Weekly Newsletter 12.09.2019

Dear Friend,

It’s been a busy week in Washington, where I'm working on legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs and stabilize our agricultural workforce. Here are some highlights:

Lowering prescription drug costs

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Drug costs continue to soar and the health of the American people is suffering. I voted to pass H.R.3 - the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which would benefit nearly 400,000 people in our district alone. It also builds on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by providing $10 billion for expanding community health clinics, which have been instrumental in increasing access to care in the San Joaquin Valley.


Protecting Valley agriculture

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We also passed H.R. 5038 - the Farm Workforce 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 and It’s not fair they be subjected to living and working in fear.  Providing them a path to legal residency will help stabilize a workforce for farms around the country and alleviate the 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! 


Strengthening our national security


I voted to pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report. In this year's bill we gave a pay raise to our hardworking military service members, repealed the Widow's tax, and provided them with 12 weeks of paid parental leave. We also increased resources for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence in the armed forces. 


Fighting world hunger

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As the Chairman of the Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee, we held a hearing to evaluate the success in implementing international food aid programs, which I fought to include in last year's Farm Bill. Programs such as Food for Peace provide critical nutrition assistance to people around the world. I recently introduced a resolution recognizing the success of the Food for Peace program and I called on the Administration to continue supporting these programs. 


Holiday Card Drive


This holiday season, I am continuing my tradition of an annual holiday card drive for service members, veterans, and their families. I invite you to join me in thanking these American heroes for their service and sacrifice by dropping off or mailing holiday cards to my Fresno and Merced offices by December 19th. It is so important that we let them know how much we value them and everything they do. 


Valley lands big dollars


One of my highest priorities is to see that your taxpayer dollars come back to the district. I'm pleased to report the Department of Agriculture awarded two grants to help our farmers transition to renewable energy systems. The Rural Energy for America program is critical for our nation’s energy supply and I am proud to have stood by my colleagues to ensure this program was included in the 2018 Farm Bill. 


Other work on behalf of our Valley: 

  • Cosponsored a resolution opposing President Trump's move to formally withdraw from the Paris Agreement.  
  • Cosponsored a bill giving the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) the flexibility to pay their officers in the event of a future shutdown. 

Upcoming Events Across the District:


Christmas Tree Lane

Fresno’s Christmas Tree Lane is a tradition going back 97 years. Each December, North Van Ness Boulevard in Fig Garden becomes a one-way street lined with hundreds of trees and homes all decked-out for the holidays. Visitors can drive the 2-mile stretch from Shields to Shaw all the way until Christmas Day (Click for more info)

When:  Tuesday, December 3rd - Wednesday, December 25th                              

Where: Shields Ave and N. Van Ness Fresno, CA



Advocate Information Session – CASA of Fresno and Madera Counties

Find out how you can make a difference in the life of a foster child in our community by attending an upcoming information session. (Click here for more info)

When: Saturday, December 14 10:30am - 12:00pm

Where: 525 Yosemite Ave, Madera, CA 93638


Zoo Lights

For this annual event, the entire Zoo is transformed into a magical winter wonderland, fully decorated and strung with miles of holiday lights. Enjoy live entertainment, festive treats and beverages for adults and children as well as free photos with Santa Claus (Click for more Info).

When: December 6th – 8th  5PM - 8PM

Where: Fresno Chaffee Zoo


UC Merced’s Fall Commencement Ceremony

Join us in celebrating this year's graduates as they move on from their college careers into professional ones.

When: Sunday, December 15, 2019 

Where: Joseph E. Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center


San Joaquin Chorale Christmas Concert

Annual Christmas concert presented by community members of the Chorale. (Click here for more info)

When: Sunday, December 15, 3:00pm-4:30pm 

Where: University Presbyterian Church, 1776 East Roberts Fresno, CA 93710


Current Legislation:


Recent News Coverage:



Jim Costa
Member of Congress

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