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


Enough is Enough

I write this week knowing that I'm competing for your time with the Olympics, so I'll try to make this read faster than an American speedskater with a half-second advantage on a Dutch rival. In addition to feeling pretty old seeing all the young faces on Team USA and brushing up on my air triple axel techniques, I've been heartened to see Americans from every part of the country competing so hard in South Korea. It is so cool to see these folks who've spent their whole lives working to get to th… Continue Reading


Where we go from here...

I saw a news report the other day that said just 8 percent of the country has a great deal of confidence in Congress. I don't blame them! The federal government shutdown is the perfect example why. In this update, I want to explain how things got where they are, and give you some updates that may be helpful if you've been directly affected by this. The best path forward is a long-term, bipartisan spending plan. That's the way to protect the military and federal workers in our region from the p… Continue Reading


2018 Resolutions

Happy 2018! New Year's Day is one of my favorite holidays. First, it's my birthday (44 this time around)! Second, there's always a bunch of great college football bowl games on. But most importantly, it's great that once a year we take stock of our lives and make an effort to think about the positive changes we can make in the year ahead. I've definitely got a few resolutions I'm working on in my personal life (less unhealthy food, more taking the stairs instead of the elevator). But since I'm… Continue Reading


Checking in from Washington DC

I'm reaching out today with a heavy heart after the tragedy earlier this morning when Amtrak 501 derailed. I want to send my thoughts and prayers to everyone that has been affected by this, particularly those injured and the families of those we lost today. I was devastated when I heard the news. I'm thankful for the quick response by emergency services, and the cooperation and assistance from the military. People all over the region lined up to give blood today and there are reports that motori… Continue Reading


The Inside Scoop on What's Happening in Washington, DC This Week

My newsletter is a little different this week because a lot of folks back home are worried about the potential for a government shutdown. I wanted to give you an inside scoop about what's going on because this has big consequences for our region. The way we got here is pretty ridiculous. Here's the back story: Back in 2011, in order to incentivize Democrats and Republicans to come together around a compromise to address our nation's long-term debt, Republicans in Congress and President Obama a… Continue Reading

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