Patty in the News

As the U.S. Senate cut off a Republican filibuster and cleared for passage a $26 billion aid package to states, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., declared: "This is not politics. This is teachers going back to work." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would call the U.S. House of Representatives back from its summer recess to vote final approval for the legislation. Murray cheered the move, saying: "We can't wait until September.

A measure providing more than half a billion dollars in funding for Washington state’s Medicaid program and to help pay teacher salaries cleared a critical hurdle Wednesday in the Senate. The funding should allow the state to avoid a short-term budget crisis with the prospect of imposing across-the-board cuts. “This amendment will allow Washington state to avoid (state employee) layoffs, service cuts or tax increases and it will make sure our children don’t walk through the schoolhouse door this September to larger class sizes and fewer subjects,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who had introduced the measure.

- The News Tribune
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., last week inserted language in a fiscal 2011 transportation appropriations bill calling on the Obama administration to come up with a plan by Oct. 1 to end Mexico's retaliatory tariffs on Washington agricultural products. That plan, by necessity, would entail giving long-haul Mexican trucks full access to U.S. highways, as required under the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement…. But the cost of that political calculation grows more intolerable by the day. The administration should heed Murray's call to end this trade dispute.

- Longview Daily News
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has decided to install additional drains as well as extend an existing drainage tunnel to repair the Howard Hanson Dam rather than extending a temporary grout curtain. The corps revealed the new plans at a press conference Friday in Seattle organized by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., to announce how the corps would spend the $44 million approved for repairs as part of a $59 billion emergency supplemental spending bill approved earlier this month by Congress and signed July 29 by President Obama.

- The Kent Reporter
A Cashmere veteran can be credited for inspiring a new U.S. Senate resolution that recognizes the significance of service animals for veterans suffering from invisible wounds of war. Chris Goehner, a Wenatchee Valley native now serving as an intern in Sen. Patty Murray’s office, walked the bill to the Senate from Murray’s office Monday with the help of his service dog, Pele. Goehner suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. He served two tours as a U.S. Navy corpsman attached to the U.S. Marine Corps unit in Kuwait and Iraq in 2004 and 2005. He was diagnosed with PTSD in 2006 and honorably discharged.

- West Seattle Herald
The Obama administration would have until Oct. 1 to create a plan to end tariffs by Mexico on Washington agricultural products, including frozen potatoes, under language included by Sen. Patty Murray in a transportation bill…."I am extremely frustrated that the administration has not yet acted while farmers across my home state of Washington continue to suffer under Mexico's retaliatory tariffs," Murray said in a statement. "I am urging both the Obama administration and the Mexican government to solve this issue and allow Washington state farmers to compete on a level playing field."

-Tri-City Herald
The timing could not be better. As consumer confidence dipped again in July over worries about a sluggish job market, Washington Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell have pushed for a new small-business lending fund.

- The Seattle Times
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Bothell, included $1 million in a federal projects proposal to be used in building the Haselwood Family YMCA Wednesday. Murray sits on the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee, which approved the measure…The project is expected to provide 170 construction jobs and, once complete, 50 family-wage staffing jobs that will employ persons of low to moderate income, according to a prepared statement from Murray.

- Central Kitsap Reporter
Funds to continue work on the next phase of widening U.S. Highway 12 have been included in a Senate appropriations bill. In a release, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said $1 million for the project have been included in the 2011 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development appropriations bill. The bill passed through the THUD Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday and will now move to the full Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.

- Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
The U.S. Senate on Friday approved a $44 million emergency appropriation for interim repairs to the damaged Howard Hanson Dam that protects Kent, Renton and Auburn from flooding…."This is an investment in the safety of homes and businesses in one of the most economically vital regions of our state — the Green River Valley," Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said in a statement. "I've worked hard to secure the funding for the Corps to conduct critical repairs because a flood in the valley would have devastating impacts that would ripple throughout Washington state.”

- The Seattle Times