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Join the informed writers of The Times' editorial board in lively discussions at our blog, Opinion Northwest.

Topic: congressional

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July 28, 2014 at 6:09 AM

B.C. premier vows sewage treatment for Victoria — someday

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark.

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark.

It took more than a month, but the premier of British Columbia in Canada has finally answered a letter from Washington’s congressional delegation about the million gallons of raw sewage the city of Victoria flushes every hour into the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

And somehow that seems fitting, since it has been more than 20 years since Washington started beating the drum about Victoria’s plumbing problems. No one north of the border seems to be in any particular hurry.

The Democratic members of Washington’s congressional delegation wrote B.C. Premier Christy Clark June 13 to urge that the province find a sewage solution “as soon as possible.” Clark’s rather tardy response promises to hold the southern end of Vancouver Island to a requirement that it develop a new sewage treatment plant. But she fails to address the key question. When, exactly? Will she even be in office? Which century?

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Comments | Topics: bc, congressional, poo

October 1, 2013 at 7:39 PM

Government shutdown should also mean no pay for politicians

If members of Congress fail at their basic job of passing a sensible budget to keep government functioning, the least they can do is show some solidarity with the thousands of Washington federal employees likely to suffer from their inaction.

Give U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer a light pat on the back for being the first member of Washington’s congressional delegation to make a personal sacrifice following the government shutdown of 2013.

The Gig Harbor Democrat posted the following tweet on Monday after it became clear the House and Senate had reached an impasse:

As this KING 5 report notes, the U.S. Constitution actually requires members of Congress be paid automatically, but they can still return funds or donate to charity. Representatives and senators make $174,000 annually.

Back in January, Washington’s three freshman Democratic representatives signed on to a “no budget, no pay” provision in a previous bill to temporarily raise the debt ceiling. Our editorial board had hoped this gimmick would help to end an era of brinksmanship. It didn’t work to avert this latest shutdown, but at least U.S. Reps. Suzan DelBene and Denny Heck joined Kilmer in staying true to their word by posting the following tweets Tuesday:

DelBene gets extra kudos for consistency. “When sequestration began earlier this year, I returned 8.2% of my salary back to the Treasury, and for the duration of this shutdown, I will return the remainder of my personal salary as well,” she announced on her web site. (Note: DelBene can do this because she’s also the wealthiest member of Washington’s delegation. According to this 2012 Seattle Times news report, her average net worth is estimated at $53 million.)

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Comments | Topics: congressional, delegation, government shutdown