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