October 25, 2013 at 12:08 PM
WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — President Barack Obama will take part in a memorial service for former House Speaker Tom Foley next Tuesday at the Capitol building.
Foley was a 30-year veteran of the House who died last Friday at the age of 84.
Obama praised him as a “legend of the United States Congress” whose straightforward approach helped find common ground with both Republicans and his fellow Democrats.
The Washington state lawmaker served as speaker from 1989 to 1995. He was ambassador to Japan under President Bill Clinton.
October 15, 2013 at 8:08 PM
Breaking from some more hard-line conservatives, Republican U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler says it’s time to end the government shutdown and back away from the threat of defaulting on the national debt.
In a statement released Tuesday, Herrera Beutler said she’s avoided public comment before now because she wanted to give Republican leaders leeway to craft a deal.
But she said the time has come for Republicans “to face reality” and made it clear she will not vote for “poison pills” seeking to end the Affordable Care Act, which have no chance of passing the Senate or being signed into law.
October 11, 2013 at 12:45 PM
No information will be coming out next Wednesday about how many people are unemployed because the folks who calculate that information are, well, unemployed.
The state Employment Security Department sent out an email to that effect Friday, stating “the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics is closed and hasn’t been able to transfer the necessary data to the states. In addition, nearly all of Employment Security’s labor-market information staff has been furloughed because the federal funds that support the office have been cut off.”
According to the department, the September report was scheduled to be released Oct. 16, but will be delayed indefinitely. “Once the federal office is open again, we will learn if and when there will be a September report,” the email said.
October 6, 2013 at 4:24 PM
By Phuong Le
The Associated Press
Gov. Jay Inslee said Sunday that the impacts from a partial federal government shutdown are already being felt across the state.
Inslee, a Democrat, squarely blamed House Republicans and told reporters at a news conference Sunday that the problems could be easily fixed if House Speaker John Boehner would bring a clean temporary spending bill up for a vote without conditions.
“We cannot allow this inexplicable hatred of giving people health insurance to lead us into economic crisis,” Inslee said. “That’s where we’re headed.”
Boehner has insisted that President Barack Obama must negotiate if the president wants to end the shutdown and avert the first-ever default on the government’s debt, which could trigger a financial crisis and recession.
The government shutdown entered its sixth day Sunday with hundreds of thousands of federal employees furloughed, national parks closed and an array of government services on hold.
Inslee said he is worried that the continued shutdown is slowing the state’s aerospace industry, hurting veterans’ programs and affecting services such as unemployment payments that depend on federal money.
Washington is using state money to continue services in the near term, but Inslee worried about how long the state could do that.
“There’s significant potential for this to get much worse very soon,” he said.
The governor was joined in Seattle by a business owner and several people who work with veterans who described the consequences that the shutdown was having for veterans and others.
Casey Ingels of Lakewood-based Tactical Tailor, which makes gear for military and law enforcement, said he has had to lay off 75 employees because of the shutdown.
“We owe our federal employees and contracting employers some predictability,” he said, adding that it was having a devastating impact on the company.
August 28, 2013 at 10:00 AM
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will be in Seattle next week for a campaign event that reporters will not be allowed to attend, according to his staff.
About 2,000 people are expected to see the Republican governor and prominent Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Ben Carson headline a Washington Policy Center dinner next Thursday. Both speakers have asked that journalists be barred — the first such prohibition for the annual event in recent memory, said Lisa Shin, communications director for the conservative-leaning think tank.
Although reporters will be kept out, attendees at the sold-out event — about 1,400 at the Seattle Sheraton and some 600 watching via projector from Spokane — will likely be allowed to post to social media, Shin said.
A Walker spokeswoman deferred comment to his campaign team. Campaign spokesman Jonathan Wetzel confirmed the event will be closed to media.
“Campaign” refers to Walker’s 2014 re-election bid, although it is unclear how many Wisconsin voters will be in Seattle next week.
Walker is also considered a possible candidate for president in 2016.
Staffers did not return messages asking about the Seattle event’s connection to Walker’s campaign or why media will be not let in.
The 45-year-old Walker gained prominence in 2011 when, weeks after entering office, he proposed a bill to curtail state workers’ collective bargaining rights. The bill set off weeks of protests and prompted Democratic state senators to leave the capital, but it eventually won approval.
Democrats and labor groups tried unsuccessfully to recall Walker in 2012.
On Thursday, Washington state unions plan a protest outside Walker’s speech. The King County Labor Council has received a permit for a protest of up to 1,000 people and is expecting several hundred, said Executive Secretary David Freiboth.
“Our message is ‘not in our state,’” Freiboth said. “We don’t like Gov. Walker’s form of divisive political discourse, and we are finding that there are a lot of folks from diverse groups that agree with us.”
The Washington Policy Center has been capitalizing on the controversy, sending out news releases highlighting the union outrage.
The think tank’s annual dinner has featured several big names in its 16 years, from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in 2002 to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in 2007 and former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and former Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton.
Last year, pollster Scott Rasmussen spoke in Seattle, while Republican campaign consultant Ed Rollins talked in Spokane.
August 22, 2013 at 9:23 AM
WASHINGTON – The mother of the soldier rescued by Medal of Honor recipient Staff Sgt. Ty Michael Carter said Americans are largely indifferent and unaware of the sacrifices of the nation’s combat troops.
Vanessa Adelson, whose 21-year-old son, Spc. Stephan Mace of Lovettsville, Va., died in Afghanistan of injuries he suffered during an attack on his base by Taliban fighters, spoke with reporters by phone Thursday to bring attention to what she sees as a vast divide between civilians and the tiny minority of military families.
Carter, her son’s rescuer, will be awarded the Medal of Honor Monday by President Obama at the White House.
“People should be questioning more about what we are doing in Afghanistan,” Adelson said. “But they don’t pay attention to it. I think it’s a shame.”
Carter, a Spokane native who is now stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, risked his life to drag a wounded Mace to safety amid a barrage of enemy fire. A medevac helicopter eventually airlifted Mace, but he later died.
Mace was one of eight soldiers from Combat Outpost Keating killed on Oct. 3, 2009 in Kamdesh, Afghanistan. Another 25 soldiers, including Carter, were injured.
Adelson said Carter carries “so much guilt” about her son’s death. But Carter’s bravery, she said, gave her son several more hours of life and allowed him to die among “people he loved, his Army brothers.”
Carter is the fifth living recipient of the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military honor, for actions in Afghanistan or Iraq.
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