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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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VA delays computer system’s launch in Boise as Senate hearing spotlights harm, massive cost increase

WASHINGTON – In a last-minute decision Wednesday, the Department of Veterans Affairs delayed the planned Saturday launch of a troubled computer system in Boise after a watchdog report linked the system to 149 cases of harm at Spokane’s VA hospital.

Incumbent Patty Murray, Republican Tiffany Smiley likely to emerge in 18-candidate race for U.S. Senate

Heading into the Aug. 2 primary, Murray faces 17 challengers, but early campaign contributions and party support point to Tiffany Smiley as her likely opponent in November.

Murray leads Senate Democrats calling for equal rights to VA benefits for same-sex couples

WASHINGTON – A group of 41 Democratic senators, led by Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, sent a letter Wednesday calling on the Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure same-sex spouses have access to the same benefits as other couples.

Sen. Patty Murray, at Planned Parenthood in Spokane, calls on Biden and federal government to do more on abortion access

“I think he has, in the last week, made some steps,” said Murray, speaking at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Spokane after meeting privately with patients and providers. “But I think they need to, at every level, every agency, do whatever they can that is in their purview, because this is about saving women’s lives.” 

After visiting Spokane VA medical center, Patty Murray says she remains committed to fixing computer system that has harmed veterans

Before visiting Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane on Thursday, Sen. Patty Murray said she is committed to fixing a faulty computer system that has threatened patient safety since the Department of Veterans Affairs began piloting it in the Inland Northwest in October 2020.

No cuts for VA hospitals in Spokane and Walla Walla after proposal blocked by lawmakers including Tester, Murray

WASHINGTON – A proposal to cut services at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals in Spokane and Walla Walla appears dead after a bipartisan group of senators withdrew their support last week.

‘We’ve got to fight back’: Patty Murray on Democrats’ response to Supreme Court abortion ruling

WASHINGTON – When Patty Murray got to the Senate in 1993, one of a then-unprecedented seven women in the 100-member body, she made access to abortion a top legislative priority.

‘Extremist,’ a ‘most momentous day’: Local lawmakers, officials react to overturning of Roe v. Wade

The Supreme Court’s decision Friday to revoke a Constitutional protection for abortion drew an impassioned response from lawmakers in the Inland Northwest.

Idaho officials criticize new report on breaching Snake River dams

A new report shows breaching the dams on the lower Snake River, while incurring a steep price tag, could benefit endangered fish. But the Democrat-released report will be a hard sell for Idaho politicians to get behind, despite one congressman’s advocacy for dam breaching.

Firearm and body armor restrictions, mental health screenings urged by lawmakers in reaction to latest shooting tragedy

WASHINGTON – Opponents of restricting firearms often argue that “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” a line famously uttered by the chief executive of the National Rifle Association after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school a decade ago.

‘A badge of honor’: Northwest lawmakers, Spokane Valley resident among hundreds of Americans banned from Russia

WASHINGTON – The Kremlin has banned nearly 1,000 Americans from traveling to Russia, including most Northwest members of Congress and a former diplomat who lives in Spokane Valley, in retaliation for U.S. sanctions aimed at punishing Russia for invading Ukraine.

Spin Control: Coming to your Washington ballot in August is a candidate from the ‘JFK Republican’ party

One of the advantages of Washington’s primary system – for dark horse candidates, if not for voters – is that a person can try to signal something about themselves by the way they list their “party preference.”

Congress approves $40 billion in aid to Ukraine as bipartisan vote splits Northwest Republicans

WASHINGTON – The Senate on Thursday approved $40 billion in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine in a bipartisan measure backed by Democrats and most Republicans, while Northwest lawmakers reflected a national split among GOP lawmakers over the cost of the assistance.

Patty Murray leads Democrats in symbolic vote as abortion rights bill falls short

WASHINGTON – Senate Democrats on Wednesday failed to pass a bill to enshrine in law the right to terminate a pregnancy, a largely symbolic vote held in response to a leaked document that suggests the Supreme Court is poised to overturn a half-century-old decision that protects abortion access.

Incumbents dominate fundraising in Washington, Idaho congressional races

WASHINGTON – Fundraising in races for Congress in Washington and Idaho has so far been dominated by incumbents, campaign finance disclosures filed Friday show, with few competitive races drawing the major outside spending seen in other parts of the country.

Northwest senators vote along party lines as Senate confirms Ketanji Brown Jackson to Supreme Court

WASHINGTON – The Senate on Thursday confirmed Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, making her the first Black woman to serve on the high court.

Biden launches, ‘one-stop shop’ website to navigate new phase of pandemic

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced the launch of a “one-stop shop” website for information on COVID-19 and where to get tests, vaccines and treatment for the virus, while calling on Congress to provide more funding to combat the pandemic.

An electric vehicle future is on the horizon – here’s how it could affect Spokane

State legislators set a new target earlier this month in the Clean Cars 2030 bill for all new vehicles sold in Washington to be electric-powered by 2030. The bill, part of the $16.9 billion “Move Ahead Washington” transportation package, was signed by Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday.

Veterans, local officials push back against VA plan to downsize Walla Walla medical center

WASHINGTON – After the Department of Veterans Affairs released a sweeping plan last week to revamp the nation’s biggest health care system, veterans and officials in Walla Walla have pushed back on a proposal that would downsize the city’s VA hospital.

Spokane Valley’s massive Barker Road project gets a $3 million assist from Patty Murray

Sen. Patty Murray got the Valley $3 million for widening Barker Road as part of Congress’ recent $1.5 trillion spending bill.