps and on the debt limit. Beyond that, in the week ahead, you'll see Former FBI Director Robert Mueller testify in front of the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees and the House will take up a bill to stabilize multi-employer pensions as well as a co… Continue Reading


Celebrating Our Independence - And Kicking Off Summer

Hello Friends - It was great seeing so many folks at 4th of July festivities across the region this past weekend. I carbo-loaded at the Kingston Yacht Club's annual pancake breakfast and then hit THREE parades! It was awesome to see so much energy and patriotism on display. And I made it home in time to light some sparklers with my family! While I spent this past week running from pillar to post across the region, there's a lot to report from our nation's capital. Read on for details! … Continue Reading


Things Are Heating Up In DC

Hello friends, I love our neck of the woods this time of year. The Kilmer girls are done with school. Western Washington is starting to see the sun again. We get to take in some summer movies (Toy Story 4 was terrific!). And we're just a few weeks away from the start of county fair season (or, as I like to call it, "The Derek Kilmer Summer Tour of Fried Food"... followed soon thereafter by "The Derek Kilmer Autumn of Dieting"). Admittedly, it's a little less pleasant in DC these days. This wee… Continue Reading


Passing A Bill To Help Our Oceans

Hello friends, Late last week, the nation paused for the 75th Anniversary of D-Day - when more than 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of the French coast to fight for freedom during World War II. Thousands of Allied forces put their lives on the line, and many were killed and wounded, but D-Day would mark the beginning of the end for the Nazis. It is important that we continue to remember and honor the sacrifice and bravery of all those who fought for the future - in that bat… Continue Reading


Remembering Those Who Sacrificed

Hi Friends, Before I get into the nitty-gritty business of what I've been up to in the other Washington, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the powerful day I was able to share with many of you yesterday. As has become tradition, I was honored to participate in two Memorial Day ceremonies in our region to honor the men and women who died in service to our country - first aboard the USS Turner Joy and then at Ivy Green Cemetery. While Memorial Day weekend is often filled with mattress… Continue Reading


Making Prescription Drugs Affordable

Good Day Sunshine by The Beatles. Heat Wave by Martha & the Vandellas. Walking on Sunshine by Katrina & the Waves. Summertime by The Fresh Prince (and DJ Jazzy Jeff). No matter what song you played to go along with this weekend's weather, one thing was clear - it was hot!!! While I was in DC for most of this heat wave, I got to sweat my way through Mothers' Day in Gig Harbor. Special shout-out to my mom and my wife (both of whom are awesome moms!). I hope all you moms out there had a g… Continue Reading


Protecting Our Home

Hello Friends,Can you believe it's almost May? This year is really flying by. Last Monday was Earth Day and last week was National Parks Week. It really got me thinking about all the work we've done - and still need to do - to ensure our planet and our little slice of heaven in northwest Washington stays healthy for future generations. So, today's newsletter will cover what I've been doing to protect our environment and natural landscapes - and what's coming down the pike.But before I get into t… Continue Reading


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

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