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Mattis accepts inaugural Foley Award for Distinguished Public Service

In accepting the first Thomas S. Foley Award for Distinguished Public Service, former Secretary of Defense and retired general James Mattis on Tuesday called on those in the audience to reject political division and cynicism for this country.

“I trust some of you young folks in the audience will leave tonight refusing to adopt the childish practices you see too often on our television screens. Rather, resolving to embrace the courage, the conviction, the civility and the dignity of Tom Foley,” Mattis said.

At the center of Mattis’ message was for Americans to reject disunity.

“At home, we see Americans engaging in contempt for each other and seemingly unaware of the delight they create in Bejing and Moscow — hoping Americans will turn cynical and lose their selfless spirit,” he said.

It was a message WSU senior and Foley Institute intern Nicholas Wong called “inspiring” for someone who wants a career in public service.

“Mattis very much spoke to the idea of just being human and how it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day, we all want largely the same stuff,” he said. “It felt like he was semi-directly talking to me. It means a lot to hear from a person of his position to not be cynical when it comes to our country.”

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The Spokesman-Review
Yahoo! News

Congress has been historically unproductive. How did we get here?

During the first half of Joe Biden’s presidency, when Democrats controlled both chambers, 365 bills were signed into law. Then Republicans took control of the house in the 2022 midterms.

More than halfway through its two-year term, the 118th Congress has enacted, and Biden has signed, 47 pieces of legislation. The last 10 Congresses averaged almost 390 bills enacted per term.

“It is the least productive Congress in at least 50 years in terms of the numbers of bills,” said Cornell Clayton, a political science professor at Washington State University and the director of the university’s Thomas S. Foley Institute of Public Policy and Public Service.

And an unproductive Congress means an unproductive president, at least in terms of bills signed. But judging a Congress’ productivity solely on the number of bills passed isn’t entirely accurate, Clayton said.

“I think quantity is important, but more important than quantity is quality,” he said. Still, the 118th Congress hasn’t done well on either count.

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Mattis selected to receive Foley Distinguished Public Service award

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense and four–star Marine Corps General James Mattis will be the inaugural recipient of the Thomas S. Foley Award for Distinguished Public Service. The new award will be given annually by the Foley Institute to individuals who have demonstrated integrity, courage and a commitment to democratic values in public service, according to a news release.

Mattis enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1969 and participated in tours in Afghanistan and Iraq before retiring from active service in 2013. He served as U.S. Secretary of Defense from 2017 to 2019 under President Donald Trump before resigning his post in protest when Trump announced he would pull U.S. forces out of Syria.

“We wanted somebody with a national reputation, whose life was dedicated to public service, but we also wanted somebody like Tom Foley with local roots to be the inaugural recipient,” said Foley Institute Director Cornell Clayton. “Mattis not only has local roots, but dedicated his entire career to public service and personified the values of Foley and the Foley Institute, courage, bipartisanship, integrity and honor.”

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The Spokesman-Review
WSU Insider

Analysis of McMorris Rodgers announcement

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers has announced that she is not running for reelection.

Cornell Clayton, a professor of political science and public policy at Washington State University (WSU), offered analysis on how this course change from one of the state’s most influential lawmakers will impact the political process.

Clayton’s initial reaction to the announcement was surprise.

“Representative McMorris Rodgers is chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee right now, which is a powerful position that she’s wanted for some time. In many ways, she’s at the height of her power, so that was a bit surprising,” Clayton said.

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WSU students lobby state legislature

Eighty-one WSU students from the Pullman, Global, Tri-Cities and Vancouver campuses traveled to the Washington State Capitol in Olympia to lobby in front of Washington State’s legislature Monday.

The students were led by Collin Bannister, ASWSU legislative affairs director and second-year philosophy and political science pre-law major. After training consistently throughout the semester, the team met with legislators, the Secretary of State and the Washington State Treasurer to discuss the upcoming 60-day voting session.

“Washington State’s budget operates in a biennium. At the start of each Biennium, it is called a budget year which is where they allocate funding. That was in 2023,” Bannister said. “Now in 2024, we have entered the second half of the biennium which is referred to as a short session. There are fewer days to pass policy and generally a lot less money.”

Students were broken into groups of four and five on the morning of Jan. 22. Each group was assigned a handful of legislators or their legal assistants to talk to throughout the day. The students were able to get feedback and answer questions from the legislators concerning the bills.

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The Daily Evergreen