Past News

Merced Sun-Star: Merced County given more housing vouchers for veterans

An additional $80,000 in Department of Housing and Urban Development money will help Merced County provide an extra 15 housing vouchers for veterans, according to Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno.

Since 2012, the program has provided 25 homeless veteran vouchers locally through the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program, and the county will be able to add more vouchers with the new cash.

Costa Announces Funding to Help Homeless Veterans in Fresno and Merced Counties

FRESNO, CA- Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16) announced that the Fresno Housing Authority has been awarded $121,319 and the County of Merced Housing Authority has been awarded $79,981 to provide case management and rental assistance to homeless veterans. The Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program is jointly operated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Since 2008, the HUD-VASH program has served nearly 75,000 veterans nationwide.

Costa Condemns Anti-Immigration Bill

Washington, DC — Congressman Jim Costa (CA-D) released the following statement after voting against H.R. 5759, an anti-immigration bill introduced by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL).  

“This bill would overturn the President’s Executive Action which is intended to help fix our broken immigration system. It is estimated that some 4 million people who are undocumented, many of whom are living in our Valley, would benefit from the President’s plan.  I strongly oppose this bill and voted no.

Costa Announces Funding for California’s Hmong American Farmers

Fresno, CA – Today, Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA) announced $50,938 in funding assistance for the California National Hmong American Farmers, Inc.  The funding, which comes from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), will provide interpretation services to Southeast Asian farmers throughout the Central Valley. The funds were made available through the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program.

Costa and Crawford React to WTO Ruling on COOL Rule

Washington, D.C. – Today, Representatives Jim Costa (D-CA) and Rick Crawford (R-AR), Ranking Member and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Livestock, Rural Development, and Credit respectively, issued the following statement regarding the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling against the United States and its mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements set forth by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA):

Rep. Costa, Dr. Ruiz and Valley Healthcare Professionals Lead California Ebola Preparedness Efforts

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Jim Costa (D-Fresno) and Dr. Raul Ruiz (D-Palm Desert) led 24 members of the California Delegation in a letter to the California Hospital Association President and CEO, C. Duane Dauner, and the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems President and CEO, Erica Murray, to help ensure that hospitals across California are taking all appropriate measures to train and prepare their staff to screen, diagnose, and treat potential Ebola patients.

Costa Hails Continued Essential Air Service at Merced Regional Airport

Merced, CA – Today, Congressman Jim Costa (D-Merced) and Merced City Councilman Josh Pedrozo hailed a decision by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to maintain Essential Air Service at the Merced Regional Airport. Rep. Costa, along with other local officials, led the effort to save Essential Air Service when the federal transportation agency threatened to end the program in Merced earlier this year. 

Costa Applauds CFTC Rule That Helps Consumers Save on Power Bills

Fresno, CA— Congressman Jim Costa (Fresno-D) released the following statement after the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) approved a rule that would exempt producers, utility companies, and other non-financial entities from being required to register as swap dealers when they enter into energy contracts with government-owned utilities. 

The rule, in many ways, reflects the intent of bipartisan H.R. 1038, the Public Power Risk Management Act of 2013, which was co-sponsored by Rep. Jim Costa and introduced in March of 2013.

Costa Reacts to End of Salmonella Outbreak

Fresno, CA — Congressman Jim Costa (Fresno-D) released the following statement regarding the recent announcement by the CDC that the Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak attributed to Fosters Farms was coming to an end. 

“Last Thursday July 31, the CDC indicated that the Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak attributed to Foster Farms was drawing to a close.  Let’s remember that Salmonella is not an issue associated with any one particular company or one particular state, it is a national problem that continues today. 

Costa Reacts to Draft Environmental Document for Proposed Water Storage Project on Upper San Joaquin River

Fresno, CA — Congressman Jim Costa (Fresno-D) released the following statement after the Bureau of Reclamation released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Upper San Joaquin River Basin Storage Investigation. The DEIS describes possible benefits and impacts of increasing water storage through a proposed dam and reservoir about 25 miles northeast of Fresno in California’s Central Valley.

Costa, Crawford Announce Congressional Rodeo Caucus

Washington, D.C. — Today, Representatives Rick Crawford (R-AR) and Jim Costa (D-CA) announced the formation of the Congressional Rodeo Caucus.  The caucus, and its members, will serve as an informal group dedicated to issues of the rodeo industry and helping to facilitate a constructive dialogue about animal welfare matters.  The caucus establishes an important voice for a storied American tradition while also recognizing the need for a group of members to work on issues pertaining to animal welfare.

Costa’s Victims of Child Abuse Reauthorization Act Headed to President’s Desk

WASHINGTON, DC- On December 11, 2013, Congressman Costa (D-CA) introduced H.R. 3706, the Victims of Child Abuse Act Reauthorization Act of 2013.  A companion bill, S.1799, was introduced by Senator Coons (D-DE) in the Senate. With the Senate approving the companion bill and House concurrence, Costa’s legislation is now headed to the President’s desk for signature.

Representative Costa, Senator Cannella and Assemblymember Gray Fight to Stop AT&T Call Center Closure

Merced, CA- Yesterday, Congressman Jim Costa (D-Fresno) was joined by State Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) and State Assemblymember Adam Gray (D-Merced) in sending a letter to AT&T Assistant Vice President Jack Wright urging him to reconsider closing the company’s call centers at the Castle Commerce Center in Atwater.     

Costa Supports Bipartisan Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

Washington, D.C. — Yesterday evening, Rep. Jim Costa (D-Fresno) supported H.R. 803, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which passed the U.S. House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support. The legislation, which is headed to President Obama’s desk for signature, will reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, thereby updating the nation’s workforce development system.   

Costa Applauds Passage of Veterans Access to Care Act of 2014

Washington, D.C. — This week both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate passed the bipartisan Veterans Access to Care Act of 2014.  The legislation, which Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA) proudly cosponsored, directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) to enter into contracts with non-VA facilities to ensure veterans have access to hospital care and medical services.    

Costa Announces $6.3 Million in Agricultural Water Conservation and Efficiency Grants

Fresno, Calif. — Rep. Jim Costa (D-Fresno) today announced $6.3 million in Agricultural Water Conservation and Efficiency grants. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, released the federal funding to help communities in California modernize their water infrastructure and more efficiently use scarce water resources.

Costa Hails Introduction of Senate Bill to Renew and Improve BLM Energy Permitting Program

Fresno, Calif. — Rep. Jim Costa (D-Fresno) today praised the introduction of a bipartisan bill to extend a pilot program that has helped the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) balance complex demands, including oil and gas permitting and environmental management in the West. Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and John Barrasso (R-WY) introduced the legislation today.

Costa Responds to Secretary Shinseki’s Resignation

Costa: “We must get to the bottom of this mess”

Washington, D.C. — Rep. Jim Costa (D-Fresno) today responded to the resignation of Secretary Eric Shinseki, calling the problems at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) “endemic.” Costa has worked for years to provide the department with the necessary resources to care for our veterans and hold officials accountable for unacceptable wait times at VA Regional Offices.

Miller, Costa introduce legislation to secure more reliable water supply

Legislation would expedite expansion of Los Vaqueros Reservoir

WASHINGTON, DCIn response to California’s ongoing drought and the State’s immediate need for increased water storage capacity and long-term water solutions, U.S. Reps. George Miller (CA-11) and Jim Costa (CA-16) introduced new legislation today to expedite construction to expand the Los Vaqueros Reservoir, an existing State water storage project.

Reps. Costa, Schneider Press Speaker Boehner for Immediate Vote on Unemployment Insurance Deal

WASHINGTON— U.S. Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) and U.S. Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner asking for an immediate vote on the Senate-passed unemployment insurance extension.

Rep. Costa and Rep. Schneider led the letter, which 131 of their colleagues signed, to underscore the urgent need to extend this critical lifeline for millions of Americans.

Costa: Cooperation Only Way to Bring Valley More Water

FRESNO, CA – Congressman Jim Costa expressed his deep anger during a hearing in Fresno over the lack of progress on solutions to bring additional water to the Valley. Costa has time and again supported policies advanced by his colleagues on both sides if they meet the simple test that they have the potential to improve water reliability. During the hearing, Costa urged his colleagues to put aside sound bites, stop playing the blame game, and get to work on a compromise bill that can clear both the House and the Senate.

Costa to Join Civil Rights Pilgrimage, Mark Freedom Summer

Washington, DC—Rep. Jim Costa will travel with a bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives to the Mississippi Delta and Selma, Alabama,with civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis. The trip will mark the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer and commemorate the 1965 crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Fresno City Councilmember Oliver Baines will accompany Costa on the pilgrimage.

Costa Supports Republican Water Bill; Calls for Bipartisan Effort

Washington, DC — Rep. Jim Costa supported legislation aimed at easing environmental restrictions that can prevent water from reaching farmers and communities in the San Joaquin Valley. Pointing toward recent bipartisan success on rescheduled water, Costa also urged his colleagues to recognize that now was the time for bipartisan, triage legislation that will bring immediate relief to farmers and rural communities, not revisit previous battles in the California water.

Costa Announces $20 Million in CA Drought Assistance

Washington, DC — Rep. Jim Costa joined U.S Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross to announce $20 million for agriculture water conservation efforts in California to help mitigate the impacts from the ongoing drought. During the call, USDA said that landowners and managers will have until March 3rd to apply for assistance from  Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Costa Statement on State of the Union

Washington, DC — Rep. Jim Costa issued the following statement in response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.

“For our Valley, the most important words the President uttered tonight were not in his actual speech, but when he told me ‘we have a drought to work together on’ before he took to the podium,” said Costa. “As we face this water crisis, California needs all the help we can get, and I hope he remains true to his promise to be a partner in our struggle.

Costa Votes to Modernize Poison Control Centers, Madera Children’s

Washington, DC— Rep. Jim Costa voted today in favor of legislation to reauthorize funding for poison prevention and poison control centers, includingthe Madera poisoncenter located at Children's Hospital Central California. The 12 doctors of pharmacy employed at the Children’s Hospital site provide expert advice over the phone to families regarding exposure to potentially toxic substances. The bill, H.R. 3527 – Poison Center Network Act, now moves to the Senate for further consideration.