Patty in the News

”: Washington’s senior senator says she won’t let Republicans sacrifice the new health care law in order to pass a budget. The Republican-controlled House is pushing a plan that would do just that. Sen. Patty Murray took to the Senate floor Wednesday to tell them, “It’s not gonna happen.” Murray, who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, criticized Republicans not only for threatening the Affordable Care Act, but for risking a government shutdown or default. “We are not going to let this law get sabotaged as it continues to benefit millions of families and small business owners. And the sooner Republicans realize this, the sooner we can get to work defusing this latest artificial crisis,” Murray said. Murray cited a poll showing that fewer than one in four people support defunding the law. Republicans come back with polls of their own. House Speaker John Boehner points to a Pew survey showing a majority of Americans disapprove of Obamacare as evidence that people support pulling the plug on the law.

In the government funding and debt-ceiling drama playing out on Capitol Hill, Senate Democrats have found a leading lady. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., has attempted to go to conference on the Senate Democratic budget more than a dozen times this year. Each time Republicans have objected, worried that their House colleagues would agree to a deal on funding the government, raising the debt ceiling, or both. The result is that, just as Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Mike Lee, R-Utah, have become the face of conservative opposition to Obamacare, Murray has taken up the Democratic standard on sequestration and the budget. As the Budget Committee chairwoman, Murray has gone to the Senate floor more than any other Democrat to seek an agreement on heading to conference. Her message often carries two major party talking points: Republicans are divided over how to proceed on the fiscal fight, and the public would blame the GOP for a government shutdown or a default.

- National Journal

"The use of chemical weapons, as well as conventional weapons, on innocent civilians in Syria is abhorrent and must end. However, as the recent past has taught us, we must be exceedingly cautious in making any decision that holds the possibility of entangling our nation in a long, drawn-out conflict. So while I have very serious concerns about any military action that would further strain our nation’s servicemembers and limited resources, I also know that, to this point, the President has only discussed considering limited, targeted actions.

"I have been in touch with senior White House officials and have made clear my concerns about repeating many of the mistakes of the past. I await the President’s decision and believe that we must continue to proceed with caution but with the clear goal of protecting innocent families from further attacks."

Five years later, Wild Sky is still wild. This was precisely the goal of the people who pushed for the creation of the Wild Sky Wilderness area in the Cascade Mountains -- to set aside a wild area to make sure it stays that way. About 60 people gathered in Index on Tuesday to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the designation of more than 106,000 acres near Index as off-limits to any kind of development." This is a big deal," said Meg Town, who formerly lived near Index and now lives in Duvall. "This is a special area."U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Rick Larsen, who saw the measure through Congress, attended.

- Everett Herald
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray is removing hurdles for military members who’ll be joining Washington’s civilian ranks. She met with veterans and their advocates Wednesday at Olympic College to hear how her efforts are proceeding. Passed in November 2011, Murray’s VOW to Hire Heroes Act: — Made the military’s transition assistance program mandatory. — Allowed military members to begin the federal employment process before they separate. — Provided unemployed veterans of past wars with an extra year of GI Bill benefits to quality for high-demand jobs like trucking and technology.

- Kitsap Sun
With paintings on every wall, driftwood sculptures on tables, plush area rugs underfoot and natural night casting patterns on his bedspread, Marcus Smith’s downtown Longview apartment feels like an inviting, urban loft. It’s not the apartment you’d expect for a formerly homeless veteran. “This is like a miracle here for me,” Smith, 66, told U.S. Sen. Patty Murray as she toured the Stratford Arms building Tuesday morning. “I’ve never had it this good in my life. It’s like a sanctuary. I don’t have to worry.” Murray (D-Wash.), a longtime advocate for veterans, was instrumental in landing $490,000 in federal money toward the first phase of renovating the 1925-era brick building at 1312 Hemlock St. into 20 apartments for homeless veterans.

- The Daily News
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray signaled support Tuesday for the latest push to revive the Columbia River Crossing, saying the effort to replace the Interstate 5 Bridge should remain a priority. The Washington Democrat has long been a supporter of the $3.4 billion CRC, which began shutting down July 1 after receiving no money from the Washington Legislature. But last week, a group of business leaders and other supporters called for a new approach that would essentially bypass Washington lawmakers and give Oregon the lead on a phased project. Those supporters include Columbian Publisher Scott Campbell. The Washington and Oregon governors have said they'll at least look at the idea. After years of work and more than $170 million spent in planning, Murray said she welcomes the push that aims to salvage at least some of the CRC. "The investment that we've made is extremely critical," Murray said. "It should not go to waste, and we ought to look at every possibility to try and make sure this bridge gets replaced." The plan floated last week would keep the bridge component of the CRC the same, with light rail. It would rebuild freeway interchanges on the Oregon side of the Columbia River, plus the state Highway 14 interchange that connects directly to the bridge in Washington. But any additional freeway work in Washington would wait until lawmakers in Olympia decided to put up money of their own.

- The Columbian
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray wants to put a face on the sequester. In Congress and around the country, the Washington Democrat said, skeptics wonder whether the billions of dollars in cuts the federal government put in place in March, following debt-ceiling negotiations last year, are having a noticeable effect on the nation. “I’m hearing people say it isn’t real, that it hasn’t had an impact,” she said. In an effort to prove them wrong, Murray introduced Sara Simrell and Jennifer Green at a news conference Friday morning at Kvichak Marine Industries in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. Green, 26, works for Madigan Army Medical Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, where a furlough is cutting her $35,000 annual salary by 32 percent. She is one of 6,700 civilian defense workers at the base and thousands more across the state who have faced furloughs. Simrell, 36, was laid off from her $75,000-a-year job at Paladin Data, a software firm in Poulsbo, because of reduced and postponed government contracts.

- Seattle Times
Hanford High School may be nothing more than a gray concrete ruin standing among the sage on the Hanford nuclear reservation. But an air of grandeur remains about the two-story building, graced with tall, multi-paned windows and a front porch where students would gather for an annual photo. It's an indication of how important the school was to the community, Colleen French of the Department of Energy told Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., on Thursday. Murray visited some of the few buildings that still stand from the days before the 586-square-mile nuclear reservation was created to produce plutonium for the nation's nuclear weapons program. She saw the high school, the White Bluffs bank and the Bruggemann warehouse, all of which could be included in a Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

- Tri-City Herald
": Sgt. 1st Class Steve Wance won’t miss a beat when he leaves the Army this month after 20 years of service. The Lacey father of three is finishing a program at Joint Base Lewis-McChord that promises him a job at more than $27 an hour as an apprentice in a local union. “I’m going to be at the local,” getting paid to advance in a new career in heating, ventilation and air conditioning, he said. He’s taking advantage of one of several programs at Lewis-McChord meant to ease transitions to civilian life for troops leaving the Armed Forces in a time of military downsizing. About 8,200 service members expect to separate from the military at Lewis-McChord this year, and many likely will stay in the area. The base is ahead of the curve in nurturing transition programs, senior officers say. More than 90 percent of service members participate in some sort of career or education training before they separate from the military.

- The News Tribune