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Opinion Northwest

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

Topic: senate

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December 16, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Chaining mental health reforms to gun control is a failed strategy

The serial tragedies of gun violence perpetrated by young men provoke two responses, depending on which adjective you focus on: gun or mentally unstable.

A memorial in Newtown, Conn., one year later. / ASSOCIATED PRESS

A memorial in Newtown, Conn., one year later. / ASSOCIATED PRESS

I ranted in October that proposed public policies to address recent shooting incidents got lost in the shouting about the first adjective. Democrats, led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, were culpable because they wouldn’t decouple mental health improvements from the gun issue, believing, I suspect, that is the only way the latter will pass.

Well, something happened last week that gives me hope.

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Comments | Topics: democrats, gun control, mental health

July 5, 2013 at 6:00 AM

U.S. House Republicans should debate, support immigration reform

Our Independence Day editorial doesn’t mince words. Now is the time for the U.S. House to give full consideration to the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform package, S. 744.

Remember how Latinos overwhelmingly supported Democrats during the 2012 elections? Afterward, U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., called on the GOP to “modernize” and be more inclusive of minorities. Now is her party’s chance to do something substantive, and it’s stalling…

Some politicians might be too caught up in their own self-interests to take timely action. The Wall Street Journal reports only 38 of 234 House Republicans nationwide represent districts where Latinos represent 20 percent or more of the population. Those representatives have nothing to lose by stalling.

An overhaul of the system is long overdue and should include a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million people living and working in the shadows, including roughly 230,000 undocumented immigrants in Washington state.

Here’s a link to that Wall Street Journal report cited in the editorial. If you’re looking for an easy-to-read, concise breakdown of what’s in the Senate’s bill, I suggest reading this summary by the Migration Policy Institute.

Here’s an Associated Press interactive on U.S. immigration policy, including a searchable listing by state showing how senators voted. Washington senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell both voted for passage.

[do action=”custom_iframe” url=”http://hosted.ap.org/interactives/2013/immigration/?SITE=wasee” width=”630″ height=”500″ scrolling=””/]

The bill isn’t perfect, but it’s a start. The process of becoming a full-fledged American will be anything but easy.

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Comments | Topics: house, immigration, labor

May 23, 2013 at 7:10 AM

Apple juice on Capitol Hill

Apple executives were shocked, shocked to find U.S. senators who were amazed at the technology giant’s capacity to avoid taxes. Maybe the incredulous response was appropriate.  Congressional indifference has aided and abetted the scam for years. Apple moves billions of dollars around the planet before it lands in Ireland for a bit of Irish cream. Low…

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Comments | Topics: Apple, Ireland, senate

February 25, 2013 at 7:00 AM

In defense of the Washington Senate’s rogue Democrats

My column in Monday’s Seattle Times newspaper expresses disappointment in the Washington State Democrats’ recent tactics against rogue state Sens. Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon. Democrats take pride in making room for everyone — unless you’re a fiscally conservative state senator named Rodney Tom or Tim Sheldon. “Call out Tom and Sheldon for the traitors that…

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Comments | Topics: democratic party, democrats, legislature