In The News


Kilmer discusses hospital reimbursement in Port Angeles town hall meeting

by Leah Leach

PORT ANGELES - U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer fielded several questions about his stand on the Snake River dams and discussed Olympic Medical Center reimbursement, changes needed in Congress and ways to avoid another government shutdown during a town hall meeting in Port Angeles. "It's a mistake to shut down government on any policy issue," Kilmer, a Gig Harbor Democrat who grew up in Port Angeles, told about 90 people who arrived for the meeting on the Peninsula College campus on Saturday morning. He… Continue Reading


Kilmer talks immigration, shutdown, mental health at Quilcene town hall meeting

by Jesse Major

QUILCENE - U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer fielded questions - and political statements - from people who attended his town hall meeting in Quilcene, where he tackled immigration, the southern border, the partial government shutdown and mental health of elected officials. The Gig Harbor Democrat made it clear to the more than 60 people who attended Friday evening at the Quilcene School that he believes shutting the government down over any policy issue, including the recent 35-day shutdown over Presiden… Continue Reading


Kilmer: Pay the Coast Guard, End shutdown

WASHINGTON, D.C.- U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer on Wednesday called for an end to the partial federal government shutdown and urged Congress to immediately pay members of the Coast Guard. "The men and women putting their lives on the line for our country shouldn't pay the price for the failure of leadership in Washington, D.C.," said Kilmer, whose 6th Congressional District includes the North Olympic Peninsula. "Our entire country counts on the Coast Guard to protect our maritime borders and keep us … Continue Reading


Congressman Kilmer: Federal government shutdown was ‘damaging and dumb’

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer said federal workers were used as pawns during President Trump's shutdown of the federal government over policy differences between the two parties. The shutdown will also have lasting effects, added Kilmer, a Democrat who represents Washington state's 6th Congressional District. The 35-day shutdown - which caused 800,000 Americans to go without pay for a month and prompted the creation of food banks for federal workers and their families - was the longest in American hi… Continue Reading


Kilmer credited

by Mark Stensager

In December, Congress passed, and the President signed into law, an act to help those afflicted with Alzheimer's disease. I want to thank Congressman Derek Kilmer for being a co-sponsor of the building of our largest dementia infrastructure for the Alzheimer's Act. This act will establish Alzheimer's and related dementia public health centers, which will increase awareness of the disease and increase the opportunities for early detention and treatment. In Washington state, more than half of the… Continue Reading


Politics: Local signs of bipartisanship give hope

by Larry Seaquist

In these day of extreme political polarization, it is reassuring to see that we still have electeds ready to work creatively with the other party. Two recent examples give me hope our democracy will survive the dysfunction radiating from the White House: Two of our state legislators, Rep. Christine Kilduff (D-University Place) and Sen. Hans Zeiger (R-Puyallup), appeared together at a Jan. 9 Tacoma City Club discussion of legislative priorities. Clearly, they and our whole Pierce County delega… Continue Reading


Federal employees are now guaranteed back pay after the shutdown is over

by Li Zhou

President Donald Trump just signed a bill that guarantees back pay for the hundreds of thousands of government employees who have been furloughed during the partial government shutdown. It's certainly a positive update for workers, many of whom missed their first paycheck last week, but it comes as the president continues to demand more than $5 billion to fund his border wall, a fight that is keeping the government closed and forcing them to go without pay in the interim. The newly signed law … Continue Reading


Kilmer meets with Hurricane Ridge group on funding amid federal shutdown

by Jesse Major

PORT ANGELES - The partial government shutdown has now prevented access to Hurricane Ridge for 24 days, leaving members of the Hurricane Ridge Winter Sports Club worried about how the lost revenue could affect what's left of the season. Members of the Hurricane Ridge Winter Sports Club board met with U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, on Saturday morning, telling the Port Angeles-raised Democrat that the shutdown has caused an at least $50,000 loss in revenue. "We will scramble and figure o… Continue Reading


New legislation could safeguard feds during government shutdown

by Steff Thomas

As the government shutdown comes closer to setting a new record, some lawmakers are so fed up with current law requiring essential employees to work without pay, they've decided to take action. On Tuesday, Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) introduced the Providing Pay for Essential Employees Act. If passed, the bill would use appropriated funds under the Treasury Department to ensure those working during a shutdown would still be paid for their service. Reps. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.), Scott Tipton (R-Colo.… Continue Reading


Wednesday Q+A With Rep. Derek Kilmer

by Alex Clearfield

Democratic Rep. Derek Kilmer of Washington chairs the new Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress, which will issue a report at the end of 2019 on how the legislative branch can improve its functioning. Kilmer spoke with Alex Clearfield about how Congress should address staffing issues, the technology deficit, and shared services. What would you say are the biggest issues the committee needs to look at? The House is a fixer-upper, and that's evidenced every time a bill is written beh… Continue Reading


Federal workers seek help; community offers aid to those not being paid

by Jesse Major

PORT ANGELES - A significant number of federal employees across the state are applying for unemployment as they prepare to miss paychecks due to the partial government shutdown. Among the 1,600 furloughed federal employees statewide who have applied for unemployment is Pat Crain, a biologist at Olympic National Park who hasn't been to work since the partial government shutdown began 21 days ago due to a dispute between President Donald Trump and Congress on funding for a wall - or barrier - on … Continue Reading


Kilmer Throws Economic Development Summit

Derek Kilmer has a new coalition leadership position, a new majority in the U.S. House to work with and a familiar mission to help expand economic opportunity in Washington's 6th Congressional District. The Democrat, who lives in Gig Harbor, was in Elma on Monday to throw an Economic Development and Grants Seminar. He also got a tour of Summit Pacific Medical Center's new Wellness Center. "My big focus is on economic development and how do you create more economic opportunity for more people, … Continue Reading


Senator Stabenow, Colleagues Call for Inspector General Investigation

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow urged the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Inspector General Michael Missal to launch an investigation into missed or underpaid VA benefits. Stabenow joined Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and John Boozman (R-AR) in a bipartisan letter to the VA's Inspector General calling for answers on how the technical errors occurred, how quickly any reimbursements will be made, and how the VA plans to make sure all benefits will continue to be paid out without… Continue Reading


Schatz, Kilmer Demand All Underpaid Veterans be Reimbursed

Sen. Brian Schatz and Rep. Derek Kilmer sent a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs demanding that the department pay back an estimated 360,000 veterans who were underpaid. The letter comes following a new report stating that the VA will not reimburse veterans who were paid less than they were owed due to technical errors. "The VA's current position is that the only way to fix this is to freeze current payments. That is Orwellian in its incompetence, and it is offensive in the real ha… Continue Reading


After Risky Delay, D.C. Delegation Pushes Marina Upgrades

by Ted Olinger and Sara Thompson

Months after receiving approval for a $240,500 grant from the state capital budget, the Longbranch Marina was still waiting for permits to begin state-mandated renovations or risk losing that very same funding. After intervention by Sen. Maria Caldwell and Rep. Derek Kilmer's offices, the process now appears ready to move forward. "We have been waiting on National Marine Fisheries (part of NOAA) to give us their OK on our permitting application for about five months," said Clark Van Bogart, pr… Continue Reading


Lawmakers Call for Investigation into Delayed GI Bill Payments

by Julianne Stanford

Following months of delayed and incorrect paymentsto GI Bill beneficiaries, federal lawmakers are calling for an investigation into the Department of Veterans Affairs amid confusion over whether the department intends to reconcile payment discrepancies for student veterans. U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, and U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, joined a contingent of senators who sent a letter Friday to VA Inspector General Michael Missal. They requested an investigation after reports e… Continue Reading


New Democrat Coalition Elects Derek Kilmer As New Chairman

by Lindsey McPherson

The New Democrat Coalition on Friday elected Washington Rep. Derek Kilmer to chair the centrist, pro-business caucus in the 116th Congress. Kilmer, who has served as a vice chair of the coalition, will succeed Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes. The New Democrats also elected four vice chairs for the 116th Congress: Reps. Terri Sewell of Alabama, Scott Peters of California, Ann McLane Kuster of New Hampshire and Suzan DelBene of Washington. The coalition welcomed 30 incoming freshmen to their ranks… Continue Reading


Sen. Schatz Demands Unpaid Veterans Be Reimbursed

A Hawai?i federal lawmaker is calling for the Department of Veterans Affairs to pay thousands of veterans the benefits they are owed after they were underpaid due to a technical error. U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai'i), a top Democrat on the Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee, is joining U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), Vice Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, demanding that the VA pay back the estimated 360,000 veterans impacted… Continue Reading


Legislators Demand Back Pay for Veterans

Following a new report that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will not reimburse veterans who were paid less than they were owed due to technical errors, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawai'i), top Democrat on the Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee, and U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), Vice Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, are demanding that the VA pay back the estimated 360,000 veterans impacted by the errors, said a p… Continue Reading


Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Recognizing 40th Anniversary of Indian Child Welfare Act

by Carol Clark

WASHINGTON, D.C. ? U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.), vice chairman and chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, respectively, along with U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and U.S. Representatives Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Tom Cole (R-Okla.), led 46 members of Congress Tuesday in introducing a bipartisan resolution commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), and recognizing its importance to promoting the stability and securi… Continue Reading

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