Latest from The Spokesman-Review
Time Magazine is reporting Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, has been selected by House Speaker John Boehner to negotiate Thursday with President Barack Obama on the partial federal government shutdown.
Obama originally invited all members of the House of Representatives to 1600 W. Pennsylvania Ave. to discuss funding the federal government. Boehner elected to send 18 representatives, including members of House leadership and committee chairs, instead.
A spokeswoman for McMorris Rodgers confirmed on Wednesday afternoon her planned attendance at the meeting.
The full Time listing of attendees:
Rep. Eric Cantor (Virginia)
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (California)
McMorris Rodgers (Washington)
Rep. Greg Walden (Oregon)
Rep. James Lankford (Oklahoma)
Rep. Lynn Jenkins (Kansas)
Rep. Virginia Foxx (North Carolina)
Rep. Steve Southerland (Florida)
Rep. Ann Wagner (Missouri)
Rep. Peter Roskam (Illinois)
Rep. Pete Sessions (Texas)
Rep. Paul Ryan (Wisconsin)
Rep. Dave Camp (Michigan)
Rep. Fred Upton (Michigan)
Rep. Hal Rogers (Kentucky)
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (Texas)
Rep. Buck McKeon (California)
House Democrats are meeting with Obama today. Boehner said Tuesday a phone call with the president yielded “a crack” in the frigid impasse that has kept portions of the federal government on shutdown since Oct. 1, but it wasn't enough to stoke his optimism.
Spokane activists upset about the federal government shutdown that began Tuesday are taking a page from Martin Luther.
Fliers from the left-leaning organization MoveOn.org were plastered on the walls outside the Congressional offices of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., earlier this week, seen in images posted on Twitter by a user who gave her name as “Erica.” The sign on Murray's office, offering congratulations for a job well done, remained posted on her office door Wednesday morning, near a sign indicating the office would be closed for the duration of the shutdown.
The signs blame the right-wing tea party group for causing the first federal government shutdown since the mid-1990s, threatening services from unemployment check processing to low-income nutritional assistance as well as shutting down thousands of National Park sites throughout the country. House Republicans pushed a measure Tuesday evening that would reopen the parks and ensure veterans receive benefits during the shutdown, but the measure - sponsored by Idaho Republican Rep. Mike Simpson - failed to receive the 2/3 majority needed for passage.
Murray took to the Senate floor Tuesday night to condemn House Republicans for “holding our economy hostage” by refusing to pass a funding resolution without concessions to delay the Affordable Care Act.
“To be clear, this shutdown would be over immediately if Speaker Boehner would simply allow both Democrats and Republicans in the House to vote on the bill the Senate has passed multiple times to continue funding the government. But to this point, Republican leaders have chosen shutdown over sanity and politics over the many people who will be impacted by shuttering the government,” Murray said in a statement.
But House Republican leadership, including McMorris Rodgers, have accused the Senate of refusing to come to conference on their funding bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Obama have stated they have no intention of entertaining any proposals that affect health care in any way.
Democratic state Rep. Shirley Ringo says Idaho GOP Congressman Raul Labrador is among a group “holding the country hostage to serve their extreme agenda” by refusing to fund the government without delaying Obamacare. Labrador counters that the House Republicans proposal to delay the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate by a year is “very reasonable” and calls Tuesday’s partial closure of the federal government “The Obama Shutdown”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
- Labrador tweets that he's going to discuss the shutdown on two national TV programs tonight.
Question: Why are the national media so interested in Labrador?
Item: Government shutdown begins over health care feud/Associated Press
More Info: Congress plunged the nation into a partial government shutdown Tuesday as a protracted dispute over President Barack Obama’s signature health care law reached a boiling point, forcing some 800,000 federal workers off the job. Obama readied a midday statement to the nation as Democrats and Republicans maintained a blame-each-other duel on Capitol Hill. Even as Obama prepared to meet with citizens signing up for his health care program and then make a lunch-hour speech in the Rose Garden, the White House cut back to a skeletal staff. The U.S. Capitol canceled tours not personally led by Congress members.
Question: How long do you think the Republicans and Democrats are going to play chicken with the government shutdown?
Politico's Rachel Bade reports this morning U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Pasco, may be considering a slot as chairman of the House of Representative Oversight Committee, to be vacated by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., at the end of next year.
“Call this Boehner ally and personal friend the wild card,” Bade writes, introducing the nine-term House Republican who was the last to defeat current Washington Gov. Jay Inslee in a Congressional race when he wrangled the District 4 seat from Inslee, the incumbent, in 1994.
To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.
PUBLIC LANDS — Sally Jewell, Recreational Equipment Inc. Chief Executive Sally Jewell is being nominated by President Obama to lead the Interior Department in his second term.
Jewell, 56, has served as the Washington-state-based outdoor retailer's CEO since 2005. She started her career as a petroleum engineer working in the oil fields of Oklahoma and Colorado for Mobil Oil Corp. She then moved to the banking industry, before joining the REI board in 1996 and becoming chief operations officer four years later.
She has been credited with expanding the Washington state-based retailer's Internet operations and contributing company resources to environmental stewardship.
Jewell was on the Avista Corp. board of directors from May 1997 through May 2003.
- See the detailed story from the Associated Press.
-Tim Wigley, president, Western Energy Alliance, which represents the oil and natural gas industry in the West.
Her experience as a petroleum engineer and business leader will bring a unique perspective to an office that is key to our nation's energy portfolio.
-Chris Wood, president and CEO, Trout Unlimited
Sally Jewell would make a great Secretary of Interior. Her background suggests that she would bring needed balance to energy development on public lands. Her stewardship of REI demonstrates that she understands the interests of anglers and hunters and would serve as an aggressive advocate within the White House for protecting fish and game habitat and hunting and angling opportunity. She is a practical, no-nonsense leader who would bring a sense of purpose to implementing the oil and gas reforms that have remained largely on the shelf. She is a strong pick.
-Sen. Patty Murray:
President Obama has chosen an accomplished leader as the next Secretary of Interior. I have enjoyed a strong working relationship with Sally Jewell, who has proven to be an effective CEO in the business community, and will bring that skill set to the Cabinet. She understands the tremendous asset that our public lands are, particularly to the multi-billion dollar outdoor recreation based economy. Additionally, American families could have no greater advocate for their continued use, enjoyment and protection of our National Parks and natural treasures. I look forward to working with Sally and President Obama as they shape and implement policies at the Department of Interior.
-Jim Lyon, National Wildlife Federation senior vice president for conservation programs:
Sally Jewell is a business leader who knows that conserving America’s natural resources is fundamentally linked to a healthy and strong economy. Outdoor recreation contributes $730 billion to America’s economy and delivers $49 billion in tax revenue annually, but faces a critical challenge as Washington considers even more cuts to conservation programs on top of steep cuts already made. Hunters, anglers, hikers, kayakers, bird watchers and all who value and cherish the outdoors and wildlife will benefit from her first hand understanding of Americans’ passion for protecting our natural treasures.
-Mike Nussman, American Sportfishing Association president and CEO:
From an industry perspective, Sally Jewell understands the important role that our public waters and lands have in supporting the nation’s $646 billion outdoor recreation economy. Given its responsibility for managing approximately one-fifth of the nation’s lands and waters, the Department of the Interior has a significant role in providing recreational fishing opportunities and conserving the nation’s fisheries resources.
RE: Steve Adams: No on all federal funding/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press
JohnA: Adams’ vote against the city matching federal funds for CityLink is very shortsighted. Does he really think without that match the federal government will simply save the million dollars a year they send to the county? That million per year is use-it-or-lose-it money; the feds give you three years to spend your allocation or IT GOES TO SOMEONE ELSE. The county opts to work with the Tribe and KMC to match the funds and 600,000 rides are the result. Meanwhile, it is grant money from the highway user tax on each gallon of gasoline we all buy. What better way to spend those user fees than encouraging people to take the bus instead? Adams’ stand is absolutely undefensible and his actions do nothing to further his community or the needs of his constituents. One and done, I hope.
Question: Is Steve Adams a man of principle re: his anti-federal government stand or extremely shortsighted?
COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) — A St. Maries man accused of firing his shotgun over the car of a U.S. Census worker last year has rejected a deal from prosecutors that would have reduced the charge to disturbing the peace.
Richard L. Powell, 54, is charged with exhibition or use of a deadly weapon.
His attorney, David Lohman, says Powell does not intend to accept the plea from the Benewah County prosecutor's office.
Powell is accused of shooting over the Census worker's car as he left Powell's property on March 3.
“My client is looking forward to his day in court,” Lohman told The Coeur d'Alene Press.
The worker tried to deliver Powell the population-county questionnaire, but Powell told him repeatedly to leave. When the Census worker told Powell he would leave the questionnaire outside, Powell went into his house, came back outside and fired the weapon, according to court documents.
The census worker told sheriff's deputies that Powell had said “he did not want Federalies on his property” and that “his name is Rick Powell and he means business.”
Benewah County Prosecutor Doug Payne said his motivation for offering a lesser offense is to avoid confusing language in the Idaho statute regarding exhibition or use of a deadly weapon.
According to the statute, exhibition or use of a deadly weapon identifies people who use or draw any deadly weapon unnecessarily in the presence of two or more people.
Confusion on whether “the two or more” includes the alleged weapon user can be argued either way at trial.
“I just wish we could get the exhibition statute cleaned up,” Payne said. “It creates problems at trial.”
A trial date in the case has not yet been set.