January 22, 2024

An Update on My Work to Boost Local Economies and on Government Funding

Hello Folks –

I hope this newsletter finds you well. Thankfully, we made it through last week’s deep freeze, though now we are slated for a whole lot of rain (my weather app shows rain for ten days straight!).

While the weather forecast may be grim, there’s actually some good news coming out of D.C. recently. With that in mind, let’s get into it!

Averting a Government Shutdown

As regular readers of this newsletter can attest, I have shared update after update over the past seven-plus months on the government funding situation and the potential of government shutdowns. In my last newsletter, I covered the continuing resolution that got us into the New Year, with deadlines on January 19 and February 1.

As you likely noticed, January 19 came and went, and the government was not shut down. That’s good news. Last week, Speaker Johnson announced that leaders in Congress had agreed on another, two-tiered, short-term funding bill, which would keep the government funded through March 1 and March 8. The idea is to give Congress a little bit of breathing room to agree on individual spending bills, without shutting down our government. On Thursday, I voted to keep the government open for another month and a half while members of the Appropriations Committee, of which I’m a member, hammer out the finer details.

While this solution is just another short-term fix to a long-term funding problem, I remain hopeful that Congress can and will pass a budget that supports our regional economy and the folks who live here. Stay tuned for another update in late February.

Investing in Economic Development

I firmly believe that we need to do all we can to ensure folks throughout Western Washington can thrive no matter what zip code they live in. Our focus needs to be on jobs and economic opportunity. That’s why I was so grateful for the opportunity last week to lead a roundtable to discuss vital economic initiatives with Deputy Commerce Secretary Don Graves. We were joined by folks from across our district, from Hoquiam to Port Angeles to Tacoma, who are working within their communities to spur economic growth.


Tuesday’s roundtable underscored the Biden Administration’s commitment to fostering economic growth and resilience across Western Washington. The historic investments we’ve seen – and continue to see – from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, and more are crucial for creating jobs in communities.

One main point of discussion was the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Recompete Pilot Program, established by my Rebuilding Economies and Creating Opportunities for More People Everywhere to Excel Act (RECOMPETE Act), which is a part of the larger CHIPS and Science Act. Programs like the Recompete Pilot Program can transform rural and underserved communities around Western Washington into thriving economic centers, creating good-paying jobs and lowering costs for hardworking families. In fact, just last month, I was thrilled to announce The Recompete Pilot Program delivered $1 million in new federal funding for two economic development initiatives right here on the Olympic Peninsula. That’s a big deal.

Roundtables like this one are so important – they offer a chance for folks from across our region to engage directly with federal agency leaders. Folks in our neck of the woods deserve to have their challenges and victories heard, and this roundtable was a chance for them to share how the federal government can best support communities in their efforts to foster brighter economic futures.

Supporting Vital Infrastructure Projects

In our neck of the woods, our local waterways and estuaries are vital to local economies. However, climate change brings challenges like rising tides and eroding shorelines front and center. It’s important for the federal government to play its part in supporting local projects that combat the climate crisis.


Earlier this month, I was honored to speak before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on its Water Resources Development Act Member Day, where I had the opportunity to voice my support for several projects across our region.

Projects like the Ediz Hook Beach Erosion Control Project near Port Angeles and the Duckabush Estuary Restoration project along Highway 101 will improve climate resiliency for communities around our region, combatting erosion and seasonal flood risk while protecting roadways and creating new jobs. I’ll keep working to ensure that projects like these and more get the support of the federal government that they deserve.

Working for You


Connecting with Tribal Partners

I had a terrific visit with Jamestown S’Klallam Tribal Chairman Ron Allen, a tireless leader. I’m honored to work with him to ensure the federal government fulfills its trust and treaty responsibilities!
Derek Kilmer


Safeguarding the Right to Vote

As we look ahead to 2024, we know that protecting the integrity of our election system will remain a top priority. I recently had the chance to catch up with Pierce County Auditor Linda Farmer and Elections Manager Kyle Haugh about the importance of election security grants to safeguard our elections.

OK – that’s it for now, folks. As always, I’m honored to represent you.

Derek Kilmer
Derek Kilmer