Thursday, March 30, 2017

8th LD Priorities -- Quick Survey

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Dan Newhouse and Cathy McMorris Rogers Sold You to Charter

From Tech Crunch's Taylor Hatmaker 5 hours ago:

Today in a 215-205 vote on Senate Joint Resolution 34 (H. Res. 230), the House voted to repeal broadband privacy regulations that the Obama administration’s FCC introduced in 2016. In a narrower vote than some expected, 15 Republicans broke rank to join the 190 Democrats who voted against the repeal. The FCC rules, designed to protect consumers, required ISPs to seek consent from their customers in order to share their sensitive private data (it’s worth noting that ISPs can collect it, either way).

Today’s vote is a blow to anyone who’d prefer not to put their browsing history on blast, and a major victory for advertisers hungry for all of the de-anonymized personal data that they can vacuum up and dole out. With Congress and the FCC squarely in the latter’s camp, consumers who value privacy — and really, we all should — are in for a rough ride.

The language of the joint resolution is as follows:
This joint resolution nullifies the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission entitled “Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services.” The rule published on December 2, 2016: (1) applies the customer privacy requirements of the Communications Act of 1934 to broadband Internet access service and other telecommunications services, (2) requires telecommunications carriers to inform customers about rights to opt in or opt out of the use or the sharing of their confidential information, (3) adopts data security and breach notification requirements, (4) prohibits broadband service offerings that are contingent on surrendering privacy rights, and (5) requires disclosures and affirmative consent when a broadband provider offers customers financial incentives in exchange for the provider’s right to use a customer’s confidential information.
The vote among Washington representatives looked like this:

Nay       D       DelBene, Suzan (WA 1st)
Nay       D       Larsen, Rick (WA 2nd)
Nay       R       Herrera Beutler, Jaime (WA 3rd)
Yea       R       Newhouse, Dan (WA 4th)
Yea       R       McMorris Rodgers, Cathy (WA 5th)

Nay       D       Kilmer, Derek (WA 6th)
Nay       D       Jayapal, Pramila (WA 7th)
Nay       R       Reichert, David (WA 8th)
Nay       D       Smith, Adam (WA 9th)
Nay       D       Heck, Denny (WA 10th)

"Hello, Charter? This is Dan. I voted 'Yea'. You're welcome.

I will call Dan Newhouse's office again tomorrow and tell him how disappointed I am in his vote. I'll also send him a postcard illustrating how I feel. What will you do?

Are you on line right now?

If you are on line, better check back over your shoulder. Charter is watching!

Last year the FCC passed a set of rules for how Internet Service Providers (ISPs) handle their customers’ data. The commonsense rules updated longstanding federal protections for Internet users. Under the rules, ISPs would be required to protect your data and wouldn’t be allowed to do a host of creepy things, including sell your Internet browsing records without your consent.

Those rules were a huge victory for consumers. Of course, the ISPs that stand to make money off of violating your privacy have been lobbying Congress to repeal those rules. Unfortunately, their anti-consumer push has been working.

The Senate voted last week 50-48 on a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to repeal the FCC’s privacy rules.

The House votes on it TODAY.
If the House passes it, you’ll be even more at the mercy of your ISP. Because Congress is using a CRA resolution, the FCC will be prohibited from writing similar rules in the future. And thanks to the current legal landscape, no other federal agency has the authority to protect you against privacy invasions by your ISP.

Call Rep. Dan Newhouse today and urge him to oppose S.J. Res. 34, which would repeal the FCC’s broadband privacy rules.

Rep. Dan Newhouse contact information:
Washington, DC
adr: 1641 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
ph: (202) 225-5816
fax: (202) 225-3251
Yakima, WA
adr: 402 East Yakima Avenue, Suite 445, Yakima, WA 98902
ph: (509) 452-3243
fax: (509) 452-3438

Monday, March 27, 2017

Writing Your Members of Congress

Postcard Writers at Ethos Bakery Sunday Afternoon
Several Progressives gathered at Ethos Bakery last Sunday afternoon to participate in another Sunday postcard writing session. Postcards, postage, and address labels were provided. Coffee, tea, and pastries were avaiable to keep the activist fires burning.

The group that does this is Tri-Cities Postcard-Writing Sundays. Go to their page and get on their mailing list to be notified of future gatherings.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Power of Citizens

Today was a reminder of the power of citizens. Thousands of you voiced your opposition to the Trump Administration's healthcare bill. And today, the bill was pulled from the House floor due to lack of support. Your calls, letters, and emails made a difference. 
This was people power in action. We were able to stop a bad bill that would have negatively affected thousands of Washingtonians from moving forward. Thank you for standing up and making your voice heard. People power works!
We have more fights ahead but I'm encouraged by today's good news. Thanks again for all you do. It's an honor to represent you.  
Derek Kilmer

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The GOP American Health Care Act is Outrageous

From Indivisible Washington

Republicans are rushing to get their outrageous American Health Care Act (AHCA) through before the upcoming April recess, ignoring the normal legislative process, because they don’t want to face you, their constituents. They are moving forward even though we now know, from estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, that TrumpCare will lead to at least 24 million Americans losing their coverage, higher premiums for consumers, and a $600 billion tax break on the wealthy and corporations.

Members of Congress need to know that you reject TrumpCare. The bill the House will be voting on this Thursday would harm millions of Americans. It gives wealthy Americans, insurance companies, drug companies, and other corporations tax breaks. These tax cuts are paid for on the backs of poor and middle class Americans by dramatically scaling back the subsidies that low- and moderate-income families use to purchase affordable health care as well by gutting the Medicaid program.1 The changes to Medicaid financing would not only end Medicaid expansion but also jeopardize states’ long-term financing of the program and their ability to provide coverage to other populations who depend on the program—for example, children, the elderly, and the disabled.

Call your representative in the House and tell them to vote NO on TrumpCare. Tell them you oppose any plan that does not preserve the coverage gains and quality of care under the ACA. First, Do No Harm. Reject TrumpCare.

TrumpCare Details: The CBO score is in and (surprise, surprise!) TrumpCare is even worse than we feared
  • 24 million Americans would lose coverage over the next 10 years—14 million in the first year alone
  • 2 million Americans with employer-sponsored coverage would lose it by 2020; 7 million would lose it over 10 years
  • Higher premiums, higher deductibles, and more out-of-pocket costs
  • Insurance premiums would skyrocket by 20% by 2019
  • $880 billion in cuts to Medicaid funding while giving rich Americans and corporations a $592 billion tax cut
Call NOW and tell your members of Congress that you oppose the AHCA. Go here to see scripts you can use, if you'd like. Then go to the Indivisible Facebook page and post your experience.

I just finished talking with "Andrew" in Rep Dan Newhouse's office (202-225-516). He was very pleasant and promised to pass on my comments.

And keep sending in those postcards!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Trump Budget Slams Science and Rips the Safety Net

Trump’s proposed budget is out. Here are some of the worst cuts for our state that he's proposing.
1.   Transportation - Trump’s budget would cut important local infrastructure projects including funding to help build Link light rail in Lynnwood, Federal Way, & Tacoma and expand Bus Rapid Transit in Spokane, Everett, & Seattle. This despite his pledge to make massive infrastructure investments.
2.   Environmental - The budget makes massive cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency – cutting the budget by 31% and laying off a fifth of the employees. It would end funding for climate change research, cut funding for clean up of SuperFund toxic waste sites, and reduce grants to help cities and states fight air pollution. Trump believes climate change is a hoax, so he's following through on his beliefs, no matter how absurd they are.
3.   Agriculture and Farming - Trump proposes to cut billions from the Agriculture Department, hurting farmers and needy families. He’d cut hundreds of millions from Women/Infant/Children Nutrition Assistance, and rural development and research grants would be on the chopping block as well. Even the Meals On Wheels program and after-school lunches for poor children would be cut!
4.   College Access and Affordability - The budget would cut $3.9 billion from Pell Grants, financial aid that’s critical to helping students and families afford college. This budget would close the door of opportunity to millions and prevent students from getting the skills, experience, and training they need to succeed. But remember, Trump "loves the uneducated," so this makes sense to him.
5.   Jobs - The 21 percent proposed cut in the Labor Department reduces funding for job training programs that benefit seniors and disadvantaged youth. The budget eliminates the Senior Community Service Employment Program, which helps low-income seniors find work and closes poor-performing centers for Job Corps, a job-training program for disadvantaged youth. This doesn't track with Trump's pledge to concentrate on "jobs, jobs, jobs."
6.   Health and Scientific Research - Health and Human Services would face devastating cuts, and more than a third of the $15.1 billion in cuts would affect the National Institutes of Health, the government’s main engine of biomedical research. Make America Sick Again! Get the tee shirt.
7.   Children - The Education Department faces a $9 billion cut under the Trump administration budget, which would downsize or eliminate a raft of grants, including for teacher training, afterschool programs, and aid to low-income and minority college students. These colossal cuts to our schools are a betrayal of our commitment to students. While the budget doesn’t detail effects on the Head Start preschool program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, these important supports for vulnerable children could be slashed as well. I can't think of anything funny about this, can you?
8.   Housing and FEMA - The Trump budget would cut $6 billion from affordable housing and community development grants – grants that have funded important projects like recovery from natural disasters and improvements in low-income neighborhoods. Add the GOP American Health Care Act, and you have a prescription for genocide of the poor in America.
9.   Weather and Hurricane, Tornado and Tsunami preparedness - We didn’t think that NOAA and the National Weather Service would be partisan targets – shouldn’t everyone want decent weather forecasting? But Trump’s budget would cut funding from all sorts of weather and coastal programs at the Department of Commerce, including helping coastal communities prepare for storms, satellites for tracking weather and supporting forecasting, and climate change research efforts. Meanwhile, Trump's family is safe in Trump Tower.
10.        The Arts and Public Broadcasting - We spend hardly any public money on the arts, especially when compared to military spending. But Trump’s budget would still eliminate the $445 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting - aka PBS and NPR – as well as the National Endowment for the Arts and funding for libraries and museums across the country. Trump has his own ideas about art.

Show Up, Speak Up, Influence Planning for the City of Richland

What are your issues and/or concerns; traffic, bike lanes, open spaces, river access, electric vehicle charging stations, coal trains, water resources, homeless, community  policing...?

Attend this public open house and make your issues/concerns and recommendations known to the commission. Now is the time!

Add caption

Friday, March 17, 2017

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Draw your postcards and get 'em in the mail!

We have a lot of artistic people in our mix. A picture can sometimes convey how we feel about proposed legislation as effectively, or even more effectively, than the written word. Postcards are especially suited to pictures -- isn't that what they were made for?

So, draw your postcards and mail them to members of congress. Take a quick photo of your creation and post it in the comments section of this blog. Let's see what you've got!

Here's mine on the GOP American Health Care Act -- AHCA.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Statement by Derek Kilmer (D-WA6)

The debate about repealing the Affordable Care Act is neither disconnected nor distant – it’s about people. Real people who will suffer real consequences if the Republican repeal plan were to pass. 
  • It’s about the breast cancer survivor in Gig Harbor who told me that she's only here because of treatment she received through the Medicaid expansion. 
  • It’s about the mom in Tacoma who was able to make sure that her daughter's bi-polar disorder was treated by keeping her on the family's insurance plan until she was 26. 
  • It’s about all of the seniors I represent that will face premium costs up to 5 times more than younger individuals under the repeal plan.
  • It’s about the 24 million Americans expected to lose their insurance under the Trumpcare plan and for every person who will see their insurance premiums rise – on average 10-15 percent.
  • It’s about women. One in every five women in our country have gotten care from Planned Parenthood, and they may lose access to mammograms, cancer screenings, and primary care if this bill passes.
  • It’s about the 1.3 million people who have received treatment for mental health and substance abuse disorders who may lose access to those vital services under this bill.
  • And it’s about the people who will lose access to preventive services from our public health departments because this misguided bill completely eliminates the Center for Disease Control’s Prevention and Public Health Fund.
It’s for all of these people that I will vote no.
There is still plenty we need to do to improve our healthcare system. There are positive changes that can be made to the Affordable Care Act. In fact, I've proposed changes to the law to improve rural health care, enhance affordability for small businesses, and strengthen primary care. 

But Trumpcare doesn't represent progress. Asking people to pay more for less heath care coverage is a move backward.  

Please know that I will keep fighting the fight for the folks I represent. As always, I’m honored to represent you.
- Derek

Proposed Amendment to 8th LLDO by-Laws

Currently, 8th LDDO By-laws are inconsistent with the WSDCC and BCDCC by-laws/rules in not specifying that voting by proxy is permitted. Without such specificity, the issue devolves to RRO, which prohibits proxy voting unless otherwise stipulated.

We want to expand our reach and engagement of the wider membership. Allowing proxy voting helps do that. We have a lot going on that generates voting. Let’s get everyone involved!

BCDCC Rules that stipulate the rules under which proxy voting is permitted under Article XI of the BCDCC By-Laws are:
Voting by proxy shall be permitted in accordance with the following rules:
a. All proxies must be in writing, and either signed by the member or accompanied
by a signed letter attesting to the wishes of the member, and designating who will
vote the proxy.
b. No person will hold more than one general and uninstructed proxy.
c. Proxies are nontransferable.
d. In order to vote a general and uninstructed proxy, the holder must register the
proxy with the Secretary of the Central Committee before a vote is taken
e. All specific and instructed proxies must be registered with the Secretary before a
vote is taken, and shall be tallied for inclusion in the final vote count.
f. The holder of the proxy must reside in Benton County.

 I recommend these be adopted verbatim under Article III of the 8th LD By-Laws.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Benton County Democrats and 8th LDDO Wednesday Meeting

The Benton County and 8th Legislative District Democrats will hold their regular monthly meeting this coming Wednesday, March 15th, at the union's labor hall on Duportail, just off the bypass in Richland. The 8th LD meets at 6:00 pm followed immediately by the BCDCC at 7:00 pm.

The proposaed 8th LDDO agenda follows:
  1. Call to Order by Chair 6PM
  2. Adoption of Minutes as sent out on March 14th 6:02PM
  3. Adoption of the Agenda 6:04PM
  4. Officer Reports 6:05 PM – 6:25 PM
  5. Treasurer
  6. Secretary
  7. State Committee Woman
  8. State Committee Man
  9. Chair of Activism
  10. Chair of Fundraising
  11. Chair of Elections Vice Chair
  12. Chair Report 6:25 PM
  13. Our Revolution
  14. Candidate/Campaign Training Opportunity
  15. Monthly State Committee Meeting Update
  16. Budget
  17. Good of the Order 6:45 PM
  18. Adjournment 7:00PM
8th Legislative District Meeting Minutes, February 15, 2017

I. Skye called the meeting to order at 6:08 PM on February 15, 2017 at the Laborers Hall 348. A flag salute is conducted.
II. Adoption of the Agenda
Motion is made to adopt the agenda as e-mailed out prior to meeting. Motion carried.
III. Guest Speaker Leo Perales
Leo spoke on the Inclusive Community Resolution in Kennewick. Took questions. Motion made: The 8th LD encourages the cities within our communities to support similar inclusive resolutions. Seconded. Motion passed.
IV. Officer Reports
A) Brent Kirby – Treasurer – 8th LD currently has $2,458 in checking and $375 in savings.
B) Carl Sjostrand – Secretary – Updated body on the previous motion to purchase a recorder. New motion was made for: The 8th LD to purchase of a PA System, with the cost split between the 8th LD and Benton County CC, for use in the meeting space; if Benton County fails to pass the motion to split, the 8th LD covers the cost itself. Seconded. Motion carried.
C) Barbara O’Brien – State Committee Woman – Spoke on the state committee meeting she attended. Full comments are attached. Took questions.
D) Jay Clough – State Committee Man – Also spoke on state meeting. Jay was elected for 4th CD Executive Board, spoke on the state chair election, took questions.
E) Matt Bonomo – Spoke on upcoming DNC elections, state bills SJM 8000 and HJM 4003. Took questions.
V. PCO Outreach Update
Allison Dabler spoke on the need and recruitment of PCOs and further outreach. Took questions.
VI. Chair Report
A) Standing Committees
a. Legislative Candidate Search Committee

i. Nancy Washton appointed as chair. Body votes and approves.
b. Fundraising Committee
i. Angie Mykel appointed as chair. Body votes and

B) Additional Committees a. Bylaws Committee
i. Chuck LoPresti appointed as chair. Body votes and approves.
b. Audit Committee
i. Stacy Cash-Ware is appointed as chair. Body votes and

c. Community Activism Committee

i. Jill Mulhasen is appointed as chair. Body votes and approves.
VII. Good of the Order
  1. A)  Question of committee meeting times/8th LD website.
  2. B)  Reminder to body of Protest Tuesdays at John Dam Plaza.
  3. C)  $229 was collected at the meeting for the 8th LD.
VIII. Adjournment
Skye adjourned meeting at 7:01 PM Minutes submitted by: Carl Sjostrand

The BCDCC agenda follows:

1. Call to order
2. Flag Salute
3. Special order of Business
    *Young Dems food fundraiser
    *Guest Speaker: Indivisible group

4. Report of Committees
    *Labor and Commerce
    *Platform and Legislation

5. Report of the Officers
    *Recording Secretary
    *Vice Chair

6. BCDCC Chairs Report
    *Candidates running for open seats and upcoming elections
    *House Bill 1723
        -Action moving forward
        -Yays and Nays for bill
    *Political Movement moving forward/Together as one!

7. Old Business

8. New business
    *If not having already done so, approve Bylaws, Policy Guide and Rules

9. Good of the order

10. Adjourn

Please review last month's meeting minutes prior to the meeting.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Haler - Klippert Townhall Generates Impressive Turnout

Saturday morning's townhall conducted jointly by Washington 8th LD representatives Larry Haler and Brad Klippert, was attended by roughly 120 to 150 people (based on my inexpert crowd counting estimate). There were a lot of familiar faces in the crowd, including our BCDCC State Committee Woman, Kate Moran.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Political Events Roundup from Lora

From Lora Rathbone

March 9, 7 PM - 9 PM.
Hate Has No Home Here yard signs available for pickup.
Mid-Columbia Library, 1620 S Union St, Kennewick
We're suggesting $10 to cover the cost of printing and to help subsidize signs for folks who can't afford one.
To view the sign

March 10, 6pm
Climate Roundtable. Come and share a pizza and a drink while we discuss the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy's proposal to price carbon with Sameer Ranade, Washington Environment Council's Climate and Clean Energy Associate. Share any ideas and ask any questions you have on what Washington state should do now in response to climate change.  If by chance, you’re available to attend the hearing the bill will receive in Olympia on March 14, please RSVP here
Where: Round Table Pizza, 1769 Leslie Rd, Richland

March 11, 10 AM to Noon.
 Klippert-Haler Town Hall
The Arc of Tri-Cities (1455 Fowler) in south Richland.
This is an opportunity for constituents of Washington's 8th Legislative District and our neighbors to publicly reject discriminatory laws.
Although Klippert has asked for "no large bags or umbrellas; no food or beverages; and, notably, no signs, shouting or artificial sound makers" at the town hall,
this does not preclude protesting outside on public areas prior to the event. (The Love Not Hate group plans to protest outside).

TC FAN supports:  HB 1122 Responsible storage of Fire Arms. Now in House Rule, which Haler is on.
Our other bills that are not dead yet that we want them to support:
Civil rights:
HB 1800, SB 5267 WA Voting Rights Act, which authorizes district based elections
Criminal Justice:
HB 1783 Concerning legal financial obligations (and decrease interest rate to 1 %).
 HB 1529, SB 5073 Concerning use of deadly force in community policing.
HB 1646, SB 5509 Promoting an equitable clean energy economy: Proceeds from the carbon tax will fund investments to reduce carbon pollution, create jobs, and support workers and households with lower incomes."
Solar Tax Credit HB 1048
HB 1611 Concerning oil transportation safety

March 11, 1-2:30pm.
Forum on the Medicaid waiver, by Nathan Johnson, policy advisor for Healthcare Authority,  at the United Way Building (401 N. Young St. in Kennewick).

Monday, March 6, 2017

League of Women Voters Table Talk Features Presentation on Refugees in Our Community

The League of Women Voters March 7th Table Talk will feature a presentation about refugees in our community – how they got here, what help they are given and the challenges they face.  Guest speaker Carolyn Paxton, is a volunteer for World Relief and Amira Al Salami, a Refugee Program Specialist in the Richland office of World Relief, together with some Syrian families will educate us on what it’s like to be a refugee.

World Relief is a humanitarian organization and resettlement agency that helps refugees start a new life in the U.S. Amira Al Salami participates in various programs, including receiving refugees at the airport, getting their documents and applying for public assistance programs on their behalf, enrolling their children in school, interpreting, and setting up their medical and social appointments. From Iraq, Amira tries to bridge the gap between Islamic, Eastern, Arabic culture and the West.

The event is open to the public, so invite a friend or neighbor you think would be interested.

Where:  Ben-Franklin Transit Headquarters, 1000 Columbia Park Trail, Richland.  (at the Richland Wye)

For more information, please call Lora Rathbone 509-460-1223

NOAA Facing Cuts to Satellite Program

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration could see a 17 percent budget cut under the Trump administration with serious reductions in several climate-related programs. The budget memo for NOAA, first reported by the Washington Post on Friday, includes a 26 percent budget cut for the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and cutting a $73 million coastal research program. 90 percent of the country's weather data comes from NOAA satellites, which face serious cuts in the proposed budget. “Cutting NOAA’s satellite budget will compromise NOAA’s mission of keeping Americans safe from extreme weather and providing forecasts that allow businesses and citizens to make smart plans,” former Obama NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco told the Post. (Washington Post $, PoliticoThe HillMashableChristian Science Monitor. Commentary: Forbes, Marshall Shepherd columnThinkProgress, Joe Romm column)

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sit Down, Shut Up, and Support the Моско́вский Кремль's agenda!

Republican legislators are getting tired of all these American spoil-sports protesting the 2016 Election. Hey, the Russians won the election fair and square and installed their Manchurian Candidate and it's time for America to collectively sit down, shut up, and support the Моско́вский Кремль's agenda!

Feeling that it’s time to “make America safe again,” Republican state legislators are hard at work filing laws to enact harsher punishments for those charged with activities that show disrespect for authority or increase commute times.

Here in Washington, State Senator Doug Ericksen (WA-42), when he wasn’t campaigning for Donald Trump, was cooking up a bill of his own, S.B. 5009 (2017-18), that would label protesters, “economic terrorists.” The terrorist label may be useful, because it could place protesters on the No-Fly list and keep them from escaping to North Korea.

Read more here.

Friday, March 3, 2017

New Federal Law Would Preempt State Firearm Laws

The NRA can hardly contain itself now that there’s a Republican president, and a Republican-controlled House and Senate. The gun rights organization has been working overtime to craft new laws to expand gun rights and degrade the ability of states to make their own decisions on what constitute sensible gun law — like keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.

The Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, S.498, would allow gun owners who have a concealed carry permit in their home state — Texas, for example —to bring their firearms in any other state with concealed-carry laws, even if those states have tougher gun laws, like Washington State’s tougher background checks, and Extreme Risk Protection Order.

In 2014, Washington became the first state in the nation to pass a universal background checks law by voter initiative. The law requires all private sales of firearms to be conducted through a federally licensed firearms dealer who will conduct a background check on the private buyer. Washington also requires law enforcement to run a background check before returning a confiscated firearm.

Getting back to S.498, “This operates more or less like a driver’s license,” said Sen. John Cornyn (Texas). Yeah, like one of those enhanced licenses that lets you commit vehicular homicide across state lines.

Gun control groups say the bill poses a significant danger for society at a time when lawmakers should be strengthening background checks to address recent shootings — almost 10,000 people have been shot in America in 2017.

According to Everytown for Gun Safety President John Feinblatt, “Federally imposed concealed carry laws interfere with states’ fundamental right to determine who is too dangerous to carry hidden, loaded guns in public”.

Cornyn’s bill would allow states with the “weakest gun laws to trump the reasonable judgments” of others, since people who qualify for concealed carry permits in some states would get to carry their guns into places with tougher requirements.

If you disagree with this bill, as I do, contact Patty Murray [(202) 224-2621] and Maria Cantwell [(202) 224-3441], as I have, and ask that they oppose S.498.

EPA Withdraws "Unnecessary and Onerous" Methane Rule


Global methane emissions from oil production between 1980 and 2012 were far higher than previously thought – in some cases, as much as double the amount previously estimated, according to a new scientific study
The EPA will not require oil and gas producers to provide information on methane emissions at drilling sites, withdrawing a late Obama-era request that was meant to be a first step in a larger crackdown on methane emissions. The EPA withdrew the request a day after receiving a letter from 11 state attorneys general  - including Scott Pruitt's successor in Oklahoma - alleging that the request amounted to "harassment" of fossil fuel companies and asking the EPA to withdraw the "unnecessary and onerous burden" on oil and gas producers. Methane regulations may come under friendly fire during the administration's budgetary bloodbath as well: a source tells Reuters that the EPA's budget plan currently includes a 70 percent budget reduction in a climate program intended to reduce "emissions of greenhouse gases like methane."

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas − the most important contributor to climate change after carbon dioxide. There is now international agreement that methane is 34 times more potent than CO2 over a century, but 84 times more over a much shorter timespan – just 20 years.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Newhouse to Host Telephone Town Hall Tonight


Tonight at 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time, I will host a Telephone Town Hall to update you on work in Congress on behalf of Central Washington and to hear directly from you. This is a great opportunity to have your say, so I hope you are able to join me. In order to sign up to receive a call, go to my website and fill in your information by clicking here

Thank you for taking the time to read this e-news update. It is an honor to represent you in Congress.


Trump Pledges to Boost Defense Spending by $54 Billion

The following post comes from an article I wrote in February 2013. I thought it worth repeating given President Donald Trump's pledge to boost Defense spending by $54 billion dollars.
Tank Storage at Sierra Army Depot
I live in the Tri-Cities, Washington, near Hanford. Our economy is dependent on the hundreds of billions of dollars being spent cleaning up the mess made here in the desert during the Manhattan Project. Some people think that's a big waste of money, but not a lot of those people live around here.

But speaking of big wastes of money, a drive of about 10-1/2 hours south of here on Highway 395 will take us to the vast, sprawling Sierra Army Depot, which lies in the desert, 60 miles north of Reno, Nevada, and to the story of wasting money that boggles the imagination.

The Sierra depot takes up 32, 292 acres of geography ideally suited for jack rabbits and lizards, if not humans, but it's also ideal for storing equipment the US Army can't use anymore. That stuff includes 3000 M1 Abrams Tanks. More than the 2300 tanks the Army has in operation.
Not surprisingly, the Army doesn't want anymore Abrams tanks and it doesn't want to spend any more defense dollars refurbishing the ones it has. But not so fast you Army slackers!

Certain members of Congress feel it's vitally important for the plant in Lima, Ohio, to continue producing tanks, and for General Dynamics Land Systems Division to continue its work in Sterling Heights, Michigan, and in various of its operations and business locations around the United States and indeed, around the world -- General Dynamics is a BIG corporation, with over $30 billion in business volume in 2012. And because corporations are people, GD has pumped millions into the coffers of its favorite congress people; people who just happen to be in states where it builds stuff, including stuff the military doesn't want.

The non-partisan Center for Public Integrity found that:
  • An Army proposal to stop work on the M1 Abrams tank to save $3 billion, has been blocked by the members of four key congressional committees.
  • Those lawmakers have received $5.3 million since 2001 from employees of the tank’s manufacturer, General Dynamics, and its political action committee.
  • The lawmakers have also been heavily lobbied by former committee staff members on the company’s payroll.
  • The company’s campaign donations spiked at key legislative milestones for the Pentagon’s budget bills in 2011 and 2012 (see the InfoGraphic here).
No less than the Army's chief of staff, Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, told Congress last year, “Please, no more tanks!” But 173 House members - Democrats and Republicans - sent a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, urging him to continue supporting THEIR decision to produce more tanks, and not listen to Army generals. Every House member from the Ohio delegation (see below), with the exception of Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat, signed the letter. After all, what do Army generals know about the industrial base, i.e., pork, and buying elections?

Residents of Ohio are represented in Congress by 2 Senators and 16 Representatives.
Member Name
DC 202 -
FAX 202 -
Contact Form