Political Buzz

Talking WA politics.

NOTICE: Political Buzz has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Political Buzz.
Visit the new section.

Tag: Patty Murray


Congress votes to open up ski areas on federal land for more uses, including eight in Washington

WASHINGTON — If you’ve ever dreamed of a summer wedding at a ski area on federal lands, then today is your lucky day.

Following the lead of the House, the Senate voted late Tuesday night to approve the Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act, which will allow ski areas in national forests to be used for much more than skiing.

According to U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D- Washington, one of the bill’s cosponsors, new activities could include mountain biking, “expanded scenic opportunities,” summit hiking, and “expanded hospitality opportunities” such as restaurants and summer weddings.

She said eight ski areas in

Read more »


Murray, Tester want more help for servicemembers with sexual trauma

WASHINGTON – Democratic Sens. Patty Murray of Washington state and Jon Tester of Montana are urging the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to improve it work to make sure that all servicemembers who suffer from military sexual trauma (MST) are made eligible for disability payments.

In a letter to the VA, the senators wrote: “Far too many servicemembers, both men and women, are returning home from service carrying the devastating wounds that result from MST. After sacrificing so much to serve their county, they often face tremendous challenges in obtaining the services and benefits they desperately need. That is why

Read more »


Murray says farewell to Alex Glass, longtime adviser, ‘like a daughter to me’

WASHINGTON – Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Alex Glass, her trusted communications director and a senior adviser for more than 10 years, are parting ways – and the Washington state Democrat says she feels like she’s losing a member of the family.

“Over the last 10 years, Alex – you have been like a member of my family – truly, like a daughter to me,” Murray said in a speech on the Senate floor. “You have gone to the mat for me again and again. You have been with me through thick and thin. You have sacrificed so much for me and my office – and I can’t express enough how deeply I appreciate it.”

In her 12-minute speech, delivered on Wednesday, Murray praised Glass, 33, as a woman who always had her back, who always made sure she had cookies in the car on stressful days, and who always had a fantastic sense of humor.

“I don’t think there is anyone I have spent more time with in the car, traveling around Washington state than Alex,” Murray said.

Glass said the speech made her cry. She worked her last official day for Murray on Friday, and on Oct. 24 she’ll begin her new job as a spokesperson for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), a government agency that provides U.S. economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide.

Read more »


Report: Murray, Kyl only members of supercommittee who didn’t receive large PAC donations in August

WASHINGTON – Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state and Republican Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona were the only members of Congress’ supercommittee who did not receive financial contributions from large political action committees (PACs) in the roughly 20 days of August after House and Senate leaders appointed them to the powerful panel, according to a new report released today.
The Sunlight Foundation, a Washington group, said that PACs for 19 of the biggest political donors in the country reported contributing more than $83,000 to 10 of the 12 members of the super committee or their leadership PACs. The report, based on filings to the Federal Election Commission, offers the first official glimpse into the fundraising activities of the supercommittee as it seeks to come up with a plan to reduce the federal deficit by at least $1.2 trillion by Nov. 23.
Here’s how the donations broke down:
Read more »


Turning up the heat on supercommittee, Murray

A grassroots group that wants to reduce federal spending said it will kick off its national tour in Washington state on Tuesday as part of a plan to pressure Democratic Sen. Patty Murray to hold the line on government expenditures as she heads up Congress’ supercommittee.

Tom Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, said that Murray should “act responsibly as co-chair of the spending supercommittee.”

“We hope that all supercommittee members get the message that after years of out-of-control government spending, it’s time for Washington, D.C., to tighten its belt,” he said.

The “Cut Spending Now” tour is scheduled to make two stops in Washington state on Tuesday: in Shelton, at Kneeland Park at noon; and in Vancouver at the Esther Short Park Pavilion Stage at 6:30 p.m.
Read more »


Supercommittee co-chairs Patty Murray and Jeb Hensarling issue joint statement, say they’re working on the details of committee structure

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington, and U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, a Republican from Texas, have the task of organizing the bipartisan committee to find $1.5 trillion in budget cuts.

Since everything requires agreement between politicians are different edges of the political spectrum, it might take awhile. This statement appears to be all that they could agree to say (which isn’t much).

Here it is::

“In the days since Leader Reid and Speaker Boehner asked us to undertake this joint responsibility, we have been working together to ensure that the committee we help build is given every opportunity

Read more »


Deal sealed on train money for Washington

We knew a while ago that Washington was due to get stimulus money for high speed rail, but the Gregoire administration warned that money was threatened by U.S. House Republicans’ budget proposal.

Now the money appears to be secure with the announcement today from Sen. Patty Murray’s office that a contract has been signed on the $590 million in stimulus funds. 

Murray said in a news release the agreement was reached Friday night between the Federal Rail Administration, the state Department of Transportation and BNSF railways, which operates large parts of the track between the Canadian border and Portland. Projects will start soon along that line, Murray said.

Now that the $590 million has been contractually obligated, officials will try to do the same with $161 million in stimulus money redistributed to Washington after Wisconsin and Ohio’s new GOP governors turned it down.

Read full news release: Read more »


Patty Murray to head Veterans’ Affairs Committee

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash

WASHINGTON – Senate Democrats made history today by selecting Washington’s Patty Murray to head the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, marking the first time a woman will hold the influential post.

Murray, a fourth-term senator first elected in 1992, will replace Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii as the new committee chair. Akaka, an 86-year-old veteran of World War II, has headed the committee for the last four years.

“Following in his footsteps is an amazing task, but I am ready to take this on, and I’m very excited,” Murray said in an interview.

Murray joined the Veterans’ Affairs Committee in 1995, becoming the first woman named to the panel.

“I look at this as a passion for veterans, men and women alike,” she said of her new assignment.

Read more »