In The News


Construction begins on Veterans Affairs Puget Sound clinic in Silverdale

by Julianne Stanford

After many years of planning and quite a few setbacks, ground was broken on Monday morning on the long-awaited Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic in Silverdale. "As we break ground today, there's one word that comes to mind more than any other, and it's 'Phew!'" said U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer. "To say that this has been a long time coming would be quite an understatement." In October 2015, the VA Puget Sound selected a building on Kitsap Way in Bremerton, which previously housed a Rite Aid, as it… Continue Reading


Help may be on the way for home buyers using VA loans in hot Puget Sound market

by Kate Martin

Buyers and sellers in the Puget Sound region are preparing for record-low housing inventories and a cutthroat summer season. Bidding wars have already begun - and it's not even summer. One group of home buyers consistently loses out, even if they make a competitive offer: veterans and active duty military using loans backed by the federal Department of Veterans Affairs. Help might be on the way. The issue came to the forefront after a News Tribune's report last year showed that in busy housin… Continue Reading


Kilmer Bill Helps Federal Workers Who Started in Temporary Role

by Julianne Stanford

Allen Hodge will be ready to retire after working at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for almost three decades, but a wrinkle in the federal retirement system could force him to work years longer before he's eligible for a full retirement. Hodge, 54, was hired as a temporary employee at the shipyard's paint shop in 1989. He was converted into a full-time, permanent position five years later after being laid off and furloughed a few times in between. Today, he is a manager in the same shop wher… Continue Reading


Rep. Kilmer, Peninsula College to Hold Student Town Hall

by Olympic Peninsula News Group

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer has teamed up with the Peninsula College Associated Student Council for a Student Town Hall at 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 4. Kilmer, a Port Angeles native who represents the state's Sixth Congressional District - which includes the North Olympic Peninsula - will share remarks about the 2018 Legislative Session and will field questions from the audience at the college's Little Theater at 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd., Port Angeles. The Student Town Hall is free and open to college… Continue Reading


US shutters Seattle Russia consulate, expels 60 diplomats

by Associated Press

The Trump administration expelled 60 Russian diplomats on Monday and ordered Russia's consulate in Seattle to close, as the United States and European nations sought to jointly punish Moscow for its alleged role in poisoning an ex-spy in Britain. Senior Trump administration officials said all 60 Russians were spies working in the U.S. under diplomatic cover, including a dozen at Russia's mission to the United Nations. The officials said the administration was taking the action to send a message… Continue Reading


Puget Sound cleanup survives Trump attempt to kill it

by Joel Connelly

The Trump administration failed in its efforts to wipe out money to clean up Puget Sound and other waterways from Chesapeake Bay to the Great Lakes, as Congress has refused to dry up spending on water programs. Puget Sound gets $28 million as part of $8.08 billion in funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Trump administration had wanted to slash EPA's budget to $5.7 billion, in real dollars its lowest spending in 40 years. The money is contained in a mammoth omnibus federal… Continue Reading


Congress to require FEC report on foreign money in elections

by Megan Wilson

Congress is poised to ask the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to issue a report about illegal foreign political contributions in elections, its enforcement measures, and how it works to combat them. The provision is in a report accompanying the 2,000-plus page omnibus bill that was released Wednesday evening, and is one of several campaign finance-related measures attached to the legislation. Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, authored the FEC langua… Continue Reading


The seeds of a moderate movement must be nurtured

by Mort Kondracke

Ten years ago, The Atlantic's Ron Brownstein wrote a book, "The Second Civil War," describing and lamenting the polarization and paralysis afflicting American politics. Since then, America has become an even more divided country, its political partisans split into tribes that literally hate each other. The trend has been well-documented, and is constantly exacerbated by tribal chieftains who purify their ranks by the purging of moderates who stray from the party line. If this is a new civil war… Continue Reading


Retiring Olympic College president's legacy seen "in the success of every student"

by Chris Henry

BREMERTON - Retiring Olympic College President David Mitchell oversaw $150 million in capital projects during his 15-year tenure. Mitchell is proud of the buildings that expanded opportunities on three campuses, but he most wants people to remember "that I cared about students." Mitchell, with less than a month left at the helm, is optimistic about the future of the college, which he says is poised to grow. "I think people are moving in, companies are moving in. The capacity to handle the grow… Continue Reading


Congressman Kilmer brings national debate to Port Gamble

by Nick Twietmeyer

PORT GAMBLE - U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, recently visited Olympic Outdoor Center to discuss increases in national-park entry fees proposed by the Department of the Interior. Under the proposed plan, peak season entry fees at 17 popular national parks (including Olympic National Park) could rise to as much as $70 per week with vehicle. A seven-day visitor pass with a car at Olympic National Park today costs $25. According to Kilmer, such increases would be cost-prohibitive for many t… Continue Reading


Rep. Derek Kilmer on Budget,Tax Reform

by KOMO Staff

In an interview Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer says Congress needs to quit "kicking the can down the road" and enact long-term spending plans. He said stop-gap measures create too much uncertainty. Kilmer said the nation needs tax reform. The current system is too complicated, pinches middle-class families and encourages investment outside the U.S. But the current measure before Congress is too partisan, he said, You can watch the entire interview on the top of this story.… Continue Reading


Rep. Kilmer applauds move to revise rules for online political ads

by Staff Writer

Congressman Derek Kilmer is praising the commissioners of the Federal Election Commission for their unanimous vote to start a process that could lead to changing the disclosure rules that regulate online political advertising. The step comes as lawmakers in Washington, D.C. consider measures like the Honest Ads Act, which would expose the purchasers of online political ads. Kilmer, a 6th District Democrat, said the bill casts a light on the murky world of political advertising in an attempt to… Continue Reading


Hiking national parks good; hiking entry fees bad

by Editorial Board

Mount Rainier and Olympic national parks might be Washington's most spectacular outdoor gems, but years of neglect have placed them at risk of gleaming a lot less brightly for future generations. A multi-billion-dollar backlog in deferred maintenance projects is the cumulative cost of welcoming throngs of visitors and absorbing mother nature's fickle temper. Eleven years ago this month, for instance, Rainier was pounded by a historic flood that wiped out roads, bridges, trails and campsites … Continue Reading


Should Washington begin regulating Facebook? Some lawmakers say yes.

by Suzy Khimm

WASHINGTON - For weeks, Facebook has been under intense scrutiny in Washington after revelations about Russian attempts to use the platform to influence the 2016 elections. Now, some lawmakers are talking about turning that scrutiny into action. There are new calls on Capitol Hill for stronger federal regulation of Facebook, possibly requiring greater transparency and disclosures for digital political ads. But lawmakers have yet to take up more sweeping reforms that some internet policy experts… Continue Reading


Park Service extends comment period for proposed fee hike

by Peninsula Daily News

The National Park Service is giving people more time to weigh in on a proposed fee increase at 17 of its most popular parks, including Olympic National Park. Visitors in a car would be charged $70 per vehicle, up from the current $25 fee for a visit of up to seven days, during the five busiest months of the year at the park, from May 1 through Sept. 30. The new fees could apply to ONP as soon as May 2018. The comment period had been scheduled to end Thursday. The new deadline is Dec. 22. The… Continue Reading


Proposed National Parks Fee Hike Delivers Little Help, Lots of Blowback

by Lynda Mapes

Calling a proposal to hike entrance fees to popular national parks wrongheaded and even immoral, opponents in a rally led by U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell on Monday called for a better solution to a backlog of park maintenance. Cantwell, senior Democrat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, was joined at a Seattle news conference by local outdoor recreation luminaries, including climbing legend Jim Whittaker. Best known as the first American to summit Mount Everest, on May 1… Continue Reading


Local Congress members move to end taxpayer-funded sexual harassment settlements

by Essex Porter

Congressional payoffs totaling $15 million over 20 years were kept from public view. The money -- which was for workplace discrimination settlements, including sexual harassment -- came from taxpayers. "That's terrible," said 1st District Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., who wants taxpayers off the hook in the future. "We need to make sure that we are holding the people who committed these acts accountable, and not that there are taxpayer dollars or other ways that they are able to hide what has h… Continue Reading


Herrera Beutler, Kilmer Ask for Inclusion of Fisheries Fund in Administration’s Disaster Relief Request

by The Chronicle

Washington Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Derek Kilmer led an effort of a bipartisan letter that urges the Office of Management and Budget to develop a supplemental funding request that addresses the multiple fishery disaster declarations to impact the state's recreational, commercial and tribal fisheries. "As we continue to assist those who have been so severely impacted by our unprecedented national disasters, we must not forget those who have suffered no less under previous disaster de… Continue Reading


Northwest Lawmakers Offer Alternative To National Park Visitor Fee Hikes

by Ashley Gross

As the federal government weighs whether to increase entrance fees for some national parks, a congressman from Washington state is proposing a different way to address a big maintenance backlog. The National Park Service is taking public comment on possible visitor fee increases for the peak season at places such as Mount Rainier National Park and Olympic National Park. Democratic U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, whose district includes Olympic National Park, is co-sponsoring a bill that would use reve… Continue Reading


Morning Cybersecurity

by Tim Starks

A group of moderate House Democrats today will release a paper making cybersecurity policy recommendations, and MC got a sneak peek. The New Democrat Coalition paper suggests more quickly declassifying threat data and directing the National Guard to establish Cyber Civil Support teams to respond to major state and local cyber incidents. It also recommends creating a national service program to forgive federal student loan debts for science and tech students who work for the federal government on… Continue Reading

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