Weekly Newsletter 7.23.2019

Dear Friend,

It's the final week of session before the August district work period. In Washington, the House is working on a 2-year budget deal and legislation to ensure basic humanitarian living standards for detainees at the border. Here are some highlights from the week of July 23: 


Funding the government

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The House passed a bipartisan budget deal to fund the government for the next two years. This agreement represents a hard fought and negotiated compromise that supports government programs important to both sides of the aisle. The deal ensures funding for Medicare provider payments, unemployment insurance, Section 8 housing vouchers, Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) assistance, and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). It also secures funding for our military and veterans. And, it prevents another irresponsible government shutdown, which means federal workers stay on the job to provide needed services to our community.

 

Improving Highway 99

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Last week, we broke ground on the widening of Highway 99 between Avenue 12 and Avenue 17 in Madera, CA. For over 2 years, I've worked with Mayor Medellin, the City Council, the Madera County Board of Supervisors, and California Department of Transportation to secure various funding streams for this important construction. This long-awaited project will reduce commute times and create safer roads for drivers throughout the Valley. It will also provide greater economic opportunities. 

 

Fighting for Valley water

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As a member of the Natural Resources Committee and Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee, it's my job to push for revitalization of our nations water infrastructure to ensure that our farmers are able to irrigate their crops and our constituents enjoy access to clean, safe drinking water. During a Natural Resources hearing, I made a case for updating our water infrastructure as we identified its specific funding needs for Bureau of Reclamation.

Watch my statement: 

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Pushing to feed our communities 

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I'm outraged that the USDA wants to limit eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which would deny 3.1 million Americans their SNAP benefits. In our district, 25% of constituents currently receive SNAP benefits. Congress denied these changes last year when it passed the Farm Bill. Hardworking families, seniors, students and children rely on this assistance to make ends meet each month. I am working with my colleagues on the House Agriculture Committee to fight this attack and ensure people in our district receive the support they need.

 

Engaging with constituents

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Three constituents for our district visited Washington as participants in the Ready 2 Lead Next Generation Program through the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI). These high school students are interested in learning more about political processes and enhancing civic engagement. It was fun to show these high-achieving students around the Capitol and share a bit of our nation's history. We discussed issues facing youth in our community and explored ways to amplify their voices. 

Every summer and fall, I host interns from the Costa Scholars Legislative Intern Program, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the Panetta Institute, and University of California D.C. Program, who have the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in and insight into the legislative process. Over the course of their 8-10 week internship, they participate in policy-making efforts by assisting staff and earning credible knowledge in specific subject areas, ultimately cultivating a passion for public service.

 

Reducing emissions

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I’m proud to continue my long-established efforts to clean up the Valley’s air. I introduced the Clean School Bus Act along with Rep. Hayes of Connecticut to begin replacing the 475,000 diesel school buses in operation with electric alternatives. By switching to electric school buses, we can improve health and educational results at the same time. In the face of a climate crisis, we need to explore creative ways to reduce emissions and shift to more sustainable infrastructure.

 

Preserving public lands

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I supported two bills that will help maintain our public lands. The House Natural Resources Committee debated and advanced H.R.1373 - the Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Actand H.R.2181 - the Chaco Cultural Heritage Protection Act. These bills preserve iconic national monuments and heritage sites by permanently banning uranium mining in the Grand Canyon and prevent drilling in Chaco Canyon. I will continue to fight to ensure that our national parks are protected for future generations to enjoy.

 

Standing with our allies

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The House passed a package of bills that reinforces U.S. support of Israel and aims to lay the groundwork for peace and economic prosperity in the region. The package included two bills that I cosponsored, H.Res.246, a resolution to oppose the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement targeting Israel, and H.R. 1837 – United States – Israel Cooperation Enhancement and Regional Security Act. In addition, it included H.R. 1850 – the Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act. I will continue to work with my colleagues to promote policies that work toward peaceful solutions.   


Upcoming Events Across the District:

Sequoia Brewing Co. Military/Veterans VA Loan Seminar:

Join fellow Military, Veterans, and their families at the Sequoia Brewing Company in North Fresno to learn more about VA Home Loans. This seminar will be hosted by Elijah Orozco - #1 VA Lender Team in California. Please register here

When: Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Where: Sequoia Brewing Company 1188 East Champlain Drive #Suite 107 Fresno, CA 93720

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14th Annual Breastfeeding Awareness Walk and Celebration: 

Take part in the 14th Annual Awareness Walk and Celebration. Free t-shirts, prizes, snacks, and children’s activities. Refreshments will be available for purchase. The first step to a healthy life is community. Please register here

When: Sat, August 3, 2019

Where: Woodward Park – Mountain View Shelter – 7775 N Friant Rd. Fresno, CA

Clicking Caravan at Fresno County Historical Museum: 

The Fresno County Historical Museum invites you to expand your photography skills to capture the unique photo opportunities. Please register here

When: Sat, August 3, 2019

Where: Woodward Park – Mountain View Shelter – 7775 N Friant Rd. Fresno, CA

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Yosemite Veterans Education and Leadership 2019 Seminar:

Sixteen veterans will share their expertise in veterans and educational programs. Develop a new support team you can communicate with in achieving educational and career goals. Apply by July 26, 2019 for priority consideration. Applications close August 7, 2019Apply online.

For More Information Contact: Steve Shackelton at sshackelton@ucmerced.edu

7th Annual VA Central California Mental Health Summit: 

The purpose of the Mental Health Summit is to bring together key stakeholders in the community with the goal of enhancing access to mental health services and to address the mental healthcare needs of Veterans and their family members residing in Central California. Please register here

When: Wed, August 21, 2019

Where: Clovis veterans Memorial District 808 4th Street Clovis, CA 93612

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Recent News Coverage:

Sincerely,

 
Jim Costa
Member of Congress

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