Congress | KUOW News and Information

Congress

US Congress
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Marcie Sillman talks with Jim McTague, Washington D.C. editor at Barron's, about the December Congressional session and what he calls a "to-do-nothing list."

Ross Reynolds discusses the latest news out of Congress with Andrea Seabrook, host of DecodeDC and former NPR congressional reporter.

US Congress
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Marcie Sillman interviews Andrea Seabrook of DecodeDC about the immigration reform legislation that a conservative lobbying coalition is hoping to bring to the House floor.

Courtesy of Washington State University

Tom Foley, a Spokane Democrat who rose to become speaker of the House in 1989, died Friday morning at his current home in Washington, DC. He was 84. 

His wife Heather Foley  told the Associated Press her husband died of complications from strokes. Foley had been in hospice care in the nation's capital for the past six months.

Foley left Congress in 1994, when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. Foley was the first House speaker to be defeated in his home district since the Civil War.

Flickr Photo/WSDOT (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Today, with mere hours left before the US' borrowing authority expires, the Senate released a plan that will fund the government through Jan. 15 and lift the debt limit through Feb. 7. House Speaker John Boehner has said the House will not block the Senate's deal.

It is expected to pass in both chambers, with the House voting second.. A few hours after the Senate formally introduced their plan, Ross Reynolds talked with Washington Senator Patty Murray.

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

The partial government shutdown is now in its 16th day, but it appears to coming to an end. Senate leaders have reached a bipartisan agreement to re-open the government and temporarily raise the debt ceiling.

The deal calls for the government to be funded through January 15, and to raise the debt ceiling until February 7. Jennifer Steinhauer is a reporter for The New York Times. She speaks with Ross Reynolds about the new developments.

Flickr Photo/SEIU Health Care 775NW

There are more than whispers of a deal to end the shutdown today. Both the Senate and the House are working on proposals. Whether or not they will pass, however, is another question. Marcie Sillman talks with Representative Jim McDermott, D-Wash., about the politics inside Congress.

It’s Friday — time to talk over the week's news with Joni Balter of the Seattle Times, Crosscut's Knute Berger and Eli Sanders of The Stranger. 

Seattle incumbent mayor Mike McGinn and challenger state Senator Ed Murray met in their first televised debate this week. Our panel weighs in on the candidate's performance and the latest polling. Word of a compromise is heard from Washington, D.C., as the partial government shutdown continues into a second week. Where does the Washington state delegation stand? Plus, Live Wire host Luke Burbank dials in from Chicago.

There are more than whispers of a deal to end the shutdown today. Both the Senate and the House are working on proposals. Whether or not they will pass, however, is another question. Marcie Sillman talks with Representative Jim McDermott about the politics inside congress. 

Produced by Hannah Burn

Flickr Photo/Trevor McGoldrick

From de-funding Obamacare to deep cuts to food stamps, the House of Representatives is full of big ideas that are likely going nowhere politically with Democrats who control the Senate and the White House. How then do they get so much attention? David Hyde talks with Andrea Seabrook of DecodeDC.

The Republican-controlled House has voted to keep the government funded but its "continuing resolution" comes with a poison pill to defund the Affordable Care Act that Democrats have vowed is dead on arrival in the Senate.

Flickr Photo/SEIU Health Care 775NW

President Obama had planned to address the nation tonight to make his case for a US military strike on Syria, but the day's events may have overtaken him. Today Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government accepted a Russian plan to turn over its chemical weapons stockpile, with France pitching  a UN Security Council resolution to verify the disarmament. President Obama threw his support behind the resolution. 

Ross Reynolds talks with Washington's 7th District Congressman Jim McDermott about the latest developments in the unfolding US-Syria story.

Flickr Photo/Jonathon Colman

Congress is back in session this week, and Syria is at the top of the agenda. That means other business like immigration reform and the debt ceiling moves to the back burner. Why can’t Congress do two things at once? Marcie Sillman and Ross Reynolds talk with Andrea Seabrook of DecodeDC.

Congress returned to Washington, D.C., today with Syria at the forefront of its agenda. Lawmakers will debate a resolution on military intervention against Syria for allegedly using chemical weapons.

To take a step back, Ross Reynolds talks with Dr. Raymond Zilinskas, director of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies about chemical weapons — what they are and why they are considered a different class than conventional weapons. 

Why Can't Congress Make Progress?

Aug 14, 2013
Flickr Photo/Jonathon Colman

This year’s Congress is the most unproductive in at least 60 years. In its first six months, the 113th Congress has passed only 22 bills through both the House and the Senate, and most of those were insignificant. Is the hold up just part of the democratic process? Or is it something else?

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper says the push for transparency in recent years is making government and lawmakers less effective. His solution? Bring back closed-door meetings and earmarks. Ross Reynolds talks with Julien Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University about why transparency and the 24-hour news cycle can fuel partisan gridlock. 

News From D.C., And Nancy Pearl

Aug 5, 2013
Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

News From D.C.
Washington, D.C., is on recess. What didn’t get done before they left? CBS News Capitol Hill producer Jill Jackson.

Nancy Pearl On Armchair Travel
If you don’t have the time or money to travel this summer, you can still get away.  Nancy Pearl takes us on an armchair travel adventure with her recommendations of worldly books to read this summer.  Two titles she loves: “The Saddest Pleasure” by Moritz Thomsen and “Travels in a Thin Country” by Sara Wheeler.

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers
Washington’s 5th Congressional District Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers joins us to talk about transportation priorities following the Skagit River Bridge collapse, federal budget talks, immigration reform and more.

Scatter, Adapt And Remember: How Humans Will Survive A Mass Extinction
Science writer Annalee Newitz’s new book is about hope. Hope that human kind will be able to survive the impending doom that threatens to send us into another mass extinction. Newitz outlines the current scientific discoveries that might help humans survive the next big disaster.

Greendays Gardening Panel
Our panel of gardening experts knows flowers, native plants and vegetables. They join us with garden guidance every Tuesday. Have a question? Send an email to weekday@kuow.org.

What it means to own something in the digital age is being re-negotiated.

Few of us own the music we listen to or the movies we watch in exactly the same way we did a decade ago. And today if you buy a smartphone from a cellphone company, what you can legally do with it — how and where you can use it — may be proscribed even if that phone is fully bought and paid for.

I keep a lot of music on my phone. I have the Stones, Janis Joplin and OK Go.

Call The Grammar Police!

Feb 12, 2013
Grammar Police
Flickr photo/Seven Morris

When it comes to proper usage, the Grammar Police work overtime. Have you ever corrected another person’s grammar? How did that go over? Linguist Geoffrey Pullum has written widely on language and usage, from technical syntactic theory to a study called “The Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax." He joins us for a conversation about the constant struggle for grammatical excellence (or even just improvement) and the right and wrong way to encourage better sentence structure.

We speak with Karen Porterfield, candidate for Congress in Washington's 8th District, and Priya Guha, Britain's top diplomat in the Northwest. Plus, we hear live music from members of the award-winning Roosevelt High School Jazz Band and get a weekend weather forecast from Nick Bond.

Election 2012: What's At Stake For Congress?

Oct 24, 2012
Vote
Flickr/Ann Douglas

We’ve been focused on local elections and the presidential race; today we'll look at the national picture and how the balance of power in Congress may shift. How many seats do Republicans need to take the Senate? Can Democrats win back the House? Jill Jackson of CBS News joins us with a look at the races to watch.

US Rep. Jim McDermott (left) and challenger Ron Bemis.
Courtesy of McDermott and Bemis campaigns

Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott has represented Seattle and its suburbs in Congress since 1989. He faces a Republican challenger, attorney Ron Bemis, at the polls in November. Both candidates join us in our studio for a discussion of the issues at hand in Washington's 7th District.

KUOW/Amy Radil

Voters in Pierce and Thurston counties are about to cast their first general election ballots in Washington’s new 10th Congressional District. Government jobs are an important anchor there: the two biggest employers are the US military and the state of Washington. Combining these voter groups could make for an interesting challenge. The district’s biggest city is actually Lakewood, near Joint Base Lewis-McChord, with a population larger than Olympia’s.

John Koster
(KUOW photo/Deborah Wang)

If Republican congressional candidate John Koster has a signature campaign issue, it’s the country’s ballooning national debt.

The website for his 1st Congressional District campaign features a national debt clock ticking away. The total now stands at more than $16 trillion.

“I think one of the greatest things that we could do for our constituents and our future generations is not hamstring them with huge debt and huge deficits that they will have to pay off,” he said.

In his two decades in politics, Koster has been a staunch advocate of limited government.

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