John Ryan

Democrat Adam Smith is running to keep his seat in Congress. He represents a district stretching from Redmond to Tacoma. But most of his campaign cash hasn't come from Washington state. It's come from the Washington, D.C., area.

Flickr user 401(K) 2012 / FLICKR Creative Commons

If you look at your voters' pamphlet and see page after page of candidates trying to win your vote, you might think democracy is strong in Washington state. But look at the money behind the candidates, and you'll see there's much less competition than meets the eye. 

Miguel Vieira / Flickr

If you enjoy hiking in the pristine Alpine Lakes Wilderness in Washington's Cascade mountains, then a package of bills moving through Congress applies to you.

They'll make sure you can continue visiting for years and years to come. The Alpine Lakes area is actually one of dozens across the country affected by this package of bills. Senator Patty Murray says these lands are crucial.

"Designating these will make sure that they are managed and protected into the future and can't be sold of or used in ways that don't allow the public to use them," Murray said.

U.S. Congress

All nine incumbent members of Congress in Washington state were easily re-elected last night.

That includes freshman Democrat Suzan DelBene in the state's only swing district.

Office of the Governor of Washington State / Clint Didier campaign

You don’t have to study the 4th district congressional race for very long before hearing a familiar theme. “Meet Conservative Dan Newhouse, a Central Washington farmer,” begins one campaign ad. “Clint Didier’s not a career politician! He’s a farmer, and a businessman,” says another.

Washington’s top-two primary system has given voters the choice between two Republican farmers. Clint Didier raises alfalfa on the plains near Pasco; Dan Newhouse grows hops and tree fruit in the Yakima Valley.

Office of the Governor of Washington State - Clint Didier campaign

Washington States Fourth Congressional District race is, for the first time, between two Republicans, Dan Newhouse and Clint Didier.  They are vying to take the seat of retiring congressman Doc Hastings.  Northwest Public Radio’s Rowan Moore Gerety spoke with Here and Now’s Jeremy Hobson about the race.



This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. If you follow politics at all, then you probably know that Congressman James Clyburn is one of the most powerful people on Capitol Hill. The South Carolina native first elected in 1992 is now the third-ranking Democrat serving in the House, known both for his Southern charm and for his willingness to fight hard when he thinks the occasion warrants.

Martin Luther King may not have had a vote in Congress, but he and the movement he helped lead were integral to getting the civil rights bill introduced. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of that bill, now known as the Civil Rights Act.

Among other things, the act outlawed discrimination in public accommodations — including restaurants, hotels and motels — ending the era of legal segregation in those places.

This week, Congress has been pondering yet another deal with a deadline. Congressional leaders have agreed to a bipartisan budget that would set spending levels for the next two years, and if it passes, as expected, it would mark the first bipartisan budget deal since 2011. News of the deal comes again at the last minute, just as Congress begins packing its bags to adjourn for the holidays.

Syria’s not the only issue on the agenda in Congress this week. So is marijuana. The Senate Judiciary committee will hold a hearing Tuesday on the conflict between federal law and pot legalization in Washington and Colorado.

US House of Representatives / Wikimedia Commons

Members of Congress are hearing arguments today on whether military action should be taken against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad .

Oregon's Schrader Opposes Strike On Syria

Sep 3, 2013
US House of Representatives / Wikimedia Commons

President Obama is looking for support among members of Congress for limited military action in Syria. 

Members of Congress from Washington state are mostly undecided ahead of an expected vote next week to authorize military force against Syria.

Members of Idaho's all-Republican congressional delegation aren't yet committing to a position on military action in Syria. But the direction most are leaning is against a resolution authorizing President Obama to use air strikes.

A spokesman for Sen. Mike Crapo says the Idaho Republican is skeptical of authorizing military force at this point, especially without a broad international coalition.

Crapo’s colleague, Sen. Jim Risch sits on the Foreign Relations Committee, which heard the Obama administration's arguments for action in Syria.

Hydropower Bills Open Gates Of Bipartisanship In Congress

May 9, 2013
Snohomish County PUD

An effort to streamline the regulatory process for small hydropower dams is generating a rare moment of bipartisanship in Congress. Two bills sailed through a Senate committee Wednesday. They've already passed the House. Correspondent Jessica Robinson has more.

Congress is back in session this week. The House will discuss two proposals that would increase logging in federal forests to raise money for struggling timber counties. Amelia Templeton of EarthFix reports.

Cathy McMorris-Rodgers As GOP “Hostess” In Tampa

Aug 29, 2012

The highest-ranking Republican woman in the U.S. House of Representatives has a special role at opening speeches of the G.O.P. Convention in Tampa. Republican Cathy McMorris-Rodgers of Spokane acted as hostess Tuesday night.

She introduces Republican superstars like Ann Romney and Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey.

McMorris-Rodgers: “Each speaker will be joining together to send a message to President Obama. And that message is three simple words. ‘We built it.’”

Those three words are plastered on walls at the convention.

Photo by Brettdr / Wikimedia Commons

In the newly created Tenth Congressional District, Democrat Denny Heck will face Republican Dick Muri in the general election. Pollsters say the district skews slightly Democratic. But Muri says his military experience will help balance that. KUOW’s Amy Radil reports.

Senate Holds Hearing On Protecting San Juans' Public Lands

Mar 23, 2012
Photo by KenBungay / Flickr

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A bill to establish a National Conservation Area that would give permanent protection 1,000 acres of unique landscapes in the San Juan Islands is wending its way through Congress. A key committee took up the legislation Thursday.

Photo credit Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. -  The US Congress has cleared the way for a tiny Washington tribe to move parts of its coastal village uphill and out of a tsunami zone. The move involves the transfer of 785 acres of Olympic National Park to the Quileute Indian Tribe. The park surrounds the tribe's tiny reservation and blocks its desire to expand to higher ground.

Emily Taylor / Northwest News Network

PORTLAND -- A fast-paced five months of campaigning has come to an end in Northwest Oregon. Democrat Suzanne Bonamici was elected last night the next representative for the First Congressional District. Unofficial results last night showed Bonamici prevailing with a sixteen point lead over Republican Rob Cornilles. She'll replace another Democrat, David Wu. From Oregon Public Broadcasting, April Baer reports.

As a standing-room-only crowd of volunteers and donors clapped and filled a downtown conference room with their shouts, Suzanne Bonamici raised her arms to thank them.

Emily Taylor / Northwest News Network

PORTLAND – Oregon has a new representative in Congress. Democrat Suzanne Bonamici beat Republican Rob Cornilles Tuesday night for the right to fill the seat vacated by Democrat David Wu, who resigned last summer. Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.