Fall Deadlines

Like a lot of families, the Kilmers are gearing up for back to school. It was a full summer for my daughters, Sophie and Tess, with trips to Hurricane Ridge, Neah Bay (this weekend - for Makah Days!), and a few summer camps. The highlight, for me, was watching their performance last weekend at the completion of their Theater Camp at the Admiral Theater in Bremerton. I was proud to watch Sophie fly across the stage (not literally) as Peter Pan and Tess embrace the role of Maleficent. It speaks v… Continue Reading


An Example for Congress

Last week, a lot of Americans woke up to a breaking news alert that has become all too familiar: a mass shooting in a public place. This time, it was a baseball diamond near Washington D.C. and some of my Republican colleagues were attacked. These members, staffers, and others were up early for a practice ahead of the Congressional baseball game which is held each year to support charities. Sadly, instead of chasing fly balls, they had to scramble to get away from a man with a gun. We pray that… Continue Reading


A Need for Leadership

When I was kid growing up in Port Angeles, I played on a pee-wee soccer team called the Maroon Monsters. We were a decent team though, as kids, we could often be more interested in bugs in the grass than in kicking the ball. I remember our coach occasionally shouting from the sideline, "Get in the game, guys!" He reminded us that staying with it doesn't just mean you'll have a better chance to score. It also teaches you a thing or two about leadership and working together toward a common goal… Continue Reading


Walk and Chew Gum

What a glorious weekend! The last eight months have affirmed the old saying that here in our state we don't tan - we rust! In fairness, it's only really rained twice since October -- once for six months straight, and then again for two months. But beyond the weather, this weekend saw some amazing celebrations of community. I visited Port Townsend for the Rhododendron Festival Parade and participated in the Armed Forces Day festivities in Bremerton. It was terrific to see so many people, enjoyin… Continue Reading


Balls and Strikes

One of the most challenging things about the last week in DC was the fact that we saw examples of how Congress could work … and examples of how it shouldn't work. We saw bipartisan progress on a spending bill and on an issue of importance to our national security. In contrast, we saw a health care bill that - in substance and in process - fails the American people. Let me start with the good. Congress came together to do something the American people have been clamoring for; Democrats a… Continue Reading


Back to School

While Congress has been on "recess" for the past couple of weeks, I've been running from pillar to post around our region meeting with the folks I represent. I even took a page out of the Rodney Dangerfield movie Back to School (though no triple-lindy for me). In the past two weeks, I visited Tacoma Community College, Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen, and Olympic College in Bremerton to hold town hall meetings. I spent some time talking about what I'm working on, what's going on in Congress, and… Continue Reading


A Special Birthday with a Contribution from You

Since my last email update, my family celebrated some amazing milestones. My daughter, Sophie, turned 11. And my grandma (known to us as "Oma") turned 107-years-old. What do you think the secret ingredient is to living well past 100? Oma wasn't certain what did the trick for her, but her best guess was pretty awesome: CHOCOLATE! (Yes - you now have permission to eat as much chocolate as you want . . . it will help you live a long life!) My Oma has seen incredible changes in her life - includi… Continue Reading


A Special Visit

Oftentimes, it feels like our political discourse has descended into a World Wrestling Federation grudge match. As a representative - and, perhaps more importantly, as a dad - I think it's important to model good behavior, to follow the Golden Rule, and to treat people with respect. I've always admired people who can disagree without being disagreeable. This past year, I've often found myself turning off the TV because I don't want my daughters to hear how politicians are talking about each oth… Continue Reading


Helping Those in Need

As a still somewhat-new Member of Congress, I'm still growing accustomed to people asking me how I'm doing as though I've been diagnosed with a terminal illness. It goes without saying that Congress remains a fixer-upper. Despite the dysfunction and lack of legislative progress on many fronts, I'm pleased to report that there are still ways to make positive changes for folks in our region. Oftentimes, that starts with conversations I have with you. A couple of years ago, I sat down with a grou… Continue Reading


Showing Up

I was blown away at the level of participation at our first two town halls. It was really inspiring to see so many people show up and have a productive conversation about what's on your minds. It was real people-power in action. We had nearly 500 people show up in Tacoma and, according to the folks at the Admiral Theatre, we had nearly 1,000 participants show up in Bremerton. Take a look at some pictures from our first installment of the 2017 town hall tour. If you haven't had a chance… Continue Reading


Hearing From You

Dear Friend, My kids have a lot of questions for me about what I do. Often, it leads to a quick civics lesson. A year or two ago I was eating breakfast with my daughters before I heading out the door to a town hall. I told Sophie, "I've got to go." She said, "Why?" I said, "I've got a town hall meeting." And she said, "Why?" I responded, "I've got to let folks know what I'm working on and hear what's on their minds." And she said (you've guessed it): "WHY?" I explained to her that we li… Continue Reading


A New Role

Dear Friend, As I write this, our newspapers, TV news shows, and social media feeds are focusing a lot of attention on President Trump's executive order on refugees and immigration. This is a serious issue, so I want to start this week's newsletter by diving into this topic in some detail. President Trump's executive order places a blanket ban on all refugees and bans citizens from seven countries from entering the United States. As a consequence, you likely saw news stories about students, wo… Continue Reading


New Year, New Congress

Dear Friend, So far, 2017 has been a whirlwind. We've had two Seahawks playoff games (it was a great season and I can't wait for next year!), the start of a new Congress, and I've still managed to keep up my resolution to work off all that holiday food I ate (my daughters polished off the last remaining cookies in the house). We've also had a busy start to the 115th Congress. But before I get into that, I'd like to say a word about the holiday we are celebrating today. I had the honor yesterd… Continue Reading


2016 In Review

Dear Friend, I hope you had an excellent holiday season! It was great to spend some quality time with my family and eat some delicious food. While I'm still recovering from the Peach Bowl, I am still reveling in what was a very Star Wars Christmas (two viewings of Rogue One and a Yoda Christmas mug and a Star Wars pillow from my daughters…they know the way to their dad's heart). The holidays came just at the right time-helping us move past an acrimonious election season and a year whe… Continue Reading


Hustle to the Holidays

Dear Friend, This past week, while many folks were hustling to shovel snow, finish Christmas shopping, and get a fire going in the fireplace, Congress was rushing to avert another potential government shutdown and wrap up its work for the year. First, the good news. Congress did, in fact, prevent a government shutdown from happening. That's important because the last shutdown hurt local employers, impacted the finances of local families, and created massive uncertainty. Now, the bad news. Con… Continue Reading


Giving Back and Giving Thanks

Dear Friend, I hope you are recovering after a long weekend of food, football (how about those Huskies? Trying to forget the Seahawks), family, and Black Friday sales. Generally as Thanksgiving approaches, we usually get a little excited. Some dream about the delicious food they are going to pile high on their plate. Maybe you look forward to a steady stream of football games and family time with uncles, aunts, and cousins you haven't seen in a while. I've found that nothing brings people … Continue Reading


A New Day

Dear Friend, Since my last update, the 2016 election took over newsfeeds, dinner table conversations, and our airwaves, and then finally came to an end. I'm honored that folks in our region decided to re-hire me and give me the opportunity to be their voice in our nation's capital again. Thank you for that. I'll continue to be accountable and accessible to the folks I represent. As part of that, I promise to keep sending these newsletters straight to your inbox! As you can imagine, I've heard … Continue Reading


A Special Honor for Our Region

Dear Friend, I talk a lot in my updates to you about what makes our region special. For example, recently I wrote about an amazing hike we took in the Olympic National Park to honor the Park Service Centennial. Or the sites of downtown Tacoma - museums and theaters that have made the City of Destiny a City of Destinations! Puget Sound Naval Shipyard is certainly one of those assets. The Shipyard recently celebrated 125 years of maintaining our nation's Naval power and providing quality jobs. … Continue Reading


After the Storm

Dear Friend, Phew. While the storm that hit this weekend wasn't as brutal as some forecasts had expected, in many parts of our region, this was a tough and tumultuous weekend. It was a relief not to have "The Storm of the Century," though the storm that hit our area still brought high winds, heavy rains, and huge waves that threatened properties and required fast action (particularly by those on the coast). Those coastal communities saw firsthand the encroachment of the ocean with serious surg… Continue Reading


An Anchor in our Region

Dear Friend, There are some pretty special things about our neck of the woods. Sure, some might say I'm biased because I was born and raised here. But where else can you find Dungeness Spit - the world's longest naturally occurring sand spit. Or how about a 73 mile long wilderness coast? I'm not just talking about natural landscapes either. Our region is home to folks like Gig Harbor's Megan Blunk. After being paralyzed in a motorcycle crash in 2008, she discovered a love for wheelchair basket… Continue Reading

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