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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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Murray, McMorris Rodgers demand VA stop computer system launch in Walla Walla after reports reveal problems persist at Spokane hospital

WASHINGTON – A “furious” Washington senator demanded the Department of Veterans Affairs stop the launch of a new computer system in Walla Walla after a watchdog agency on Thursday revealed dozens of problems with the system remain unresolved at Spokane’s VA hospital.

Risch calls for more arms to Ukraine after Zelenskyy addresses Congress

WASHINGTON – Idaho Sen. Jim Risch, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called for the United States to provide airplanes and more weapons to Ukraine after the country’s president addressed members of Congress on Wednesday.

Government funding bill passed by Congress includes millions for Inland Northwest projects

WASHINGTON – After kicking the can down the road for half a year with stopgap measures, Congress last week finally did its most fundamental job and passed a $1.5 trillion bill to fund the federal government.

Congress passes bipartisan Postal Service reform bill, dividing Northwest Republicans

WASHINGTON – The Senate on Tuesday passed a long-awaited bill to overhaul the finances of the U.S. Postal Service, sending the legislation to President Joe Biden’s desk after it passed the House a month earlier.

Bipartisan pressure grows in Congress to ban U.S. imports of Russian oil, risking higher gasoline prices

WASHINGTON – Bipartisan momentum is building on Capitol Hill to ban U.S. imports of Russian oil that help fund Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, but Democrats and Republicans disagree on what should be done to minimize the impact of such a move on gasoline prices.

After Biden emphasizes unity in State of the Union, Northwest lawmakers’ reactions reflect ongoing division in Congress

WASHINGTON – After President Joe Biden delivered a message of unity to Congress in his first State of the Union address Tuesday night, reactions from Northwest lawmakers suggested partisan division will persist even as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes and Americans rally behind Ukraine in the face of Russia’s invasion.

‘The actions of a madman’: Northwest lawmakers condemn Russian assault on Ukraine as Biden ramps up sanctions

WASHINGTON – Northwest lawmakers in Congress joined in global condemnation of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Thursday after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the assault overnight.

Sen. Patty Murray’s new bill aims to learn COVID-19 lessons, prepare for future pandemics

Murray’s legislation could complement another bipartisan bill – introduced last June by Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and his Democratic counterpart Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey – aimed at improving international coordination in response to future pandemics.

With new calls to ban members of Congress from stock trading, here’s where Northwest lawmakers stand

WASHINGTON – As a wild week on Wall Street served as a reminder of how quickly money can be gained or lost in a volatile market, a growing number of lawmakers across the political spectrum are pushing for new restrictions on stock trading by members of Congress and their families.

Murray, Cantwell back filibuster change to pass election bills; Crapo warns it would ‘destroy’ Senate

WASHINGTON – A day after President Joe Biden called on Democrats to change Senate rules to pass sweeping election reform legislation, both of Washington’s senators threw their support behind the effort Wednesday, while an Idaho Republican warned the proposed changes would “destroy” the Senate as it exists today.

A year after Trump supporters stormed U.S. Capitol, Northwest lawmakers reflect deep partisan divide over events of Jan. 6

WASHINGTON – A year after supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol and clashed with police in a deadly attempt to overturn an election, Northwest lawmakers reflect a deep national rift over the events of Jan. 6, 2021.

Spokane basketball legend John Stockton endorses GOP candidate Tiffany Smiley in Senate race

WASHINGTON – The Republican candidate vying to represent Washington in the Senate got a boost from an unusual source Monday: an endorsement from NBA Hall of Famer and Spokane native John Stockton.

Here’s what to watch in Congress and national politics in 2022

The fate of Joe Biden’s legislative agenda and positioning for what appear to be contentious midterm elections will drive the news cycle on Capitol Hill in 2022. 

This week’s child tax credit payments could be the last as Democrats struggle to advance Build Back Better Act

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, families throughout the Northwest and across the country – some 36 million households – received the monthly payments of up to $300 per child that were a hallmark of the economic relief bill Democrats passed in March.

Senators signal quick confirmation of Washington’s Kurt DelBene, ex-Microsoft executive tapped to lead VA technology office

WASHINGTON – A former Microsoft executive tapped by President Joe Biden to serve as the top technology official at the Department of Veterans Affairs appeared before a Senate panel for an unusually brief confirmation hearing Wednesday, signaling a swift confirmation is likely.

‘A series of broken promises’: How the Spokane VA became testing ground for new health record system

More than a year after that test began in October 2020, a Spokesman-Review investigation found problems with the system continue to threaten patient safety and have left employees at Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane exhausted and demoralized, with nearly two-thirds saying in a recent internal survey it has made them consider quitting.

‘No one got everything they wanted’: Northwest lawmakers stay on message despite Biden’s scaled-back agenda

WASHINGTON – After President Joe Biden on Thursday presented a “framework” intended to bring his fragmented party together around his signature “Build Back Better” agenda, Northwest lawmakers stayed on message despite the legislation getting dramatically scaled back from what most Democrats have wanted and Republicans have feared.

‘With open minds,’ Murray, Inslee detail process to consider breaching Snake River dams

WASHINGTON – Sen. Patty Murray and Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday announced they will lead a regional process to consider “all options” to restore declining salmon and steelhead runs in the Columbia River Basin, including the potential breaching of the Lower Snake River dams.

Forced to downsize their agenda, Democrats make final push for priorities and spin scaled-back bill as ‘good first step’

WASHINGTON – Standing in front of the Capitol on Thursday, between twin banners emblazoned with the words “care can’t wait,” Sen. Patty Murray assured a crowd of parents, home health aides and other caregivers Democrats are about to extend a historic helping hand to make their lives better.

Three Washington Democrats at center of crafting bill to ‘fundamentally reshape the American economy’

WASHINGTON – Three Washington lawmakers are at the center of a debate among Democrats that will decide the fate of the ambitious national agenda they campaigned on in 2020 – and perhaps the party’s fortunes in 2022.