We conclude the week with upsetting but expected news: the Supreme Court decided to overturn Roe v. Wade and end constitutional protections for abortion. Sadly, millions of American women have fewer rights than the generations that came before them. My heart breaks for every single person who will suffer the consequences of this decision that reverses decades of hard-fought progress. We braced ourselves knowing this day would come. Now that this day is here, we cannot give up. If we want change, we the people must not relent in having our voices heard and our will protected.
After passing the House and Senate, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is on its way to President Biden's desk today. This legislation came together thanks to a committed bipartisan group of senators following the tragic shooting in Uvalde. We still have a long road ahead, but we celebrate the passage of the most significant federal gun legislation in decades.
Below is another update on the work my staff and I have done recently to serve you.
Protecting the Sequoias and Reducing the Severity of Wildfires that Worsen Climate Change
This week, I introduced the Save Our Sequoias Act with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23), Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16), House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (AR-4), Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), and Rep. David Valadao (CA-21). This bill creates a comprehensive approach to protect giant sequoia groves against wildland fire and restore recently burned groves. Poor land management and climate change are driving forces behind severe fires that threaten the survival of giant sequoias and the stability of the climate. In just two years, California wildfires contributed more to climate change than the state’s entire power sector.
The bipartisan Save Our Sequoias Act charts a new path forward in federal forest and wildfire policy to combat climate change and ensure the giant sequoias stand safely for years to come. For more information, you can read coverage from the San Francisco Chronicle and learn more about this problem for a recent column in Washington Post.
Increasing Access to Affordable Housing for Millions of Americans
I also introduced the Fair Housing Improvement Act of 2022 this week with Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA). This legislation would add ‘source of income’ and ‘veteran status’ to the current list of protected classes under the Fair Housing Act, which provides protection from discrimination when people rent or buy a home, get a mortgage, or engage in other housing-related activities.
The Fair Housing Improvement Act would protect more families and individuals who earn lawful sources of income from discrimination. These sources of income include housing choice vouchers, benefits received through Social Security, income received by a court order, and payment from a trust or guardian, among others. By adding ‘veteran status’ as a protected class, the Fair Housing Improvement Act also protects veterans who rely on HUD-VASH vouchers, which help homeless veterans and their families find and sustain permanent housing. With the leadership of Senator Kaine, this bill is especially critical to San Diego’s veterans who seek housing after transitioning to civilian life and families who cannot keep up with high costs of rent.
Pushing for Investments in Our Energy Infrastructure
On Wednesday, I participated in an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the strength, efficiency and financing of our energy infrastructure. This hearing focused on six bills including a bill I co-sponsored, the Guaranteeing Resilient Installations for Defense (GRID) Act. The bill would improve the resilience of defense critical electric infrastructure and reduce the vulnerability of critical defense facilities due to disruptions of electric energy supply. During my testimony, I spoke about MCAS Miramar's innovative microgrid, and asked Dr. Dustin Mulvaney from San Jose State University to elaborate how investments in the resilience of defense critical infrastructure and in local electricity infrastructure can improve our national security.
Meeting San Diego's Future Leaders
Yesterday, I met with members of the Aaron Price Fellows program. This program prepares a highly motivated and diverse group of San Diego public high school students to be responsible and engaged members of their community. I addressed this cohort of approximately 40 students and emphasized the importance of being leaders who bring together people of all beliefs and backgrounds to find solutions for our nation’s problems. I thank my colleagues, Rep. Jodey Arrington (TX-19), Rep. Stephanie Murphy (FL-7), and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL) for joining me during this meeting. It was inspiring to speak with such an engaged group of young people!
If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or need assistance with a federal agency, reach out to us through our website or by calling the district office at 858-455-5550.
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