Weekly Newsletter 03.04.2020

Dear Friend,

We are back in Washington working to address the threat of the coronavirus outbreak, ensure our farmers have access to markets, and provide for our federal employees. Here are some highlights:

Protecting Valley agriculture

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In an Agriculture Committee hearing, I questioned Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on the state of the farm economy. He provided an update on how trade might be affected by the recent coronavirus outbreak and phase I of the Japan trade deal. I also asked why specific specialty crops have suffered losses to China are not included in the Market Facilitation Program. I'll continue to work with the Administration to achieve the best outcomes for Valley farmers. 


Ensuring Americans' health and safety


With recent cases of Coronavirus discovered in Madera and Fresno Counties, I want to take a moment to tell you about the actions we've taken to help keep people safe. Last week, the House voted for an overwhelmingly bipartisan piece of legislation to provide $8.3 Billion to protect Americans. The bill, which the President signed into law on Friday, will provide $3.2 billion to bolster prevention, preparedness, and response efforts, including $950 million to support state and local health agencies, and nearly $1 billion to procure medicine and supplies for Community Health Centers. I am in regular contact with Valley health officials to ensure we clearly relay their needs to state and federal officials. Here are the recommendations to stay safe


Fighting world hunger

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The Foreign Affairs Committee voted to advance a resolution that I introduced to recognize the importance of the Food for Peace program. Food security is a national security issue and this program has provided millions of dollars in food aid to countries that need it most. It passed the Committee by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote. 


Keeping the Administration accountable


The human rights situation in Laos is deeply troubling and the Administration’s recent moves to deport Hmong and Lao residents of the U.S. to that country are alarming. I have sent letters to Secretary Pompeo and Acting Secretary Wolf to express my concerns and request more information. I am also supporting legislation that would require examination of the facts prior to determining whether they justify such action. My office has, and will continue to be actively engaged with the Hmong community in the Valley to provide further information and support in order to assist those affected. 


Bringing home federal dollars


One of my top priorities is to see our taxpayer dollars come back to the district. I'm pleased to report that the Department of Health and Human Services recently awarded $10.8 million dollars in grant funding to Golden Valley Health Centers to develop health center clusters in Merced.


Other work on behalf of our Valley:

  • Voted to pass a bill I cosponsored to improve workplace rights and benefits for Transportation Security Administration employees. 


Meeting of the Week: 


It was a pleasure to sit down with California Association of Realtors' Treasurer, Jennifer Branchini, and Federal Committee Chair, Melanie Barker, to discuss issues facing the industry and the housing crisis in California. I look forward to continue working with them to support both realtors and residents.  

Upcoming Events Across the District:


Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

The Central Valley Opportunity Center is offering free Income tax assistance. The event occurs on Saturdays only, and will be open to the public until April 11, 2020. No appointments are necessary. Come prepared with all the proper documents needed to file your tax return. (See for More Information).

Where: 1225 Gill Ave, Madera, CA 93637

When: Every Saturday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm until April 11th


Lunch and Learn – Five Steps for Business Accessibility  

Tickets to this event cost $10 for members and $20 for non-members and lunch is included. This event will educate business owners on accessibility and the associated resources businesses can use to make their businesses more accessible (Find more information here).

Where: Fresno Chamber of Commerce, 2331 Fresno St, CA  

When: Tuesday, March 17, 11.30AM – 1:00 pm



Leadership Fresno – Recruitment Mixer  

This is a networking event for business owners across Fresno and surrounding areas and an opportunity for those interested in becoming a part of the next class of Leadership Fresno to learn more about the program. This event is free to attend, and appetizers will be provided. Leadership Fresno Alumni will also be in attendance. RSVP by emailing rjohnson@fresnochamber.com. (Find more information here)

Where: The Lime Lite, 1054 W. Shaw Avenue, Fresno CA 93711

When: WednesdayMarch 25, 5:30PM


Run with the Heroes 2020

The Valley Children's Hospital 5th annual Run with the Heroes will benefit George's Pass, a program to improve care and ease the hospital experience for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and special needs. Kicking off Autism Awareness month, this event is sensory friendly, family-centered and packed with tons of fun for all to enjoy together. Bring the whole family, invite your friends and dress up as your favorite superhero to support a great cause! All participants will receive a commemorative medal to celebrate our 5th year! (For more information here).

Where: Valley Children’s Hospital 9300 Valley Children’s Pl, Madera, CA

When: Saturday, March 28, 9 am PDT


Current Legislation:


Recent News Coverage:



Jim Costa
Member of Congress

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