Weekly Newsletter 10.21.2020

Dear Friend,

During the height of this pandemic under difficult times, we’ve been trying very hard to address the challenges Americans are facing across the country and in California’s 16th Congressional district.

This week’s newsletter provides key updates on the important work I’ve been doing on behalf of our Valley, including securing drinking water for the people of Dos Palos, avoiding a government shutdown, and a host of others. Here are some highlights: 


Avoiding a government shutdown

One of the primary responsibilities of Congress is to pass a budget every year. It is irresponsible for the Admin or members of Congress to ever threaten to shut down government. As such, in the years I’ve been in Congress, I’ve never voted to shut down government. 

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The House passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government funded through December 11th. This bipartisan compromise comes at an important time and ensures we avoid another government shutdown. This deal extends lifelines for families and provides funding for critical programs that have helped Americans absorb the shocks of the pandemic, like waivers for the School Meal Program and ensuring parents can pick up nutritious lunches for their kids. 

The American people are depending on us and it’s past time for both sides of the aisle to come together and find a solution for the next stimulus package. That’s why as a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, I’ve been working very hard on a bipartisan solution to bridge the gap to provide a compromise to ensure a stimulus package is passed before the end of the year. 

See how the bill benefits the San Joaquin Valley. 


Securing clean drinking water for Dos Palos

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Ensuring our communities have clean drinking water has  always been among my highest priorities. The water situation in Dos Palos has gone on too long and disrupted too many lives. I am thankful that the California State Water Resources Control Board granted $11 million to build a new water treatment plant in Dos Palos. I’m proud that my partnership with Assemblyman Adam Gray and Senator Ana Caballero successfully brought federal, state, and local leaders together. We have been able to provide funding at every level to replace Dos Palos’ antiquated water system. The result will allow construction of a new water facility in 2021.   


Advancing higher education in the Valley

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Click here to play video

I was proud to participate in the Fresno Community College’s West Fresno Campus  groundbreaking ceremony. This is an historic moment for FCC and west Fresno, paving the way for a more prosperous future for everyone who lives and works in this community!

This is a legacy project that will make a difference. It will provide an economic renaissance for a neighborhood in Fresno that for decades has been forgotten. The new West Fresno Campus will create educational opportunities that are much needed for our Valley. 


Hometown Hero 

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This week’s shoutout goes to Chowchilla Entrepreneur David Salter of Salter’s Distributing.

David Salter, whose business recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, won the SBA 2020 Small Business Person of the Year Award during National Small Business Week. 

Founded in 1990, Salter’s Distributing employs 55 full-time staff and specializes in distributing toys, stationery, gloves, and thousands of other items to over 1,800 stores across the San Joaquin Valley. 

Congratulations David and your team - keep up the good work!

 


Creating economic opportunities 

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High Speed Rail has created over 4,000 jobs and partnered with over 500 small businesses across the state. I was pleased to attend the grand opening of their new Central Valley Training Center in Selma, which will offer 16 weeks of customized classroom instruction to help fulfill the labor force training needed for the high-speed rail project.

In February, I introduced the High-Speed Rail Corridor Development Act, to provide $32 billion to fund projects in federally designated high-speed rail corridors to directly assist in funding the completion of California’s High-Speed Rail project. 


Promoting global food security

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I’m pleased to report that the UN World Food Programme recently received the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts. As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture, I’ve long said that food security is a national security issue. This award emphasizes the important connection between stamping out global hunger and striving for world peace. 

We reaffirmed Congress’ bipartisan support for international food assistance programs like Food for Peace and McGovern-Dole Food for Education that help to enable America’s farmers and WFP’s to work together to help feed the world. With nearly 100 million people expected to need urgent humanitarian food assistance globally this year, it is essential that the U.S. continues to work with our international partners.


Investing in a sustainable future

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October 8th was National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day. I introduced a resolution designating this day and recognizing the importance of this technology toward improving air quality and building a more sustainable future. 

I also voted to pass the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act to make important investments in clean energy technologies. This bill benefits the San Joaquin Valley by taking a bold step toward transforming our country’s energy systems, creating jobs and reducing carbon emissions. This will offer innovative solutions to strengthen our resiliency to wildfires and other extreme weather events, as well as reauthorize programs that will improve air quality in the Valley. 

See a full list of reforms to modernize our energy systems and address the climate crisis.


Vote by Mail

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Americans can take additional steps to make sure their vote will count:
  • Request your ballot
  • Read all instructions
  • Sign your ballot
  • Seal your ballot
  • Mail it back or drop it off
  • …and do it early!

Information for your County:

MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT! 


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Local COVID-19 Cases

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Track recent COVID-19 developments in: 

Find a testing center near you:


Resources:

We’ve compiled all the resources you need in one convenient location on our website.  

If you need specific help from our district office, please submit a request and a member of our staff will contact you. 



Recursos en Español 

Hemos concentrada toda la información sobre COVID-19 que necesita en un lugar conveniente. Visita mi sitio web.

FREE MOBILE COVID-19 TESTING

UCSF-Fresno has launched the Fresno COVID-19 Equity Project to increase access to testing and health screenings in underserved areas. All testing is free, but registration is required. 

Find out more and register. 

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MADERA PANDEMIC ASSISTANCE GRANTS AVAILABLE

Round 2 of the pandemic assistance grants funded by the CARES Act are now available for small businesses to apply. Grant amounts vary from $5,000 to $10,000 depending on the number of full-time employees.

Find out more.  


MAKE SURE YOU GET YOUR REAL ID

Beginning October 1, 2021, the federal government will require your state-issued drivers license or ID card to be REAL ID compliant. Plan ahead and apply for your REAL ID soon!

Find out more. 

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RESOURCES FOR FARMERS IMPACTED BY WILDFIRE

As wildfires continue to rage across our state, farmer’s fields are being affected. If you’ve been impacted by wildfires, there are federal resources that can help. The Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP) provides assistance to producers for losses due to disease, certain adverse weather events or loss conditions, including blizzards and wildfires. 

The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) also provides support for producers who have experienced livestock deaths as a result of adverse weather conditions. 

Contact your local county USDA Farm Service Agency office to determine your eligibility and which program would best serve your needs. 

Learn more about USDA’s disaster assistance programs. 


TIME TO RENEW YOUR INDIVIDUAL TAXPAYER ID!

At the end of the year some individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITIN) will expire. Taxpayers with expiring ITINs must renew their ID number with the IRS before the end of the year. 

Expiring ITINs.

How to renew your ITIN.

 

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Stay strong and we will get through this crisis. Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you need assistance.

Sincerely,

 


Jim Costa
Member of Congress

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