Rep. Derek Kilmer | KNKX

Rep. Derek Kilmer

The streets of downtown Tacoma are empty amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Photo by Tom Collins

A new coronavirus relief bill passed the House last week, but appears dead in the Senate. 

Still, U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, hopes some of the provisions aren't lost. The original measure included more support for Medicare and Medicaid and hazard pay to health care workers dealing with the pandemic. 

Kilmer talked to KNKX about the bill, and the larger response to COVID-19.

Larry Workman / Quinault Tribe

Rising sea levels caused by global warming hit coastal communities the hardest. In Washington, many of those communities are tribes that settled near the water long before climate change became an issue. A new bill moving through Congress aims to provide them with more relief.  

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., left, poses during a ceremonial swearing-in with Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, during the opening session of the 116th Congress.
Susan Walsh / The Associated Press

Like Washington's other congressional Democrats, U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer supports the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. It's a polarizing discussion that Kilmer — who is part of a bipartisan working group in the House — says he doesn't "run gleefully into."

During a visit to the new KNKX studios on Monday, Kilmer spoke with KNKX's Kari Plog about a variety of subjects, among them the challenges facing a growing Puget Sound region, including his 6th Congressional District — or in his words “70 percent of Tacoma and everything to the west.”

He also addressed civility and bipartisanship in the other Washington, and efforts to modernize Congress.

news that informs graphic
Adrian Florez / KNKX

Plans to build a new pier for Coast Guard vessels at the Navy base in Bangor will be put on hold. The Kitsap Sun reports that nearly $89 million to build the pier and maintenance facility has been diverted to pay for President Trump’s wall along the southern border.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

As the federal government weighs whether to increase entrance fees for some national parks, a congressman from Washington state is proposing a different way to address a big maintenance backlog.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

U.S. Representatives from Washington have pledged to fight hard against cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency that would devastate efforts to clean up Puget Sound. They say a draft plan from the Trump administration would slash federal funding for the Sound by 93 percent, to just $2 million. 

Congressman Derek Kilmer says he’s expecting to see substantial cuts to the EPA, including money for Puget Sound.  He says the Trump administration has confirmed an intention to cut the agency overall by at least 25 percent.      

Henry Alva / Flickr

The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that was hammered out behind closed doors is now public, and Washington businesses and politicians will be giving their initial thoughts on it at a conference sponsored by the Washington Council on International Trade.