Weekly Newsletter 7.16.2019
After a busy week, I am back in Washington where the House is working on important legislation like the Intelligence Authorization Act and the Raise the Wage Act. Here are some of the highlights from the week of July 15th:
Fighting for working families
After more than a decade with no increase in the federal minimum wage, the House passed H.R. 582 - the Raise the Wage Act of 2019, to incrementally raise the federal minimum wage to $15.00 over a six-year period. I supported this legislation, which would give over 33 million Americans a raise and lift 1.3 million Americans out of poverty. In California in 2017, the legislature raised the minimum wage to $10.50 an hour to be incrementally increased to $15.00 by 2023. Many other states have also raised their minimum wages. Ensuring a federal living wage is not only the right thing to do, but creates a more level playing field in America for workers and businesses alike. This gradual increase is a responsible way to put money in the pockets of hardworking families and foster economic growth across the country.
Calling out bad immigration policy
As a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, I spoke against the Trump Administration's plan for ICE Raids in 10 major cities. These raids are nothing more than an attempt to stoke fear in immigrant communities and break up families. They do nothing to resolve the crisis at our border or provide a solution to our broken immigration system. We are a nation of immigrants past and present. Immigrants are contributing members of our communities - people who are here to build a better future for themselves and their families.
Watch my statement:
Supporting the Livestock and Poultry Economy
This week, I held a hearing in the Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee, where I am the chairman, to explore ways we can support this critical industry. In our district alone, sales of livestock, poultry and related products account for over $2 billion a year. The hearing explored ways to improve market access, implement new animal health programs, and build a dependable, year-round workforce.
Based on the witnesses' testimony, it's clear that securing access to a reliable workforce and improving overseas market footprints through trade are crucial to the success of the industry. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Subcommittee to address these challenges.
Watch my opening statement:
Safeguarding our elections
Making sure every American’s vote counts in our elections is among my top priorities. That's why I cosponsored H.R.3501 - the Safeguard our Elections and Combat Unlawful Interference in Our Democracy Act, which passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee this week. I also cosponsored and supported H.R.2722 - the Securing American Federal Elections (SAFE) Act to modernize our voting infrastructure and ensure that state and local election officials have the tools they need to safeguard the integrity of our elections.
Fresno, Kings, and Kern counties are ranked in the top 5 counties with among the worst air pollution in the nation. That's why I secured more funding in last year's Farm Bill for programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program(EQUIP), which provides money for farmers to replace old, high-polluting equipment with new, greener sustainable alternatives.
I also cosponsored the reauthorization of H.R.1768 - the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA), and sent a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, about the importance of providing federal assistance to replace polluting vehicles under DERA.
It's important to address air pollution in the Valley. I’ve worked for decades on this problem, and am the primary author of state legislation to create the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. I remain committed to finding resources to improve our environment and reduce pollution.
Upcoming Events Across the District:
Madera 99 Widening Project Groundbreaking:
Please join us and other transportation agencies to celebrate the groundbreaking of the widening project of Highway 99 from Avenue 12 to Avenue 17.
For the over 2 years, I've worked with Mayor Medellin, the City Council and the Madera County Board of Supervisors to secure state and local funding for this important work. Improving Highway 99 has been a top priority for me and I'm pleased that we can create safer roads and reduce traffic congestion through this project.
When: 10 a.m. Friday, July 19, 2019
Where: Rotary Park - 930 N. Gateway Dr., Madera, CA 93637
Madera Block Party:
At the fairgrounds the third Friday of June, July and August. The free event, from 5:30pm to 9:30pm, includes food trucks, drinks, and specialized activities.
Where: Madera District Fair, 1850 W Cleveland Ave, Madera, California 93637
Latino Outdoors at Scout Island:
This free canoe paddle along the San Joaquin River is an easy, family friendly activity filled with cultural and natural information about our watersheds.
Meet at Scout Island at 9:45 AM on Sat, July 20, 2019. You'll paddle and play, then enjoy a light lunch provided by Latino Outdoors volunteers before heading out at 2PM. Be sure to bring sunglasses, water, closed-toed shoes, and sunscreen.
Downtown Merced Art Hop:
Come and see what the artists around Merced have been working on and enjoy live music, interactive activities, and a lot of fun!
Engineer it, Girl! at Fresno State:
July 27th, 10-12pm
“Engineer it, Girl!” is a free program hosted by ValleyPBS, presented by Chevron to encourage interest in engineering for young girls grades K-3 in Fresno County.
When: 10:00am-12:00pm Saturday July 27th
Where: California State University, Fresno, 5241 N Maple Ave, Fresno, CA 93740
Recent News Coverage:
- KTVO | 07.12.2019 | Proposed legislation to help Angel Families may not get far
- The Fresno Bee | 7.12.2019 | Costa joins Hispanic caucus members to denounce immigration raids
- Costa, Grassley see USMCA passage in fall as Hoeven leads colloquy
- New Trump rule to end asylum for most migrants at southern border