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House Ethics Committee looking at McMorris Rodgers

House Ethics Committee looking at McMorris Rodgers

The House Ethics Committee is considering an investigation of the No. 4 ranking member of the House Republican leadership, congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state.

Just last week McMorris Rodgers delivered the Republican response to the State of the Union address.

McMorris Rodgers serves as chair of the House GOP Conference and is the House GOP's highest-ranking woman. Her lawyer, Elliot Berke, says McMorris Rodgers is aware of the potential investigation and has cooperated with the Office of Congressional Ethics.

The OCE is an outside organization that can refer cases to the House Ethics Committee. The subject of the potential investigation isn't being disclosed.

The Ethics Committee chairman, Michael Conaway, and its ranking Democrat, Linda Sanchez, say they have received a referral from the OCE about McMorris Rodgers.

Local impact of the push to raise minimum wage

Local impact of the push to raise minimum wage

Minimum wage was a key topic in President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night. He wants to raise it from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour for federally contracted workers.

"The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by, let alone get ahead. And too many still aren't working at all," President Obama said.

An Associated Press fact check shows it boost pay for about 200,000 employees. The president can issue the executive order, but would need congressional approval to raise minimum wage for all federal workers.

"Because if you cook our troops' meals or wash their dishes, you shouldn't have to live in poverty," President Obama said.

Some people we talked with agree.

"With what minimum wage is right now, a man cannot even pay his rent," taxi driver Larry Boyd said. "He must work a job and a half to do it."

"I think it gives you more incentive to work and it gives people a little more incentive to find those kind of jobs," Evander Cobbs said.

The first woman to lead an Idaho National Guard battalion

The first woman to lead an Idaho National Guard battalion

Idaho National Guard has it's first female battalion leader.  Major Kimberly R. Tschepen has become the first woman to lead an Idaho National Guard battalion; the 145th Brigade Support Battalion.

The battalion has 500 men and women in Lewiston, Orofino, Kamiah, Moscow, Bonners Ferry, Sandpoint and Post Falls.

McMorris Rodgers to give GOP response to Obama

McMorris Rodgers to give GOP response to Obama

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the highest ranking Republican woman in Congress, will give the party's response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday.

The Washington state congresswoman chairs the House Republican conference, is a mother with a new baby and two other children, and often speaks out on issues affecting families. She's in her fifth term representing an eastern Washington district.

She said she's looking forward to speaking to Americans in every corner of the country on Tuesday and to share the Republican vision for a better future.

The annual response is often awarded to promising politicians but can be tricky to give successfully since it's before a camera instead of a live audience.

The party's House and Senate leaders jointly announced the selection Thursday.

Patty Murray remembers JFK

Patty Murray remembers JFK

Senator Patty Murray released the following statement on the 50th anniversary of the President John F. Kennedy's death:

Like so many Americans I still vividly remember November 22nd, 1963. As an 8th grader in my small hometown of Bothell, Washington I still remember playing in our school’s marching band in front of a local elementary school when someone came in and whispered in the ear of our band director. He immediately stopped the song we were playing, asked us to pull out the music to God Bless America, and we began to play. Then there was an announcement that the President had been shot. It was stunning.

I also remember going home and seeing my mom do two things that she never did, watch TV all day and cry. For me, it was the day the world got bigger than the small town I lived in. And from that day on, the Kennedy legacy of service was talked about often in my house. Those conversations helped instill in all of my brothers and sisters the knowledge that we have to be part of the bigger world beyond our own home and that we should work where we could to make our school, our community, and the world a better place.

Idaho offers unemployment benefits to furloughed workers

Idaho offers unemployment benefits to furloughed workers

The Idaho Department of Labor is prepared to help all federal workers in Idaho furloughed as a result of the government shutdown.

From Idaho Department of Labor:
Federal and contract employees laid off due to the government shutdown are eligible to file for unemployment benefits under the same conditions as all other workers. But should Congress approve back pay for federal employees, those receiving back pay will need to repay any benefits they received.

Moscow screening water infrastructure documentary

From the City of Moscow:

 

The City of Moscow Water Department will host a screening of the public television documentary "Liquid Assets: The Story of Our Water Infrastructure” on September 16 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Kenworthy theater. The free screening will begin with a reception and will be followed by a discussion of local water issues. This screening if free and open to the public.


 

"Liquid Assets" tells the story of essential infrastructure systems: drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater. These complex and aging systems—some in the ground for more than 100 years—are critical for basic sanitation, public safety, economic development, and a host of other necessities of life. The documentary highlights communities from across the United States, providing an understanding of hidden water infrastructure assets, demonstrating watershed protection approaches, and illustrating twenty-first century solutions.