In The News


Army Corps announces additional $4 million for Harbor dredging, breakwater repair

An additional $4.255 million for operations and maintenance work was released Monday by the Army Corps of Engineers for shoreline revetment and navigation in Grays Harbor County. The additional funding will be used for extended maintenance dredging of Grays Harbor and repair of the Point Chehalis breakwater in Westport. The additional funding brings the total operations and maintenance for Grays Harbor to $15.965 million for the fiscal year 2018. "This additional federal funding directly suppo… Continue Reading


India decision to increase tariff on apples to hit US growers, say Congressmen

A bipartisan group of about a dozen influential lawmakers today said the recent Indian decision to increase tariff on apples from 50 percent to 80 percent would hurt growers of the fruit in America. The lawmakers also alleged that India was abusing rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO). On May 28, India notified the WTO that it plans to raise its tariff before June 21 on apples from the already very high level of 50 percent to 80 percent. India describes this increased tariff as retalia… Continue Reading


Trump optimistic, Kilmer skeptical after North Korea summit

President Trump says his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was honest, direct and productive. Trump says North Korea agreed to denuclearization. Democratic Washington Congressman Derek Kilmer weighed in on this today on the KOMO Morning News with Gregg Hersholt and Manda Factor.… Continue Reading


SOS: NOAA funding cuts would hurt coastal Washington

An additional $4.255 million for operations and maintenance work was released Monday by the Army Corps of Engineers for shoreline revetment and navigation in Grays Harbor County. The additional funding will be used for extended maintenance dredging of Grays Harbor and repair of the Point Chehalis breakwater in Westport. The additional funding brings the total operations and maintenance for Grays Harbor to $15.965 million for the fiscal year 2018. "This additional federal funding directly suppo… Continue Reading


Rep. Kilmer Discusses Access to Healthcare on the Floor of the House of Representatives

Representative Derek Kilmer discusses access to health care on the House Floor.… Continue Reading


The Rise of the Congressional Reformers Caucus

by Eleanor Clift

An entire wall of Meredith McGehee's K Street office is covered with white boards that track current and past members of Congress who are aligned with the newly launched Congressional Reformers Caucus. A longtime ethics-in-government activist, McGehee is the executive director of Issue One, an advocacy group founded in 2014 that works to restore confidence in government and reduce the role of money in politics. A map shows former members of Congress in just about every state signing on to redu… Continue Reading


Eight state lawmakers -- stop taking immigrant children from families

by Joel Connelly

All eight Democrats in Washington's congressional delegation have joined letters calling on the Trump administration to immediately cease forcibly taking children from their parents at America's southern border. "Your administration's decision to separate children from their parents at the border is cruel, unnecessary and goes against our values as Americans," said Sens. Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell and 38 of their Democratic Senate colleagues in a letter to President Trump. The letter was sig… Continue Reading


Turf war: DOD v. National Guard on election security

by Shannon Vavra

Two Senate Democrats have introduced a bill that would provide $50 million to stand up National Guard cyber units in every state to prevent and respond to election security issues. But there's a glitch: the Defense Department is somewhat resistant to shifting its authority to states. Why it matters: This is the latest example of the age-old fight in election security - that states should run their own elections, but much of the resources and authority lie with the feds. The buzz: "It's … Continue Reading


Congress roasted Facebook on TV, but won’t hear any bills to regulate it

by Casey Newton

On October 19th of last year, a just-barely bipartisan group of senators held a press conference to announce a new piece of legislation. The Honest Ads Act, as the bill is called, would require Facebook, Google, and other tech platforms to retain copies of the political ads they host and make them available for public inspection. Platforms would have to release information about who bought the ads, how much they cost, and to whom the ads were targeted. Anyone who spent more than $500 on politica… Continue Reading


3 in Wash. among 150 in Congress who haven't held town meetings

by Joel Connelly

Three members of Washington's congressional delegation are among 150 members of the Senate and House who have not held a single town meeting since Congress began its current session in January of 2017. U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Republican U.S. Reps. Dave Reichert and Jaime Herrera Beutler are on the list, along with such Capitol Hill heavies as House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Reichert has spurned calls for a town meeting even when 750 people showe… Continue Reading


Mercer Island banker behind move to toughen federal laws on religious hate crimes

by Ryan Blethen

A proposed amendment that strengthens federal hate-crimes laws protecting religious institutions is being driven by a Mercer Island man's outrage after the Jewish community center his family attends was the target of a bomb threat in 2017. The threat against the Stroum Jewish Community Center (JCC) last year pushed Mercer Island banker Joseph Schocken into action. He contacted U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, an acquaintance with whom he had worked before, in an effort do something - anyth… Continue Reading


Bacon, 60 colleagues demand DOJ distribute school safety funds

America's schools are still waiting on the distribution of federal school safety grants approved earlier this year by Congress and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) needs to speed up the process, said U.S. Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) and a bipartisan group of lawmakers. "Just earlier this month, we saw yet another horrific massacre in one of our nation's schools," Rep. Bacon said in a May 30 statement referring to the May 18 shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas in which 10 people died and 13 … Continue Reading


Congressional budget includes $200 million in salmon disaster funds

by Andrew Fickes

Sound Transit is on target to begin construction this fall on the 2.4-mile extension of Tacoma Link to the Hilltop neighborhood, which will include the development of six new stations and the relocation of the Theater District station, and the expansion of the operation and maintenance facility on East 25th Street. Scott Thompson, Sound Transit spokesman, said the regional transit organization plans to award a construction contract in July. On May 14, financing for the Hilltop Link Extension pr… Continue Reading


Kilmer-supported House defense authorization bill passes

by Bob Smith

The U.S. House of Representatives has voted 351-66 to move foward its $717 billion defense policy bill for fiscal 2019 to conference for reconciliation with a version in the Senate. The House version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) received the approval of 131 Democrats. U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, the 6th District Democrat, voted for the measure. Seven Republicans voted against its approval. Of the $717 billion in the authorization bill, $617 billion is dedicated to base spending… Continue Reading


Keep pressure on rail safety deadline

by News Tribune Editorial Board

Imagine having the technology to prevent decades of airline or automobile catastrophes but not implementing it. It's unthinkable, and yet, since 1969, the National Transportation Safety Board has investigated 148 railway accidents and determined that Positive Train Control, a system that slows or stops a train using automated brakes, could have prevented all of them. Those accidents resulted in 298 deaths and nearly 7,000 injuries. Among the preventable carnage: three deaths and more than 60 i… Continue Reading


Senators want National Guard on call for cyberattacks

by Sean Lyngaas

A pair of Senate Democrats have introduced legislation that would give the National Guard a bigger role in defending everything from election systems to dams from cyberattacks. The bill from Sens. Maria Cantwell, Wash., and Joe Manchin, W.Va., would set up National Guard "cyber civil support teams" in every state and territory "to bridge the gap between federal and non-federal cybersecurity efforts," the senators' offices said in a release. The bill would put $50 million toward the National Gu… Continue Reading


Cyber Amendments to Watch in the House’s Defense Authorization Bill

by Joseph marks

The House Rules Committee will consider a slew of amendments to a major defense policy bill Tuesday afternoon, including amendments that address major congressional cybersecurity priorities. An amendment from Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., for instance, would prohibit President Donald Trump from eliminating the role of White House cyber coordinator, a move that National Security Adviser John Bolton commenced last week. Another amendment from Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, would direct the Pent… Continue Reading


New US Bill Wants to Create National Guard Cyber Units

by Catalin Cimpanu

US lawmakers have proposed a bill that would create specialized units in the National Guard for defending and responding to cyber-attacks. According to the bill's text, these cyber-units -referred to as National Guard Cyber Civil Support Teams- will be at the disposal of state governors and will have a series of responsibilities. One of their main roles will be to prepare and train local state private sector entities and critical infrastructure operators for future cyber-attacks by establishin… Continue Reading


Connelly: Larsen breaks with fellow Dems, backs partial Dodd-Frank rollback

by Joel Connelly

Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., broke with fellow state Democrats on Tuesday, and voted with Republicans for a partial rollback in banking rules, enacted in the Dodd-Frank Act to curb abuses that fueled the Great Recession. The legislation exempts medium-sized and small banks from rules imposed on the banking season. According to the New York Times, the legislation will leave fewer than 10 big banks in the U.S. subject to stricter oversight. The legislation relieves banks with assets under $250 bil… Continue Reading


US House committee approves amendment requiring genetically engineered salmon to be labeled

by Steve Davies

The [House Appropriations Committee] ... approved, over a handful of objections, an amendment that would subject genetically engineered salmon to the GMO disclosure law passed by Congress in 2016, for which USDA has recently proposed regulations. Rep. David Young, R-Iowa, introduced the amendment, saying it's necessary in order to prevent consumer confusion. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, has been particularly vocal in trying to have FDA label GE salmon, which has yet to be commercialized in th… Continue Reading

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