EYE ON CONGRESS: House to vote to extend surveillance procedures

WASHINGTON — The House will vote this week on extending the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, while the Senate will be in recess.

Contact legislators (clip and save)

“Eye on Congress” is published in the Peninsula Daily News every Monday when Congress is in session about activities, roll call votes and legislation in the House and Senate.

The North Olympic Peninsula’s legislators in Washington, D.C., are Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Mountlake Terrace), Sen. Patty Murray (D-Seattle) and Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Gig Harbor).

Contact information — The address for Cantwell and Murray is U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C. 20510; Kilmer, U.S. House, Washington, D.C. 20515.

Phone Cantwell at 202-224-3441 (fax, 202-228-0514); Murray, 202-224-2621 (fax, 202-224-0238); Kilmer, 202-225-5916.

Email via their websites: cantwell.senate.gov; murray.senate.gov; kilmer.house.gov. Kilmer’s North Olympic Peninsula office is located at 332 E. Fifth St. in Port Angeles.

Hours are from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Thursdays and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays.

It is staffed by Mary Jane Robins, who can be contacted at [email protected] or 360-797-3623.

State legislators

Jefferson and Clallam counties are represented in the part-time state Legislature by Rep. Mike Chapman, D-Port Angeles; Rep. Steve Tharinger, D-Port Townsend; and Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim.

Write Chapman and Tharinger at P.O. Box 40600 (Van De Wege at P.O. Box 40424), Olympia, WA 98504. Email them at [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]

Or you can call the Legislative Hotline, 800-562-6000, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays (closed on holidays and from noon to 1 p.m.) and leave a detailed message, which will be emailed to Chapman, Tharinger, Van De Wege or to all three.

Links to other state officials: tinyurl.com/pdn-links officials.

Learn more

Websites following our state and national legislators:

• Followthemoney.org — Campaign donors by industry, ZIP code and more.

• Votesmart.org — How special interest groups rate legislators on the issues.

Voterama in Congress

CONFIRMING RATCLIFFE AS INTELLIGENCE CHIEF: On a party-line vote of 49-44, the Senate on Thursday confirmed Rep. John L. Ratcliffe, R-Texas, as the nation’s top intelligence official.

He becomes the sixth director of national intelligence (DNI) since the office was created after 9/11 to improve coordination among the 17 U.S. civilian and military intelligence agencies.

Ratcliffe, 54, ardently defended President Trump during House impeachment hearings last year, prompting Democratic senators to question whether he would independently overlook the American spy apparatus or, instead, shape intelligence to please the White House. But Republicans said his membership on the House Select Committee on Intelligence and background as a federal prosecutor qualify him to become DNI, and they pointed to his pledge of independence during Senate confirmation hearings.

A yes vote was to confirm Ratcliffe.

Cantwell voted no, Murray did not vote.

CONFIRMING TRAINOR AS ELECTION COMMISSIONER: On a party-line vote of 49-43, the Senate on Tuesday confirmed James E. Trainor III of Austin, Texas, for a seat on the Federal Election Commission, a post-Watergate panel charged with enforcing campaign-finance laws in federal contests.

The FEC discloses candidates’ campaign-finance data to the public, enforces rules for campaign contributions and spending, and supervises the public funding of presidential elections.

An attorney specializing in election law, Trainor advised President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. He becomes the fourth member of the six-member FEC, giving it a quorum for conducting business for the first time since late August.

A yes vote was to confirm Trainor.

Cantwell and Murray voted no.

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