Topic: Sen. Patty Murray
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November 28, 2012 at 7:07 AM
This will win back the female voters — not. The House Speaker has announced Committee Chairs for the 113th Congress and let’s just say it’s not very female-friendly. Huffington Post dubs it “The Man Show.” Washington Sen. Patty Murray, for one, tweeted her disappointment last night.
In a story Sunday in The Seattle Times, reporter Brian M. Rosenthal wrote about the declining number of women in the Washington Legislature in the session that begins in January. He was referring to the Legislature in general, not necessary leadership positions. In Washington’s case, some might argue the state had some distance to fall, because it was number one among the states in electing women lawmakers for 11 years.
Election trivia: Guess which statewide race in Washington ended up closest? The Secretary of State contest with Republican Kim Wyman, the only Republican elected statewide this time, winning by a mere 22,000 votes.
War on Christmas or something: And that means it’s time for the annual suggestion/accusation that somebody somewhere is waging a war on Christmas, Hanukkah or some holiday. The Spokesman-Review of Spokane has the latest on what decorations are planned for our very own Capitol grounds and surrounding area. There will be a nativity scene, and not too far away, a lighted Menorah, and maybe an atheist display of some sort. Read the post. All religious displays, save for a holiday tree in the Rotunda, are to be outside.
Jump the fiscal cliff: Sen. Murray has an idea for handling the vaunted fiscal cliff in Washington. D.C. She says jump. Or at least that is what she and several leading Democrats say may be the best way to win the kind of tax cuts and spending reductions her group favors. Murray is a big-time leader in Washington and it’s time we said that, again.
A new poll shows more than majority support for some of the tax decisions Murray is talking about. Murray, according to a press release, was planning to speak Wednesday in the Senate about middle-class tax cuts.
November 15, 2012 at 10:14 AM
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray Thursday declared her plan to seek the chairmanship of the Senate Budget Committee, a post that would move her closer to the looming debate about the nation’s long-term fiscal policy.
Murray hopes to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad of
Nebraska North Dakota. She now is the No. 2 Democrat on the panel, which is responsible for producing an annual blueprint for how much money the federal government should bring in and spend.
But Senate Democrats have not passed a regular budget since 2009 in part because of deep ideological differences with Republicans, particularly those in the House, about spending priorities.
Largely as a consequence, the federal government for the past two years has been operating on a series of stopgap spending bills.
Committee leadership decisions won’t be finalized until after Thanksgiving, but Murray is certain to get her wish.
In return, Murray will give up her chairmanship of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, though she will remain a member of the panel. She is expected to remain as chairwoman of two Senate subcommittees, one under the Appropriations Committee and the other in the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee.
September 20, 2012 at 6:10 PM
WASHINGTON – Patty Murray and her three fellow Senate Democratic leaders called a press conference Thursday afternoon to announce some major beef with Republicans — House Republicans to be specific.
Their complaint: a backlog of bipartisan Senate bills that have stalled in the other chamber. Among them the once-routine farm bill, the postal-service reform bill, the Violence Against Women Act and a China currency bill Democrats say would create 1.6 million jobs by stemming the flood of cheap imports.
That came after House Speaker John Boehner and other Republican leaders held their own news conference, accusing Senate Democrats of “inaction on 40-plus jobs bills that we’ve sent there.”
The bickering highlighted a sense of morass on Capitol Hill. The expiration of Bush era-tax cuts looms, with no agreement in sight. The 10-year, $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts known as sequestration is slated to kick in Jan. 2. The two parties are far apart on how to avert it.
Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, the Democratic conference vice chair, predicted “mainstream” Republicans will more readily embrace bipartisanship after watching backlash against tea party conservatives in the elections.
“There have always been Republicans who want to work with us,” Schumer said. “But they have been outshouted” by tea party Republicans.
Murray was equally optimistic that the logjam will break after November. But that won’t happen, she said, unless Republicans drop their insistence on not raising taxes on anyone, including the rich. Democrats favor keeping the Bush tax cuts for only the middle class and the poor.
September 19, 2012 at 11:58 AM
WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked Sen. Patty Murray’s $1 billion legislation to create a jobs corps for veterans, invoking a budget rule to kill what they contend is an unproven and unaffordable program.
The 58-40 vote to waive a procedural budget motion fell two votes short. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had already postponed the vote from last Friday, when Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, said the bill violates the Budget Control Act.
Five Republicans sided with all 53 members of the Democratic caucus to override the GOP objection, but that was insufficient. Sixty votes were needed.
The Veterans Jobs Corp Act would have trained and employed veterans for jobs in forests, wildlife refuges, parks, cemeteries and other public lands. Murray proposed paying for the $1 billion tab over five years in part by collecting delinquent taxes from Medicare providers and suppliers and from individuals with more than $50,000 in unpaid taxes.
Speaking on the Senate floor before the vote, Murray said the GOP’s motion in effect told veterans the nation has spent enough money on them. The Washington Democrat, who chairs the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, said the bill incorporated many ideas from Republicans to improve its chance for passage.
In a statement, Murray denounced the Republican blockade:
“It’s both shocking and shameful that Republicans today chose to kill a bill to put America’s veterans back to work. At a time when one in four young veterans are unemployed, Republicans should have been able, for just this once, to put aside the politics of obstruction and to help these men and women provide for their families.
“But this vote is stark reminder that Senator McConnell and Senate Republicans are willing to do absolutely anything to fulfill the pledge he made nearly two years ago to defeat President Obama. It doesn’t matter who gets in their way or which Americans they have to sacrifice in that pursuit, even if it’s our nation’s veterans.
Congress is scheduled to adjourn this week until after the election. Murray’s spokesman said the bill is unlikely to be resurrected this year.
September 5, 2012 at 3:51 PM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Democratic U.S. Sen. Patty Murray went “Seamus” on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney during a speech to the Democratic National Convention Wednesday.
Murray referenced the tale of Romney’s long ago family vacation, when he strapped their dog, Seamus, in a carrier on top of a station wagon for a 12-hour drive. Though the dog was reportedly unharmed, that hasn’t stopped Democrats from mocking the story.
Attacking Romney’s plans to repeal health-care reform and alter Medicare, Murray said Republicans would “sell out our middle class” while preserving tax cuts for millionaires.
“Simply, with a Republican Congress sitting shotgun, Mitt Romney will put the middle class on the roof and take us for a long, painful ride,” Murray said.
Taking the stage to a partly full Time Warner Cable Arena Wednesday just after 3 p.m. Pacific time, Murray’s speech was loudly cheered by the Washington state delegation, sitting close to the stage.
She told of the struggles of her own family growing up. When her father, a World War II veteran, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and lost his job, they got by on veteran’s benefits for his health care and were on food stamps for a while as her mom worked to provide for the family’s seven children.
Without student loans and other help, Murray said she and her siblings “would never have had a shot at a college degree.”
Murray, who chairs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, urged the crowd to help retain the Democratic Party’s majority in the Senate as well as re-electing President Obama, “and we can make sure every American family has the opportunities mine did.”
September 5, 2012 at 8:35 AM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Costco co-founder Jim Sinegal will get a moment in the national spotlight tonight, when he speaks right around prime time at the Democratic National Convention.
According to a schedule released by the DNC, Sinegal will be speaking at 9:50 p.m. Eastern (6:50 p.m. Pacific), just before Mass. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren. But a C-SPAN schedule has Sinegal listed for 10 p.m. (ET) sharp, which would be right at the beginning of prime-time TV network coverage.
Either way, it looks like Sinegal is being counted on for a vital messaging role, to help make the economic and business case for reelecting President Obama. He’ll be among the final speakers before the main event of the night – an address by former President Bill Clinton.
I’d expect Sinegal’s talk to push back against the Republicans’ “We Built It” refrain from their convention in Tampa last week, which portrayed Obama as dismissive of business owners’ role in their own success.
Speakers at the Democratic convention, including First Lady Michelle Obama, have unabashedly defended the government’s role in building a prosperous and equal-opportunity society.
Also speaking at the convention today is U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., whose talk is scheduled for about 6 p.m. Eastern (3 p.m. Pacific).
September 4, 2012 at 7:42 AM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Democratic National Convention kicks off here Tuesday, and U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., will be among the speakers who take the stage this week to make a case for re-electing President Obama.
Murray stopped by the Washington delegation’s 7 a.m. breakfast to offer a preview of what her Wednesday speech may sound like: part condemnation of Republican budget-cutting plans, part personal biography, and part full-throated defense of the federal government’s ability to help the middle class.
Murray said she’d watched “as much as I could stomach” of the GOP convention last week. “And I just kept thinking: What are they talking about?”
As Democrats have been eager to do throughout this election season, Murray reminded everyone of the economic devastation that Obama inherited from former President George W. Bush. She offered no specific policy agenda for an Obama second term, except to argue it would prevent the country from backsliding under GOP control.
“We are working our way back every day from the policies that those guys put in place. Who was it that sent us to two wars without paying for it? Who let Wall Street get away with murder? Who was the person who said debt doesn’t matter? And they want the keys back to the car? I say ‘no way’,” Murray said, drawing cheers from the Washington delegates.
Murray bashed Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan for his budget plan, saying it would choke important government services that her family and many others have relied on.
Murray said she’ll be talking about her own family’s struggles during her speech — scheduled for Wednesday around 6 p.m. Eastern (3 p.m. Pacific).
She recounted the story of her father, a World War II veteran who could not work after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. With seven kids in the family, Murray said, the federal government helped pull them through.
“How did we make it back? How am I standing here in front of you? Because we had a federal government who believed in student loans, and we had a federal government that made sure that my dad, who was a World War II veteran, had veterans’ benefits when when we needed it. Because my mom got job training. Those were investments in my family that made sure the middle class across this country had the opportunities they have today. That’s what we as Democrats believe in … not the Ryan budget that decimates that. We do not want that for this country.”
“So, yeah, this election is personal to me. It’s personal to me and my family and all of you and we have got to work our tails off ’til November.”
Democrats later today are expected to vote for a platform that focuses on fixing the economy, but also includes statements of support for abortion rights and same-sex marriage. You can read the platform here.
I’ll be reporting from Charlotte throughout the week. For additional updates, follow me on Twitter.
August 30, 2012 at 9:00 PM
Democratic U.S. Sen. Patty Murray will speak at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., next week, her office said Thursday night.
Details were not immediately released. First elected to her seat in 1992, Murray has risen in influence and is now the fourth-ranking Democrat in the U.S. Senate. This year, she also is heading the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, charged with fighting to retain the party’s majority.
The only other announced Washington state speaker at the convention will be Costco co-founder and former CEO Jim Sinegal, who is expected to make the case for President Obama’s business and economic policies.
August 1, 2012 at 12:47 PM
WASHINGTON — The Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday broke a long legislative logjam by agreeing to extend dozens of expired and expiring tax breaks — including sales-tax deductions for residents of Washington and seven other states without income taxes.
The bipartisan deal is the first move in months to revive a host of lapsed tax breaks. A bickering Congress failed to renew the sales-tax deductions as well as tax breaks for research and development, renewable energy, transit expenses and other provisions that expired at the end of 2011.
The compromise deal was announced by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. The measure would have to be voted on by the full Senate this fall. It’s unclear if the House of Representatives will take up the tax-extenders package any time soon.
The Finance Committee also agreed on a one-year patch for the alternative minimum tax (AMT) to forestall higher income taxes that would have hit 27 million filers next April. The AMT is one of many temporary tax credits and cuts that regularly get renewed, or extended, piecemeal.
The latest proposed batch of extenders is expected to cost the Treasury nearly $152 billion over 10 years. Baucus and Hatch said they trimmed about a quarter of the usual tax extenders.
Since the sales-tax deduction was enacted in 2004, Congress has let it expire twice since 2009. Last year Sen. Maria Cantwell, who sits on the finance panel, introduced a bill to permanently write the deduction into the tax code. But the measure, whose co-sponsors include fellow Democrat Sen. Patty Murray, has made little headway amid the looming expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts at the end of December.
July 16, 2012 at 6:00 AM
Monday briefing: Rock that younger vote; Cathy McMorris Rogers, important person; Murray says: Stop it
Hey, all you much-coveted younger voters: What if you could register to vote without having to locate a stamp, envelope or mailbox? Would that make you more inclined to get involved in the political process?
Rock the Vote, a group aimed at energizing voters nationwide ages 18-29, has launched a project with the Washington Secretary of State’s office that allows folks to register to vote from their phone, iPad or computer. RTV says Washington would be the first state to allow folks casually perusing the Rock the Vote website to easily access the Secretary of State’s online voter registration mechanism.
Rock the Vote is touted as a model for how to modernize voter registration across the country, cutting costs for states that don’t have a lot of money, reducing errors and boosting turnout, especially among young people.
Rock the Vote plans to post the tool on websites young people frequent, such as Facebook and popular artists’ websites. Washington is a logical place to launch this, says RTV President Heather Smith: “Washington has a long history of modernizing its election system to make it more accessible to meet the needs of 21st-century voters.”
Washington was one of the earliest states — second to be exact — to adopt online voter registration in 2008. Rock The Vote promoted that feature. Back then, a younger voter doing business with Rock the Vote needed old-fashioned contrivances, such as an envelope, a stamp and a mailbox. This year, Rock the Vote will transmit voter registrations directly to the Secretary of State’s office for regular processing. No haggling with things postal.
The Secretary of State’s office is enthusiastic about the Rock the Vote partnership because the 18-29 voting group is under-represented in voting and is sometimes hard to reach.
Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, may or may not be in serious contention for a vice presidential nomination, as some have suggested, but she is an all-around important person. So says the National Journal.
Sen. Patty Murray, former preschool teacher that she is, weighed in on the 1st Congressional District campaign and said: Stop the nasty Democrat-on-Democrat attacks.
Here is her finger-wagging admonition to squabbling Democratic candidates:
“The shadowy Super PAC attacks in the 1st Congressional District race represent an unfortunate, ugly, apparently Democrat vs. Democrat assault, and I hope they stop. As Democrats, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be pulled into a messy intraparty fight funded by anonymous interests.
I challenge all of the Democrats in the race to engage in a healthy, vigorous exchange of ideas during this primary campaign. The election should be about who will fight for the middle class and who will be the most effective in Congress to get our economy back on track. There is no place for this type of anonymous assault against other Democratic candidates.”
It’s still a good idea to like us on Facebook. Seattle Times Politics: Election 2012.
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