Past News

Costa Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Honor Hmong Veterans

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA-16) was joined by Vietnam veteran Congressman Paul Cook (R-CA-8) in introducing H. R. 4716, the Hmong Veterans’ Service Recognition Act. The bipartisan legislation would extend to Hmong and Lao Americans who served alongside U.S. Armed Forces during the Vietnam War burial benefits in national cemeteries.

Costa Continues Holiday Tradition, Collecting Cards for Servicemembers and Veterans

WASHINGTON, DC – Today Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) launched his annual holiday card drive for San Joaquin Valley servicemembers and veterans. In what is now a yearly tradition, Congressman Costa collects holiday cards at his Fresno and Merced district offices to be delivered to servicemembers and veterans receiving care at the VA Medical Center in Fresno. In addition to inviting residents of California’s 16th Congressional District to mail or drop cards off at his district offices, Rep.

Costa Joins Bipartisan Efforts to Continue and Strengthen Environmental Clean-up Program

WASHINGTON, DC – Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3017, the Brownfields Enhancement, Economic Redevelopment, and Reauthorization Act of 2017 with a vote of 409 to 8. If enacted, the bill will expand and increase funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Program, which provides grants for the clean-up and revitalization of properties polluted by industrial and other types of contaminants.

Costa Joins a Bipartisan Majority in House Urging Senate Action to Improve Career and Technical Education

FRESNO, CA – Last week 237 members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, calling for the committee to take action on H.R. 2353, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act. There is strong bipartisan support for the legislation in the House, where it has 40 cosponsors from both sides of the aisle and passed unanimously on June 22nd.

House Holds Subcommittee Hearing on Newhouse-Costa Proposed Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC – The Environment Subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing this morning to examine a Discussion Draft of the Farm Regulatory Certainty Act. The proposal is for bipartisan legislation led by Congressmen Dan Newhouse (R-WA-4) and Jim Costa (D-CA-16) that would amend the citizen suit provision of the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) with respect to agricultural operations.

Costa Statement on House Republican Tax Bill

WASHINGTON, DC – Today Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement after the release of the House Republican tax bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

“Americans need long-term tax reform that makes the tax system fairer, simpler, and incentivizes pro-growth investments that serve the economic interests of all Americans. This requires a bipartisan deliberative process that skillfully examines various options for reform and carefully considers their consequences. This is good governance.

House Initiates Action to Address Wildfires and Improve Forest Management

WASHINGTON, DC – Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed H. R. 2936, the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017, by a vote of 232 to 188. In passing the measure, the House initiated action to address some of the weaknesses in the current national forest management system. The legislation would reduce the regulatory burden forest managers face when trying to combat wildfires, produce timber, and maintain the health and productivity of America’s national forests.

Costa Joins in Bipartisan Call for Tougher Sanctions Against Iran

WASHINGTON, DC – Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed H. R. 1698, the Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanction Enforcement Act with strong bipartisan support. The bill aims to stop Iran’s development of ballistic missiles through a combination of expanding sanctions, intensifying sanction enforcement, and increasing reporting of Iran’s ballistic missile supply chain. The House voted on the legislation less than two weeks after President Trump decided to decertify the 2015 Iran Nuclear Agreement.

Costa Commends Bipartisan Alexander-Murray Health Care Agreement

FRESNO, CA – Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) issued the following statement today after the leaders of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions – Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) – announced their bipartisan agreement to improve the Affordable Care Act, which  includes funding the cost-sharing reduction payments the Administration cut last week:

Costa Joins House Democratic National Security Task Force in Calling for a Strong and Comprehensive Strategy Toward North Korea

WASHINGTON, DC – Today members of the U.S. House of Representatives – led by the House Democratic Caucus National Security Task Force – sent a letter to President Trump, urging him “to adopt a strong, strategic and steady policy toward North Korea.” The letter provides five principles those who signed the letter assert should guide the U.S. strategy toward North Korea, including increasing economic pressure through sanctions, enhancing diplomatic efforts, strengthening relationships with allies in the region, and maintaining U.S. military deterrence and defense efforts.

Costa Announces Approval of Federal Emergency Grants to Fight Wildfires in Madera and Mariposa Counties

FRESNO, CA – Today Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) announced that two of the State of California’s requests for federal emergency grants to help fight wildfires in Madera and Mariposa counties were approved. Both grants are Fire Management Assistance Grants, which are issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). One grant request is for assistance suppressing the Railroad Fire, which has been burning in Madera and Mariposa counties since August 29, 2017.

Costa Statement on White Supremacist Attack in Charlottesville

FRESNO, CA – Today Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement about the white supremacist attack that occurred yesterday in Charlottesville, Virginia:

“The hatred and violence in Charlottesville yesterday are devastating and unacceptable.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the individuals we lost, those who were injured, and their loved ones.

Reps. Panetta, Costa, Peterson Hold Agriculture Roundtable in California

SALINAS – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), along with House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson (MN-7) and Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16), hosted an agriculture roundtable session at Hartnell College in Salinas, California. The Congressmen held the roundtable to hear the concerns and priorities of local agriculture producers, farm workers, and nutrition organizations regarding the nation's food policy, including the Farm Bill.

Congressman Panetta and Congressman Costa made the below remarks:

Costa Joins Problem Solvers in Proposing Health Care Solutions

Washington, DC – The Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group of representatives working to find a path forward for responsible governance, put forward a proposal today to improve the health care system in the United States. Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) is a member of the caucus. One key component of the proposal focuses on stabilizing the individual health care market to help individuals, families, and small businesses afford high-quality care.

Costa Introduces Legislation to Support Employment Training for SNAP Recipients

Washington, DC – Today Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) introduced the Results Through Innovation Act of 2017 into the House of Representatives. If enacted, the legislation would bolster the federal funding for employment and training programs for individuals receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. SNAP employment and training programs (E & T) aim at helping SNAP recipients secure gainful employment through work-related education, job training, and job advancement classes so they can ultimately become self-sufficient.

Costa Voices Valley Concerns at Agriculture Committee NAFTA Hearing

Washington, DC – Today the House Committee on Agriculture held a hearing regarding protecting and promoting the agriculture sector during the anticipated renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. NAFTA is an economic and trade agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and the value of U.S. agricultural trade has increased dramatically since the agreement took effect in 1994.

Costa Joins in Bipartisan Support for Forever GI Bill

Washington, DC – Yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives passed H. R. 3218, the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017. The legislation is the largest update to the GI Bill since the passage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill in 2008, making extensive changes to the education benefits provisions. The bill is referred to as the “Forever GI Bill” due to its elimination of the 15 year deadline by which veterans must use their education benefits.

Costa Joins Valadao in Continuing Efforts to Secure Water for California

Washington, DC – Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed H. R. 23, the Gaining Responsibility on Water Act of 2017, by a vote of 230 to 190. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. David Valadao (CA-21), aims at increasing the amount, quality, and reliability of water available to communities in the Central Valley of California. A large portion of the bill focuses on modifying policies regarding the operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project and the implementation of the San Joaquin River Settlement.

Costa Supports Measure to Reduce Wildfire Risk

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) urged the United States House of Representatives to pass the Electricity Reliability and Forest Protection Act on Wednesday. Shortly thereafter, the House approved the legislation by a vote of 300 to 118. The bill aims at reducing wildfires by streamlining the process for managing trees and vegetation growing near power lines and electric distribution lines.

Costa Discusses US-Portuguese Relations at 2017 Portugal Economic Forum

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) attended the 2017 Portuguese Economic Forum on Tuesday. The forum, which took place in New York City, explored ways to secure and strengthen Portugal’s economy as a key player in both regional and global economic systems. Rep. Costa discussed transatlantic alliances with the European Union’s Ambassador to the United Nations, João Vale de Almeida, before participating in a larger panel roundtable that focused more closely on the Portuguese-US economic relationship.

Costa Supports Legislation to Improve VA Accountability

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. House of Representatives passed S. 1094, the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017, by a vote of 368 to 55 on Tuesday. The bill, which passed in the U.S. Senate by a voice vote earlier this month, uses two different approaches to strengthen the ability of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to hold department employees accountable when their misconduct, negligence, or incompetence jeopardizes the well-being of veterans.

Costa Statement on Introduction of Wildfire Disaster Funding Act

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Representative Jim Costa (CA-16) joined Representatives Mike Simpson (ID-2) and Kurt Schrader (OR-5) to introduce the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act of 2017. The legislation addresses the budgeting process for fighting wildfires, aiming at fixing the escalating costs of wildfire suppression crowding out funding for forest management.

Costa’s Cosponsored Resolution Condemning Turkish Guards’ Violence Unanimously Passes in the House

WASHINGTON, DC – With a unanimous 397 to 0 vote on Tuesday, the United States House of Representatives passed H. Res. 354. Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) cosponsored the resolution, which condemns last month’s violent beating of peaceful demonstrators by members of Turkish President Erdoğan’s security force and both calls for the security guards to be brought to justice and for measures to be taken to prevent similar future occurrences.

Costa Speaks in Favor of Preventing Social Security Fraud, Bill Passes House

WASHINGTON, DC – Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed H. R. 624, the Social Security Fraud Prevention Act of 2017, which Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) cosponsored. Congressman Costa spoke on the House floor before members voted on the bill, urging his colleagues to support the legislation. Rep. Costa released the following statement after the bill passed by a voice vote:

Costa Advocates for Reducing Regulatory Burden, Bill Passes House

WASHINGTON, DC – Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed H. R. 953, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2017. Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) cosponsored the legislation and urged his colleagues to support the measure on the House floor before the final vote was taken. Rep. Costa released the following statement after the bill passed 256 to 165:

Costa Statement on President Trump's Proposed Budget

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement in reaction to President Donald Trump’s proposed budget:

“The President’s budget, if adopted by Congress, would do great harm to our Valley, to California, and to our nation. Since I was first elected, I have called for a balanced budget that reduces our nation’s unsustainable debt and provides opportunities to advance the economic and social well-being of all Americans. This budget proposal simply fails that test.

Costa Statement on Turkish Security Guards’ Violence Towards Demonstrators

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement regarding members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s security force attacking demonstrators outside of the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington, DC:

“Given Turkey’s movement towards an authoritarian government, President Erdoğan’s visit with the President in the West Wing is unsettling. President Erdoğan’s recent elimination of individual freedoms and jailing members of the press should not be rewarded by a visit to the Oval Office.

Costa Responds to Reports of Comey Memo

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement about the reports that President Donald Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to end an FBI investigation of Michael Flynn:

“The reports that the President asked former FBI Director James Comey to stop the bureau’s investigation of Michael Flynn are deeply disturbing. If true, it would appear the President has abused his executive power and his actions could possibly lead to the obstruction of justice.

Costa Recognizes High School Students for Participating in Congressional Art Competition

MERCED, CA - Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16) and the Merced County Arts Council hosted an awards ceremony for Merced County high school students who participated in the 2017 Congressional Art Competition. 34 students from El Capitan High School, Merced High School, Chowchilla High School, Los Banos High School, Pacheco High School, and Atwater High School submitted original artwork for consideration.

Costa Applauds Passage of Legislation that Supports Merced County Association of Governments

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed S. 496 - “To repeal the rule issued by the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration entitled “Metropolitan Planning Organization Coordination and Planning Area Reform.” The legislation would help local associations like the Merced County Association of Governments (MCAG) with their ability to plan and implement regional projects and preserve local control in transportation project planning and funding. Rep.

Costa Applauds CVP Water Allocations

FRESNO, CA – Today, the Bureau of Reclamation announced the Central Valley Project 2017 Water Supply Allocations for south of Delta agricultural water districts including the member agencies of the San Luis Delta Mendota Water Authority, like San Luis Water District, Del Puerto Water District, Pacheco Water District, Panoche Water District and Westlands Water District. South of Delta agricultural water districts will receive a 100 percent allocation for the first time since 2006.

Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement:

Costa Statement on CVP Initial Water Allocations

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Bureau of Reclamation announced the initial Central Valley Project 2017 Water Supply Allocations for south of Delta agricultural water districts including the member agencies of the San Luis Delta Mendota Water Authority, like San Luis Water District, Del Puerto Water District, Pacheco Water District, Panoche Water District and Westlands Water District. Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement:

Costa Statement on Recent Hate Crimes Against Indian Americans

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement strongly condemning the recent hate crimes against Indian Americans. On February 22, Srinivas Kuchibhotla was shot and killed and Alok Madasani was wounded by Adam Purinton in a bar in Kansas. This past Friday, on March 3, in Seattle, Washington Deep Rai was shot in his own driveway.

“We, as Americans, should never forget that our country was founded in part on the principle of religious freedom. Our constitution protects the freedom of religion.”

Costa Statement on President Trump’s Address to a Joint Session of Congress

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Costa released the following statement after President Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress.

“Tonight’s address to a joint session of Congress gave the President a new opportunity to work on a bipartisan basis with Congress.  It is my hope that President Trump was sincere in saying that he wants to find common ground and work together on behalf of all Americans. I want the President to succeed because his success is crucial for America’s continued growth and progress. 

Costa Announces Passport Services for Merced County Residents

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement to announce that the Merced County Registrar of Voters’ Office is designated as an official passport acceptance facility and will accept passport applications on behalf of the United States Department of State. Rep. Costa was instrumental in coordinating with the State Department’s U.S. Passports and International Travel San Francisco Passport Agency to ensure that residents in Merced have access to passport services.

Rep. Costa Looks Forward to Welcome Home for Eman Ali

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement after his constituent Ahmed Ali, and Mr. Ali's 12-year-old daughter, Eman, boarded a plane in Frankfurt that is en route to San Francisco, California. They are expected to land at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) after 4:00pm. Mr. Ali and Eman began their travels to the United States when U.S.

Costa Statement on President Trump’s Executive Order to Ban Refugees

MERCED, CA - A Los Banos resident and U.S. citizen, Ahmed Ali, and his 12-year-old daughter were stopped in an airport in Djibouti when trying to board a plane to the United States. The girl was issued an American immigrant visa the day before President Donald Trump’s executive order was signed to ban individuals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Since the 12-year-old girl went through all the rigorous channels to obtain an immigrant visa, and her parents are U.S.

Costa Statement on the Inauguration of President Donald Trump

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement on the Inauguration of President Donald Trump.

“The peaceful transition of power is fundamental to America’s Democratic principles.  As an elected member of the Legislative Branch, a co-equal branch of government, I believe it is my role and responsibility to attend the President’s swearing-in ceremony.