Education is Senator Murray's past, present and future. She was a preschool teacher who first got into politics when state preschool funding was threatened, and now, she can’t stress enough the importance of education, specifically early childhood education.
Senator Murray introduces legislation to return the skeleton found along the Columbia River in 1996 to a coalition of Columbia Basin tribes after a scientific study completed in June at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark concluded that the DNA from the 8,500-year-old bones of Kennewick Man is related to that of contemporary Native Americans, including those who have lived in the region where his bones were found.
Two Democratic members of Washington’s congressional delegation on Thursday delivered an appeal to the Republican-run Congress: Don’t kill the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
The LWCF, established 50 years ago, uses a portion of revenues from the federal government’s offshore oil and gas leases to pay for conservation and recreation programs, often in matching grands with the state. It has invested $637 million in Washington, saving old-growth forests in Southwest Washington, establishing wildlife refuges and buying up mine holdings in our national parks.
James Cook was waiting in line for military surplus clothing when a United States senator walked up and introduced herself.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., asked Cook how the veterans’ system was treating him. Cook told Murray about his problems getting timely shipments of prescription medications.
“It’s supposed to take three to five days,” Cook told Murray. “It can be seven to 10 days.”
From his perspective, Cook said, part of the problem is that the distribution center is east of the Mississippi River.
Joined by 37th District State Senator Pramila Jayapal, the visit to the seafood restaurant capped the South Seattle leg of Murray’s day-long tour of the district. The United States Senate’s highest-ranking woman made stops at an Othello neighborhood daycare center and Hillman City cornerstone Tin Umbrella Coffee earlier in the day after breakfast with the Sound Cities Association in Renton.
Ryan and Murray's proposal is a major step forward in figuring out what works, and what doesn’t, in government. The legislation would establish a commission charged with reviewing the inventory of federal data related to programs and tax expenditures and developing recommendations for making the data more available for the evaluation of programs’ effectiveness.
It took some doing to make it happen, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., reminded listeners. For more than a decade, Murray worked with veterans, community leaders and federal VA officials to push for funding for a veterans home in Eastern Washington. In 2014, she helped secure $23 million in federal funding to help the project keep moving.
In 2004, the Veterans Affairs put the entire VA hospital on the chopping block, which would have forced veterans to go to Spokane or Seattle for care. But because community members spoke up by writing to their elected officials, attended committee hearings Senator Murray chaired, and joined her in countless meetings making their voices heard, they not only saved the facility from closure, they helped prove that it was worth expanding.
“If you served our country, then we will serve you. No questions asked about length of service or how you left,” said Murray, a Democrat and former chairwoman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.
The Washington state Democrat, once famously dubbed “just a mom in tennis shoes,” is the reason behind an uncomfortable power standoff between two men who intend to lead the Democrats after Minority Leader Harry Reid retires. Murray, her quiet style and her clout amassed more than 22 years in the Senate, poses a challenge to the way things work in Washington. She’s poised to be the first woman in the Senate’s top-tier leadership. And she’s outgrown her image as the ultimate underdog, if not the mom in storied footwear.