End of the Year Newsletter

Dear Friend,

It's been a productive 2019! I've been working hard to deliver results for the people of the Valley; from passing meaningful immigration reform for farm workers around the country to advancing the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA), we've accomplished a lot this year.


BY THE NUMBERS

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ENGAGING CONSTITUENTS ON THE ISSUES

In 2019, I attended and organized over 80 town halls, round tables, workshops, and events to ensure I can accurately amplify the voices of our Valley and be a trusted advocate for you in Washington. 

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KEY ACCOMPLISHMENTS

The past year has been full of big developments for our Valley. I'm proud of what we've accomplished for residents throughout California and across the country. 

United States Mexico Canada Agreement

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After spending the last year working behind the scenes with House leadership and Ambassador Robert Lighthizer to build bipartisan support, we finally passed the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA). This will protect and expand our Canadian and Mexican market access. Trade is vital to American agriculture, especially for the specialty crop, tree nut, dairy and livestock producers in the San Joaquin Valley and across California. This deal also strengthens labor and environmental standards. I'm proud to support approval of the USMCA because ultimately, good trade agreements mean good paying jobs.

 

Farm Workforce Modernization Act

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We also passed H.R. 5038 - the Farm Workforce and Modernization Act. This is an historic moment for farming communities across America, especially here in California and the San Joaquin Valley. Farmworkers are part of our communities and are some of the hardest working people I've met. It's not fair they be subjected to living and working in fear. Providing them with a path to legal residency will help stabilize a workforce for farms around the country and alleviate hardships they've been struggling with for years. This bipartisan bill is a monumental step in improving our immigration system. It's good for farmers, farmworkers, and American agriculture. It's the right thing to do!

 

Highway 99 Widening Project

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Throughout my career representing the San Joaquin Valley, I have fought to improve Highway 99. Despite recent reports, work on Highway 99 in Madera will continue. The California Transportation Agency and Governor Newsom have assured me they remain committed to partnering with our local agencies to help advance other segments of the Highway 99 project. Continuation of this important work will have important benefits for the Valley, including relieving traffic congestion and improving our air quality. I welcome the opportunity to continue working with State leaders on this project.  

 

Veterans Boulevard Funding Construction

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Another local infrastructure project that's been approved for construction is the the Veterans Boulevard project in Fresno. When complete, Veterans Boulevard will help improve our air quality, traffic safety and economy. This was a team effort, with valley leaders working together many years to get funding for this important piece of infrastructure. I’m thrilled to see that our persistence paid off. It’s federal dollars like this —matching with state and local funding — that will help our community flourish.

 

Lowering Prescription Drug Costs
 

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Prescription drug costs are out of control and constituents in my district are suffering. Many are forced to choose between paying for medications they need or putting food on the table. I voted for HR 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which will lower the price of medications for nearly 400,000 people in my district. This legislation would also benefit California and the San Joaquin Valley residents by expanding access to healthcare in rural Communities. 

 


LEGISLATING FOR THE PEOPLE

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In 2019, the House passed over 400 bills ranging from enhancing gun safety to lowering the cost of prescription drugs. 275 of these bills were bipartisan, yet the Senate still refuses to take them up. Looking ahead to 2020, I will continue to uphold my promise to the people of the San Joaquin Valley and work to deliver results on your priorities. 

Sincerely,

 


Jim Costa
Member of Congress

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