June Legislative Update
“Protecting California’s Water
As always, I am doing everything I can to stop the disastrous twin tunnels. Unfortunately, a Southern California member from the majority party recently introduced legislation that would invalidate all current lawsuits against the project and prohibit any future suits. I have been doing everything I can to sound the alarm on this threat, and I will fight to ensure this language does not pass the House of Representatives. And if it does, I will work with California’s Senators to ensure that the Senate rejects it.
On a more positive note, I am pleased that the House passed the Water Resources Development Act of 2018, H.R 8. This critical bill authorizes flood control projects across the country, and I was able to insert a number of 3rd district priorities. Specifically, the bill includes language to expedite completion of the lower Cache Creek Feasibility Study, which will provide greater flood protection for the City of Woodland, and language to allow the Three Rivers Levee Improvement Authority to construct three miles of levee on the Yuba River.
Supporting Our Troops
As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I’m also working on giving our servicemembers the support they deserve while setting policy to make our military as strong and wise as it can be. Recently, I voted in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, H.R. 5515. It contains a 2.6 percent pay raise for our troops the largest in nearly a decade. I also ensured that the legislation supports Travis AFB and Beale AFB and provides the vital facility and equipment upgrades they need to continue their missions to keep America safe.
However, I am extremely concerned about the direction the recently-passed defense bill sets for America’s nuclear weapons policy. The bill authorizes the development of dangerous new low-yield nuclear warheads. Not only does this pull us even further into a dangerous arms race with Russia, but it would also increase the risk of miscalculation in a conflict. I submitted amendments to the bill that would have stripped this authorization, but they were defeated. I will continue to work with the Senate to remove this dangerous provision from the Defense Authorization Bill.
Honoring Our Veterans
I’m also working on giving a very important group of veterans a well-deserved honor. I’ve introduced H.R. 5879, the World War II Merchant Marine Congressional Gold Medal Act. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation would award one of our nation’s highest public honors to the brave Merchant Marine veterans from World War II.
In World War II, our armed forces relied on Merchant Mariners sailing American-made Liberty Ships to transport supplies and cargo to the front. It was a dangerous job: The Merchant Marine had the highest casualty rate of any of our forces. Over 8,300 mariners died and 13,000 were wounded. But despite their heroism and bravery, these mariners didn’t even receive veteran status until 1988.
I recently had the chance to meet some of these veterans and hear their stories about braving waters infested with German and Japanese submarines to deliver vital supplies to our troops in the field. After all they did for us, this honor is the least we can do in return.
These are just a few of the things I’m working on in Congress to give Americans a Better Deal. As always, it’s an honor to represent you in Congress.”