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Opinion Northwest

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

Topic: government shutdown

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October 10, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Who’s missing in this picture? Washington’s congressional delegates

Americans are weary of seeing political party leaders hold dueling press conferences to lambast each other. We need to see more images like this: More than 40 members of Congress stepped away from the political food fight happening in Washington, D.C. Thursday morning to show they still care about solving the nation’s problems. Organized by the More

Comments | Topics: derek kilmer, government shutdown, no labels

October 2, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Federal government shutdown sequesters kids

During the federal government shutdown, the National Institutes of Health plans to turn away roughly 200 patients each week from its Washington, D.C.-based clinical research center, including children with cancer, according to The Washington Post. Patients enroll in NIH clinical trials after conventional medical treatments have failed. But with nearly three-quarters of the NIH staff being furloughed, taking…


Comments | Topics: budget, Education, government shutdown

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.)


Comments | Topics: congressional, delegation, government shutdown

October 1, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Have you experienced the government shutdown?

The federal government shutdown could affect up to 50,000 federal employees in Washington state. National forests and monuments, including Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens, closed Tuesday. And U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray shuttered their district offices statewide. Unless Congress strikes a deal, thousands of civilian workers considered nonessential to the federal courts and…


Comments | More in Polls | Topics: government shutdown, maria cantwell, Mount Rainier