In The News


2020 In Review: COVID-19 Accelerates Congressional Modernization

by Sara Wilson

Philadelphia's yellow fever outbreak in 1793 and the 1918 Spanish flu couldn't do what the COVID-19 pandemic did for Congress this year: force it to reckon with its historical objection to institutional change. The House of Representatives established the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress in January 2019. And since then, most of the committee's work has been treated as recommendations, rather than as a call for urgent and necessary action. That is until the pandemic hit. Throug… Continue Reading


A Tale of Bipartisanship In Congress--No, Seriously

by Susan Davis

Last year, when House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy asked Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga., to help lead a new committee charged with investigating how to modernize the U.S. House, Graves cynically turned him down. "I had declined it with the - I guess it's a sad acceptance that this was just going to be another failed attempt by Congress to say they're going to do something that they ultimately don't do," said Graves, who retired from Congress in early October. "And boy, was I pleasantly surprised by t… Continue Reading


Kilmer Talks About COVID-19 Relief

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer said the coronavirus relief bill that Congress approved Monday was imperfect progress. Kilmer touted the strengths of the $900 billion legislation that he voted for in a telephone town hall Tuesday. "Like most things that come out of Washington, D.C., this bill is not perfect," Kilmer said "There are provisions I wouldn't have included, and there are things I wanted included that weren't. "But importantly, this bill is progress," the Port Angeles native added. "It wil… Continue Reading


Kilmer Votes for Critical COVID-19 Relief, Secures Funding for Regional Priorities

On Dec. 22, Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) voted to support an COVID-19 relief and omnibus spending bill ("omnibus") consisting of all 12 fiscal year 2021 appropriations bills, coronavirus relief, and authorizations. The legislation passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support. Bipartisan COVID-19 Relief Package Today's legislation included $900 billion in emergency coronavirus relief to protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people. "Over the last nine months, I have… Continue Reading


BC Begins Treating Sewage Before Releasing It Into Strait

After decades of debate and delays, British Columbia has ended the practice of releasing untreated sewage directly into the ocean near Victoria, much to the delight of its neighbors across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. "I was wondering why the water looked so clean in front of my house on Bainbridge [Island]," Washington Gov. Jay Inslee was quoted by Canadian news sources as saying during a video call with B.C. Premier John Horgan. "I don't live actually on the shore, but I know we're going to e… Continue Reading


Kilmer Votes for Critical COVID-19 Relief, Secures Funding for Regional Priorities

Monday, Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) voted to support an COVID-19 relief and omnibus spending bill ("omnibus") consisting of all 12 fiscal year 2021 appropriations bills, coronavirus relief, and authorizations. The legislation passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support. Bipartisan COVID-19 Relief Package Monday's legislation included $900 billion in emergency coronavirus relief to protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people. "Over the last nine months, I have s… Continue Reading


An Update on Modernizing Congress

by Tom Temin

Tom Temin: Now Representative Graves has retired from Congress, so kind of your left hand man or right hand, man, I'm not gonna get into that one, who's on the right and who's on the left, but you're kind of operating without a longtime cohort here. Rep. Derek Kilmer: Yeah, he's been a terrific partner. And honestly, this has been a very unique committee in that we had six Democrats and Republicans, and we really did function in a very bipartisan way. And in the end, the 116th Congress wraps up… Continue Reading


Unfunded Bill Authorizes Help For Coho Ferry

PORT ANGELES - A proposed federal program to provide financial relief to struggling maritime companies including Black Ball Ferry Line was hailed last week by Washington state's congressional delegation, while a ferry company co-owner counseled a wait-and-see attitude. As of Friday, the program remained penniless, still needing to pass the gantlet that Congress has become when it comes to funding bills such as the stalled $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill and a comprehensive COVID-19 relief p… Continue Reading


Kilmer Votes To Support Servicemembers & Military Families

On Dec. 8, Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) voted to support the conference report on H.R. 6395, the William M. Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (NDAA). The bipartisan, bicameral compromise report authorizes funding for national defense for Fiscal Year 2021. The conference report passed the House 335 to 78. "If you serve this country, Congress should have your back. This bipartisan legislation makes vital investments in service members and their families, in… Continue Reading


Federal Funds Could Soon Be on The Way For Historic Ferry Line In Port Angeles

PORT ANGELES, Wash. - There is hope on the horizon for one of Washington state's oldest and most historic ferry lines that has struggled to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. Congress members and senators from Washington said Wednesday they have secured support to provide financial relief for Washington's maritime industry. The Maritime Transportation System Emergency Relief Act would establish a comprehensive new program under the Maritime Administration to give financial assistance… Continue Reading


Pay Hike For Servicemembers, Vacation Rollover For Workers In Defense Bill

by Josh Farley

A 3% pay increase for members of the armed services, a plan to build new Coast Guard polar ice breakers and give federal workers like those at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard the ability to roll over unused 2020 vacation are among the provisions in this year's defense bill, which passed the House of Representatives Tuesday on a 335-78 vote. "If you serve this country, Congress should have your back," said Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, who supported its passage. "This bipartisan legislation m… Continue Reading


NDAA Will Let Federal Workers Carry Over Leave Amid Pandemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 8, 2020) - Legislation championed by Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA, 6th) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) that allows all federal workers to carry over the leave they have accrued when a national pandemic prevents them from taking time off of work has been incorporated into the compromise bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act. The NDAA is set to receive a vote in the House and Senate as soon as today. If approved, this will be a major victory for federal employees and their … Continue Reading


Kilmer’s Amendment to Boost CompSci Included in House-Passed Bill

On Nov. 20, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 8294, the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020, which invests more than $3.5 billion over 5 years in expanding opportunities and access to Registered Apprenticeships, youth apprenticeships, and pre-apprenticeships. The legislation included Representative Derek Kilmer's (WA-06) bipartisan amendment to ensure computer science youth apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship, and apprenticeship programs are prioritized for funding through the compreh… Continue Reading


Bonker: Kilmer to Lead The Way to Bipartisanship

Winston Churchill was spot on when he said, "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others." That's the way it looks today in the White House and on Capitol Hill. When I served in Congress, it was more about civility and trust compared to today's partisan fury and combativeness. It started with Newt Gingrich in January, 1995, when he became Speaker of the House of Representatives, replacing the gavel with a sledge hammer. The House chamber suddenly became a battlefield wi… Continue Reading


Kilmer's Part Of An Effort To Fix Congress

A lot of Americans think Congress is broken. Rep. Derek Kilmer is doing something to fix it. For the last two years Rep. Kilmer has served as the chairman of a little-known committee in Washington - the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. Unlike most committees I've witnessed in my years as President & CEO of the Congressional Management Foundation, it actually functioned the way the Founders intended. They weren't out to score political points. Rather, their mission was to w… Continue Reading


Kilmer Recognized for Bipartisan Collaboration

U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) has been awarded the inaugural Convergence Award for Extraordinary Leadership in Bridge-Building for his leadership in bringing Democrats and Republicans together to solve problems for the good of America. Convergence, the organization that granted the award to Kilmer, is a leading national public policy non-profit focused on bringing together those divergent views to build trust, identify solutions, and form alliances for action on issues of critical pu… Continue Reading


Connect To Congress: Rep. Derek Kilmer

KOMO News interviewed Rep. Derek Kilmer of the state's 6th Congressional House District to get his take on recent events that affect Western Washington. Some of the questions asked: Congress has not passed a COVID-19 relief bill since July and with so many people and businesses already hurting as our state heads into stricter restrictions this week, what is the hold up and do you believe Congress will get new relief to those who need it? Looking ahead to the next session of Congress: What are… Continue Reading


Kilmer Can Help Lead On Climate Issues

by Bobbie Morgan

The recent re-election of Derek Kilmer to the House of Representatives is an encouraging result. We, his constituents, have affirmed that Rep. Kilmer works hard for us, the people of the 6th Congressional District. It is especially gratifying to see him win because he understands the urgency of working on climate change. As a co-sponsor of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, he is asserting his belief in an effective solution to this enormous problem. Getting the big job done of tr… Continue Reading


Kilmer Predicts COVID Help Coming Soon

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer told the Bainbridge Island Community Center recently by Zoom that he expects some type of funding to help those hurt by COVID-19 restrictions in the next month. He said the bipartisan stimulus package would be focused on protecting lives and livelihoods, specifically small businesses, nonprofits, and families with housing and nutrition assistance. He also said unemployment and another round of paycheck protection programs would be part of it. One area of significant disag… Continue Reading


Congress: Kilmer Good for Environment and Economy

Let's be clear: Rep. Derek Kilmer doesn't want to ban cows. And he thinks it could take 30 years to get our economy to net-zero emissions. Sounds lukewarm, right? He's not. Kilmer is one of the most intense environmental advocates in Congress. He's part of the Climate Solutions Caucus and a member of the Energy & Water Subcommittee of House Appropriations. But don't take my word for it. He has other supporters too: the League of Conservation Voters; the Sierra Club; the National Parks Cons… Continue Reading

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