Patty in the News

CONGRATULATIONS to Boeing. The Air Force tanker contract is a $35 billion win for the company, its stockholders, employees, suppliers and the entire Puget Sound area. There have been 10 years of fuss about this contract, which at one point was awarded to EADS, the French company that owns Airbus. We assume the Air Force did it better this time, and that the decision sticks. It has always been our thought that we wanted the Air Force to administer this competition fairly, and for Boeing to win it. On our front page Friday we ran a photo of Sen. Patty Murray, Sen. Maria Cantwell and Rep. Jay Inslee celebrating the victory over the French.

- Seattle Times
Unlike active duty soldiers, National Guard and Reserve troops return from war to civilian lives without being able to decompress by sharing their military experiences with comrades on military bases. Yet the United States relies on these “citizen soldiers” more than at any time since World War II, and their repeated deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan have taken a heavy psychological toll, veterans and counselors told U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., on Wednesday. In her first public meeting with constituents since being appointed chairwoman of the Senate Veteran Affairs Committee, Murray met with about 250 military veterans at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 51 in Spokane on Wednesday.

- Spokesman-Review
Amid fears that Boeing will lose a $35 billion aerial tanker contract to a European competitor, senators from Washington state and Kansas pressured President Barack Obama on Thursday to side with the U.S. aerospace giant, which promises to bring thousands of jobs to the two states if it wins the competition. "Our economy and our workers cannot afford for this contract and the jobs it will create to go overseas," said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., adding that Boeing employees "are hungry for this contract."

- Everett Herald

In Our View: In Service to Vets

Sen. Murray, tireless advocate for veterans, now chairs powerful committee

Feb 15 2011

The contradictions are obvious, and yet they are welcome and they will serve the United States well.
As Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., settles into her new role as chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee, it is important to recognize and understand how she has been training for the role her entire life.

- The Columbian
Many caregivers of severely disabled veterans will be unnecessarily excluded from a new benefits and support program because of limitations proposed by the Obama administration, the new chairwoman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee says. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., appointed chairwoman just two weeks ago, is launching a high-profile fight with the Veterans Affairs Department over eligibility rules for benefits for the caregivers of severely injured Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. When Congress passed the benefits law last year, lawmakers believed about 3,500 families would be helped. But Murray said Wednesday VA’s criteria for determining who is eligible would “severely limit” who is covered.

- Navy Times
The things most of us learn at home tend to be the most valuable lessons of our lives, the ones that build character and bring out empathy for others. For Sen. Patty Murray, those lessons were learned in a household that included her father, a disabled American veteran from World War II. It grew when, as a 22-year-old student at Washington State University, she interned at the Seattle veterans hospital, where she was assigned to do physical rehabilitation in the psychiatric ward. These are close-up and personal experiences.

- Tri-City Herald (editorial)
Sen. Patty Murray has always drawn a distinction between war and the men and women who fight it. When the Washington state Democrat was one of just 23 senators to vote against launching the Iraq War in 2002, she said she'd support U.S. troops "whenever their commander in chief sends them ... not only during the conflict but afterward." And as a 22-year-old intern in the summer of 1972, Murray spent her days doing physical rehabilitation on just-returned Vietnam veterans in the psychiatric ward of the Seattle veterans' hospital.

- McClatchy
Energy conservation efforts by local governments and businesses could be an example for cities across the United States, Sen. Patty Murray said after a Wednesday briefing. Officials convened by Spokane Mayor Mary Verner discussed the early results of an energy audit program launched last spring, and pending changes in the city’s recycling program... Support for the program comes from the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, funded by federal stimulus money.

- Spokesman-Review
Congress this month refined and expanded the Post-9/11 GI Bill in ways that should benefit more Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans and, at the same time, deliver a boost to the national economy. In a press release hailing the changes in the 2009 GI Bill, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., explained: "This new package makes it easier for some veterans to use their benefits to pay for tuition at public and private universities, and others who want to enroll in training programs that will place them directly in the workforce, helping us get our economy back on track.

- Longview Daily News
When Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., spoke on the Senate floor in favor of repealing the ban on openly gay service members, she had Margaret Witt in mind. Witt, an Air Force flight nurse from Spokane who was discharged in 2004 for being a lesbian, recently won a landmark court order for reinstatement. "Major Witt is a true hero, and her commitment to our country should be recognized and honored," Murray said. "But she should never have been put in this position.

- Seattle Times