Democratic Sen. Patty Murray is getting behind a sprawling bill that would prod the Department of Veterans Affairs to offer more education benefits, fertility resources and sex assault treatment programs. The bill includes a provision that would compel the VA to offer in vitro fertilization services to veterans and their spouses. Expanding those services for veterans who suffer fertility complications because of service-connected injuries has been one of Murray’s priorities for several years. “Our nation’s heroes should not have to spend tens of thousands of dollars in the private sector to get the advanced reproductive treatments they need to start a family,” Murray said Tuesday in a speech on the Senate floor. “They should not have to watch their marriages dissolve because the stress of infertility, in combination with the stresses of readjusting to life after severe injury, driving their relationship to a breaking point. Any servicemember who sustains this type of serious injury deserves so much more,” she said. The bill, written by Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, passed a Senate procedural step Tuesday by a vote of 99-0. Lawmakers are expected to continue revising it before sending it to the House.
- The News Tribune
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Adam Smith toured Seattle’s Yesler Terrace neighborhood Tuesday to see the area’s progress toward redevelopment. The visit highlighted roughly $30 million in Choice Neighborhoods grants awarded to the Seattle Housing Authority to begin redeveloping the public-housing project and improving community services in the neighborhood. Work on some replacement housing and the Epstein Opportunity Center is expected to be completed this year, according to the Seattle Housing Authority website. The Baldwin Apartments will hold 15 housing units while the Epstein Opportunity Center, previously called the Yesler Terrace Steam Plant, will house tutoring services and a Head Start program, among other things. Redevelopment of the 30-acre site is expected to cost $300 million, financed in part through a sale of some of the land to a private developer. When completed, the project will include both affordable-housing and market-rate units, new parks and street improvements.
- Seattle Times
Para la mayoría de los estadounidenses, es difícil imaginar la vida de un estudiante indocumentado. Y aunque estos niños y jóvenes crecen junto a sus vecinos y amigos, estudiando y trabajando duro en las escuelas estadounidenses, su camino hacia un título universitario incluye obstáculos únicos y difíciles. Al igual que sus compañeros de clase, la mayoría de los estudiantes indocumentados esperan ir a la universidad, pero frecuentemente, los estudiantes a punto de graduarse de la preparatoria abren cartas de las universidades solo para enterarse de que por su status migratorio ellos no pueden obtener el descuento de estudiante del estado, haciendo que el obtener un título universitario sea aún más costoso. Por desgracia, esta es la dura realidad de decenas de miles de DREAMers que se gradúan de las preparatorias de Estados Unidos cada año. Por causas ajenas a su voluntad, estos estudiantes dedicados tienen unos obstáculos adicionales para obtener un título universitario, y ya es hora de que les ofrezcamos a todos ellos con un camino a una educación asequible.
- El Sol de Yakima
Funding for Sound Transit’s University Link project, money to avert layoffs at Hanford nuclear site in Richland and millions of more dollars for salmon conservation and Puget Sound restoration. Those are among the spending plans for Washington state included in a massive 2014 federal appropriations bill released late Monday. The spending bill details how to divvy up $1.012 trillion in discretionary spending for fiscal 2014 hashed out last month between Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. As chairs of budget committees in their respective chambers, Murray and Ryan helped set the top-line spending for defense and nondefense discretionary programs for next two years. The detailed spending proposal based on that blueprint, however, bear Murray’s imprint from her seat on a different panel — the Senate Appropriations Committee. Murray claimed credit for securing funding for more than three dozen projects and programs reaching into every corner of her home state. They ranged from $2.7 million for potato, alfalfa and forage research that House Republicans had excluded from their appropriations bill to $3 billion to build 16 Boeing P-8A Poseidon anti-submarine aircraft, which will be based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.
- Seattle Times
Seahawks mania has hit the Capitol with Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell placing a “friendly wager” of oysters and beer with Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La. If the New Orleans Saints win Saturday’s National Football Conference divisional playoff game, Murray and Cantwell will be delivering oysters from Taylor Shellfish Farms and Pike Place Ale to Landrieu’s office, according to a news release. If the Hawks win, charbroiled oysters and Abita Amber will go to Murray and Cantwell. “I’m very confident going into Saturday knowing that the 12th man will be out in full force,” Murray said in a news release. “In fact, in the spirit of good old-fashioned Senatorial courtesy, I told Senator Landrieu to keep the mute button handy if she doesn’t want it to sound like 67,000 of our die-hard fans are in her living room. But I don’t expect Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson, Earl Thomas or any Hawk to extend any courtesies to the Saints, and I’m looking forward to seeing how Louisiana’s well-seasoned seafood stacks up with the natural bounty of the Pacific Northwest.” Sen. Cantwell said there’s ” no way the Saints can prepare for the roar of Seattle’s key advantage – the 12th Man. Not only does Washington state have one of the NFL’s premier football teams, but our seafood and craft brewing industries are second-to-none.”
- Seattle Times
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And let's talk next with Senator Patty Murray of Washington, who led the Democrats in this bipartisan budget deal. She's on the line. Senator, welcome to the program.
SENATOR PATTY MURRAY: Well, good morning, nice to talk to you this morning.
INSKEEP: So are you comfortable with everything that you did not get into this deal, that you did not take a big swing at, like the deficit, entitlements, tax rates?
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray says the budget deal she and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan announced Tuesday will “restore trust that had been lost by people across the country that we could function as a Congress and as a democracy.” In an interview with The Seattle Times shortly after a news conference announcing the deal, Murray, the Senate’s Democratic budget chair, said while the deal is far from perfect, it will ease some of the effects of the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration and avert the threat of a government shutdown for the next two years.
- Seattle Times
"We have broken through the partisanship and the gridlock," Sen. Patty Murray, one of two chief budget negotiators, said of Tuesday's deal to avoid another government shutdown.
A new bipartisan budget agreement, hammered out with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., as a lead negotiator, promises to end nearly three years of fiscal crises that have paralyzed Washington, D.C., provide relief from the budget sequester and avoid another federal government shutdown.
“We have brought certainty and stability,” Murray said in an interview. “Agencies will again be able to plan their budgets. We won’t have more furloughs of employees. Stability will bring back confidence, and the country can get on with celebrating the Christmas holiday.”
- Seattle PI
Two of Miranda Fort’s three children have different developmental disabilities that affect the way they relate to the world. To help them, doctors recommended both try behavioral therapy that would teach them social and coping skills. Yet that treatment, known as applied behavioral analysis, is covered for only one of the two children under the Navy family’s Tricare health insurance. The other daughter, Josie, can’t get the therapy because she has not been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, the condition for which Tricare offers the treatment. “We wait until all children that need the therapy have access to it,” said Fort, of Silverdale. Her family is working to make that goal happen as fast as possible by getting behind a proposal from U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., that would compel the insurance agency to expand its offerings for behavioral therapy. The Forts joined Murray on Tuesday at a Seattle press conference to promote the effort.
- The News Tribune