Congressman Scott Peters

Representing the 52nd District of California

Climate Playbook Updates

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October 15, 2021

Dear friend,

I look forward to returning to Washington, D.C. next week as we continue to negotiate and deliver investments for the American people. Before returning to the Capitol, I spent a great week in San Diego meeting with the people I represent and answering important questions about my work in Congress. 

Below is another update on some of the work my staff and I have done this week to serve you.


Subcommittee on Health Legislative Hearing

Rep Peters speaking during the HVAC subcommittee legislative hearing

On Wednesday, I spoke about a bill I authored, the Veteran Peer Specialist Act of 2021, during a House Veterans Affairs Committee Health Subcommittee legislative hearing. The bills considered during this hearing seek to support veterans' health and mental care needs. I want to thank Committee leadership for including my legislation to improve veterans' quality of life.


Virtual Town Hall on Current Events

in Congress

town hall smiling

On Tuesday, I held a virtual event to hear from the people of California's 52nd district. Before taking questions from the audience, I discussed current negotiations in Congress related to the Build Back Better Act, also known as the reconciliation bill, and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework. During the town hall, many people asked about my position on H.R. 3 to lower prescription drug costs and I elaborated on my own plan to lower costs, the Reduced Costs and Continued Cures Act. I also responded to questions about voting rights, pollution in the Tijuana River Valley, policies to tackle climate change, and carbon pricing among other topics. Thank you to everyone who attended and participated!

If you missed this event, you can watch it here.


Connecting with Students from Mt. Carmel High School Civics Class

Rep. Peters meet with local students

On Wednesday, I met with students from Mt. Carmel High School in Rancho Peñasquitos to talk about my work in Congress and how young adults can be active in their communities to make a difference. I answered students' questions on the legislative process, my career that led me to Washington, D.C., as well my favorite parts of being a Member of Congress.


Meeting with Members of the American Diabetes Association

Meeting with American Diabetes Association

On Thursday, I had a great meeting with local members of the American Diabetes Association to discuss how COVID-19 has impacted people with diabetes and to talk about my commitment to lower the cost of drugs, especially for our seniors and for people who need insulin. I was honored to hear their personal stories of living with diabetes and dealing with the rising cost of insulin. We need to improve coverage in Medicare and Medicaid, reduce the cost of hospital care and medications, and reform food and nutrition policy in order to prevent the onset of prediabetes, delay or avert the evolution of prediabetes into diabetes, and manage diabetes care after diagnosis.


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.

To stay updated on my work throughout the week, you can also follow my social media accounts by clicking on the icons below.

Oct 15, 2021

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October 8, 2021

Dear friend,

After speculation and fear that the U.S. would default on its debt, the Senate approved a short-term deal this week to increase the country's borrowing limit and keep the country solvent into December. The House is expected to vote on the bill next Tuesday before sending it to President Biden's desk. 

I will also be hosting virtual event next Tuesday from 4-5 P.M. PST to hear from the people I represent, and share details on the status of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework and the Build Back Better Act. During this webinar, I will be taking questions and providing insight on these transformational investments for our future. You can register to attend via Zoom.

Below is another update on some of the work my staff and I have done this week to serve you.


This Week's Casework Success Story

Sandra, a landlord who rents out an apartment in Downtown San Diego, contacted my office regarding an issue with the San Diego Housing Commission, which manages the Housing Stability Assistance Program to support tenants with COVID-related financial needs. The Commission notified her that she owed $29,175 after determining that two applications for emergency rental assistance were submitted for her rental unit. Sandra explained to my staff that two tenants with separate leases lived in her apartment, requiring two applications. My staff sent an inquiry and after further review, the Commission confirmed the two tenants qualified for this assistance and Sandra did not need to repay any funds.

"I am 100% positive that I would not have received my COVID-19 rental money without the help of (staff member) at Congressman Peters' office. This is the first time that I've asked for help from the Congressman's office, and (staff member) was wonderful. She was responsive, helpful, and made things happen quickly. I am very appreciative of (staff member) and the team at Congressman Peters' office."

- Sandra


Joint Economic Committee Hearing: "Raising Revenue to Invest in Shared Prosperity” 

jec hearing

On Wednesday, I participated in a hearing to assess how President Biden's Build Back Better agenda would support long-term economic growth, especially as it seeks to have wealthy Americans and large corporation pay their fair share in taxes. I asked Chye-Ching Huang, Executive Director of the Tax Law Center, and Dr. Kimberly Clausing from the U.S. Department of the Treasury about the economic impact of increasing taxes on capital gains for high-income earners and potential changes to corporate tax revenues.


Meeting with Members of the American Friends Service Committee

friends

I was happy to speak with members of the American Friends Service Committee also on Wednesday to discuss the urgent need to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Immigrants play a key role in all aspects of the economy and have served on the front lines among our healthcare workers, first responders, and farm workers throughout the pandemic helping all Americans. Thank you Socorro for sharing your personal story and journey. Sí se puede!


Meeting with Members of the American Psychiatric Association

apa meeting edited

I had a great discussion with members of the American Psychiatric Association on Thursday. We talked about different integrated models designed to help those with behavioral and mental health, as well as a bill that would establish national and regional collaborative care model trainings, and a technical assistance center. I look forward to continuing our conversation so we can find support individuals with behavioral and mental health needs.


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.

To stay updated on my work throughout the week, you can also follow my social media accounts by clicking on the icons below.

Oct 8, 2021

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October 7, 2021

Dear friend,

Congress continues our work to pass two important and historic bills for the American people: the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework and the reconciliation bill, or the Build Back Better Act. I mentioned in last week's newsletter that I will keep working and negotiating in good faith with my colleagues to get these critical but challenging efforts past the finish line. 

While these conversations take place in Washington, D.C., I want to take the time to hear from you and share more details on these legislative processes. Join me next Tuesday for a webinar to break down what's happening in Congress as we plan to make once-in-a-lifetime investments for our future. I will be taking questions to explain where we are now and what is expected in the weeks and months ahead.


Event Details

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Date: Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Time: 4:00-5:00 P.M. (PST)
Location: Virtual via Zoom - Click here to register!

For questions, please contact our office at 858-455-5550.


I look forward to taking with you.

Sincerely,

Oct 7, 2021

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October 1, 2021

Dear friend,

I am encouraged by ongoing conversations to pass two critical pieces of legislation for our country: the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (BIF) and President Biden's reconciliation bill, also known as the Build Back Better Act. I am eager and ready today to pass the BIF and continue to work with my colleagues to develop a reconciliation bill that can earn the support of the House and Senate. I will keep working and negotiating in good faith with my colleagues to get these complicated efforts past the finish line. 

Drug pricing is a large topic in these conversations, and in recent weeks, I have shared details about my drug pricing plan, the Reduced Costs and Continued Cures Act. If you are interested in reading more about my approach to lower drug prices, you can read my op-ed in today's San Diego Union-Tribune.

Below is another update on some of the work my staff and I have done this week to serve you.


This Week's Casework Success Story

Robert from Carmel Valley contacted the office in June to request help getting a 2019 tax refund that was due to his deceased mother. My staff worked with Robert to gather a copy of the tax return, death certificate, and letter from IRS to his mother saying refund was due. In the midst of this process, my staff discovered Robert's mother had the 2019 credit applied to 2020, so the IRS also had to process the 2020 tax return to issue the 2019 refund. My staff gathered the necessary documents in addition to the documents from 2019 that were already submitted. Last week, Robert received the refund for $2,203.96. 

“I don't always agree with Congressman Peters' political views- however I am certainly glad he was there to help a local constituent in need."

- Robert from Carmel Valley


Oversight & Investigation Subcommittee Hearing: "Protecting Communities from Industrial Accidents"

oi chemical hearing

This week, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) was the main topic of discussion during an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing. I expressed my interest in the CSB's role in updating the Environmental Protection Agency's Risk Management Plan Rule (RMP). This rule requires facilities that use extremely hazardous substances to develop a Risk Management Plan to avoid injury or death. I asked Katherine A. Lemos, Ph.D., Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of the CSB, about the board's recent recommendations on how to update the RMP. I also asked whether the CSB would be willing to share information related to safe technologies and practices to the EPA.


Meeting with San Diego State University President Adela de la Torre

On Tuesday, I spoke with San Diego State President Dr. Adela de la Torre via Zoom. We discussed the priorities and achievements of SDSU in light of the ongoing pandemic and university's educational and community efforts. We spoke about the development of the Mission Valley and Imperial Valley campuses, and ways we can work together to keep highly educated students in San Diego as they begin their careers.


Meeting with Honorable Carlos Del Toro, Secretary of the Navy

carlos del toro

On Wednesday, I met with the Honorable Carlos Del Toro, Secretary of the Navy. We discussed shipbuilding and maintenance, the redevelopment of NAVWAR, how the Navy and San Diego can work together on affordable housing for servicemembers, and the possible future of F-35 maintenance in the district.

Meeting with J Street Members

j street

I also met with local members of J Street on Wednesday to discuss the United States' role in bringing Palestinians and Israelis together to discuss a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict between the two countries. Under previous administrations, various measures increased tensions and made our path forward to peace more difficult. However, I am hopeful that progress can be made between President Biden and the most diverse governing coalition in Israeli history. I am committed to do my part to help.


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.

To stay updated on my work throughout the week, you can also follow my social media accounts by clicking on the icons below.

Oct 1, 2021

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September 24, 2021

Dear friend,

I continued my work for the 52nd district from Washington, D.C., this week. The House voted on major pieces of legislation, including the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2022, a bill to keep our government running and prevent default, and the Women's Health Protection Act to protect a woman’s right to make her own reproductive health care decisions throughout the U.S.

I want to acknowledge the messages I have received regarding my vote on H.R. 3 and my drug pricing proposal, the Reduced Costs and Continued Cures Act, during the past few days. Many callers stated that they were encouraged to call by national organizations. However, these organizations did not provide the callers with complete or accurate information about my position or proposal, the Reduced Costs and Continued Cures Act.

It provides a yearly out-of-pocket cap in Medicare for the expense of prescription drugs for those who need assistance most: 

  • $1200 annual out-of-pocket cap for those at 300 percent or less of the Federal Poverty Level;
  • $1800 annual out-of-pocket cap for those at 300 to 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level; and
  • $3100 annual out-of-pocket cap for those at above 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
  • Caps insulin for Medicare beneficiaries at $50 per month.
  • Closes the loopholes abused by drug companies to extend patents that delay generics
  • Claws excess drug company profits going back five years.

H.R. 3 has passed the House twice but has never succeeded in the Senate. This means it has not lowered the cost of one drug or helped one patient. This time around, as Congress considers President Biden's $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, enough senators have signaled they will not support H.R. 3 and I was not willing to watch history repeat itself. That’s why I offered an alternative – one that lowers drug costs for seniors as well as other consumers without stifling investment in future live-saving treatments. More than 50 patient advocacy groups, including the California Access Coalition, have stated strong concerns against H.R.3, and many of them have thanked me for my work to present an alternative. I want to make sure a solution to lower drug prices has the ability to be signed into law. 

Below is another update on some of the work my staff and I have done this week to serve you.


This Week's Casework Success Story

Caroline, a veteran from the 52nd district, contacted my office in mid-August. She requested assistance with extending her HUD-VASH voucher, which was expiring imminently. The HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program combines HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) rental assistance for homeless veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs(VA). Due to a prior eviction on her record, she had trouble finding housing on her own. My staff reached out to the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) and provided necessary documentation and the VASH voucher extension request. The request was quickly reviewed and granted by SDHC and the VA, ensuring that Caroline would remain housed.


Committee Hearings

Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Hearing: "Addressing COVID-19's Impacts on Children"

ec oi 9.22 hearing

On Wednesday, I attended an Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing to explore how the pandemic has affected children and adolescents. I asked two witnesses what we know about how the pandemic has affected development and academic achievement.

Lee Savio Beers, M.D., F.A.A.P. is the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She said the impacts of the pandemic have not been equitably distributed. Children from communities of color, those from lower income families, and those who deal with grief and loss are especially affected. She also emphasized the importance of safe and stable relationships for children to thrive and recover.

Arthur Evans, Jr., Ph.D., is the Chief Executive Officer of the American Psychological Association. He spoke about the wider societal affects on children besides the pandemic, and the need for efficient clinical services, and more resources to address early intervention and prevention to reduce the risk of behavioral problems.

Joint Economic Committee Hearing: "Examining the Economic Benefits of Electrifying America’s Homes and Buildings"

jec 9.22

On Wednesday, I also participated in the Joint Economic Committee's hearing on electrification to save money and our climate. I asked Ari Matusiak, Chief Executive Officer at Rewiring America, what it means for America to electrify homes and buildings and the costs and resources involved in this undertaking. I also asked how Congress could establish programs and incentives to make this happen.


P3 Chamber of Commerce Roundtable

To mark this year's climate week, I participated in many events highlighting my relevant work in Congress and how we can further reach our climate goals. On Thursday, I spoke with the Chamber of Commerce on the importance of bring the public and private sectors together to address the climate crisis. Using the technical expertise and efficiencies of the private sector, combined with the institutional advantages of the public sector, we can establish partnerships that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deliver benefits to our communities.


Meeting with Members of the International Conservation Council Foundation

Rep. Peters at Climate Event 2021

I also met with members of the International Conservation Council Foundation to discuss climate and trade this week. I spoke about how the United States’ trade policy can strengthen the competitiveness of our industries while reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. I also emphasized the importance of establishing a domestic fee on carbon pollution and protecting rain forests across the globe.


San Diego Regional Chamber Board Meeting

chamber

On Thursday, I joined the San Diego Regional Chamber for its monthly board meeting. We discussed the bipartisan infrastructure bill, the reconciliation process, the federal deficit, and other items important to small businesses. Small business remains one of the leading drivers of economic growth, so I was excited to talk about the latest updates from Washington, D.C. Although I am disappointed I will not be seeing all the Chamber of Commerce members for their annual day on Capitol Hill, I appreciated this opportunity to connect via Zoom this week.


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.

To stay updated on my work throughout the week, you can also follow my social media accounts by clicking on the icons below.

Sep 24, 2021

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September 17, 2021

Dear friend,

This week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee considered pieces of President Biden's $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, also known as the Build Back Better Act. From Monday through Wednesday, we debated on subtitles related to air pollution, energy, public health, wireless connectivity, and drug pricing among many others.

By passing the President’s Build Back Better agenda, Congress will make bold and generational investments for our communities. However, lawmakers are in the midst of finalizing the elements in this bill. There is yet to be an agreement between the House and the Senate about either the size or scope of those investments. As we work to build this bill, I opposed the drug pricing proposal, H.R. 3, and offered my own alternative. I am confident that we will come together at the end of this to make a historic investment in our future.

Some reporting has implied I do not support lowering drug prices for seniors, but that is false. I want you to hear my position on lowering out-of-pocket costs directly from me.


Legislation

Concerns with H.R. 3 and the Introduction of the Reduced Costs and Continued Cures Act

Last week, some of my colleagues and I introduced the Reduced Costs and Continued Cures Act. Our proposal would for the first time, limit the out-of-pocket drug expenses of any senior to a maximum of $3,100 per year, and for lower income seniors, $1,200. It would cap insulin expenses at $50 per month.

It would allow Medicare to negotiate for better prices. It would also close patent loopholes abused by drug manufacturers that make it harder for patients to access less expensive generic drugs. And it pays for this by imposing a cap on the price increases drug manufacturers can impose that extends retroactively to 2016, clawing back from pharma companies' excess profits gained since then.

That is why I object strenuously to the deceptive assertion that the reason I opposed the bill was because I want drug prices to stay high. My proposal would achieve exactly the opposite.

The reason I could not support H.R. 3 is because it puts our ability to find new cures in the future at risk. It proposes to have the government set a price, then charge a 95% excise tax against companies who refuse to accept that price. There is very little incentive for an investor to put money into drug development if there is no ability to achieve a return on that investment. 

Why is that important? Drug development is a partnership of the public sector and the private sector. Taxpayers invest about $40 billion in the National Institutes of Health each year to do basic research, but we rely on the private sector to invent medicines using that research. In 2018, the private sector invested more than $100 billion in drug development, at no risk to taxpayers. But that investment would not be made if there was no ability to earn a return at the other side.

Who cares about this? The investors who put up the money for drug development have explained how H.R. 3 would dry up investment and cost jobs. In San Diego, this would be devastating. We are the third largest biotechnology cluster in America, where 68,000 are employed in life sciences, mostly doing research. It is my job to protect this pillar of our local economy.

Over 50 rare disease patient advocacy groups – who fight for cures for cancer, ALS, multiple sclerosis, lupus and other autoimmune diseases – have also publicly expressed concerns with H.R. 3. They worry the cures we could lose might be the ones that save the lives of the sick people they fight for. The independent, nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected that we would lose cures over time if we enact H.R. 3; independent analysts have suggested the number of cures lost would be far worse than CBO predicts. Those potential cures could be for a rare autoimmune disease that affects only a few, or for a widespread disease like Alzheimer’s.

My proposal is to lower drug prices today -- just like Democrats have long proposed -- while we preserve the ability of American scientists to invent the cures for tomorrow. We have to do both. Our bill would pay for itself and, we estimate, generate another $200 billion to support additional health care coverage. If my bill passes, we would finally provide out-of-pocket relief to seniors for the first time. Please take the time to review my full proposal here.

We agree that we must lower the costs of prescription drugs. I am committed to doing the hard work to create a plan to actually get it done.  


Meeting with Constituents

constituent meeting

Earlier today, I spoke with constituents from the Ethiopian American community. We discussed their concerns over the conflicts in Ethiopia and the response from the U.S., including President Biden's recent executive order authorizing new sanctions, Rep. Karen Bass' (CA-37) resolution condemning violence and human rights abuses in Ethiopia, and role of the Tigray People's Liberation Front. My constituents also expressed the importance of the African Growth and Opportunity Act. I want to thank those who participated in this meeting and look forward to our continued engagement to serve the Ethiopian American community.

Fireside Chat with Climate Leadership Council

CLC fireside

I also spoke with Catrina Rorke from the Climate Leadership Council today. Our conversation focused on the importance of carbon pricing and how it can help us achieve many of our climate goals. I discussed a bill I introduced in July with Sen. Chris Coons (CT), the FAIR Transition and Competition Act, which would establish a border carbon adjustment (BCA) on polluting imports to protect U.S. jobs, reduce global emissions, and support communities that suffer the worst effects of climate change. I also spoke about other climate bills and priorities, bipartisanship, and climate provisions in the reconciliation bill we continue developing.

Meeting with Members of the National Small Business Association of San Diego

nat small biz assoc

This week, I held a round table with members of the National Small Business Association of San Diego to discuss various issues their companies are facing. They mentioned issues with disbursing COVID-19 assistance, access to capital, and proposed changes to the tax code. I was glad to hear from NSBA members once again, and look forward to continuing our conversation in the weeks ahead as Congress debates the budget for our upcoming fiscal year.


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.

To stay updated on my work throughout the week, you can also follow my social media accounts by clicking on the icons below.

Sep 17, 2021

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September 10, 2021

Dear friend,

Tomorrow marks 20 years since one of the most tragic events in our history. Almost 3,000 souls died as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. I pray for the families of those we lost that day and honor the memory of every soul that passed away. May we commemorate this solemn day by uniting together, cherishing our freedoms, and honoring the bravery of so many people who fought and continue to fight for that freedom.

For a personal reflection on this day, you can watch my video message here.

This week, I continued my work in the district. Below is another update on some of the work my staff and I have done this week to serve you.


This Week's Casework Success Story

In mid-August, a U.S. Special Operations Forces veteran currently living in downtown San Diego contacted my office for assistance with the evacuation of a translator from Afghanistan. My staff worked with this U.S.-based veteran to gather as much personal information and identifying documents as possible. My office then forwarded these documents to the Department of State with a formal request for evacuation. The interpreter was successfully evacuated five days after this formal request and he is now in the United States awaiting full resettlement. (Names and identities withheld for security purposes.)


NEXT THURSDAY: Service Academy Nominations Information Night

Every year, I have the honor of nominating students to attend our nation's service academies. The privilege of attending a service academy comes with a service obligation and commitment to serve in the military after graduation.

If you are interested in attending one of our nation's service academies and have questions on the nomination process, my office will hold an information night next week on September 16 at 6 P.M. via Zoom.

Admissions counselors from each service academy and from college ROTC programs will participate as panelists to answer questions. Click here for more information and to download the Service Academy Nomination application form.


District Work

Meeting with Hunger Advocacy Network

edit hunger advocacy

On Tuesday, I met with members of the San Diego Hunger Coalition and the Hunger Advocacy Network. We discussed the problem of food insecurity here in San Diego County. To address hunger locally, we spoke about increased access to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, and legislative solutions such as the Stop Child Hunger Act and the Universal School Meals Program Act. Thank you to these groups for working on making hunger a problem of the past, especially during Hunger Awareness Month!

Visit to Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions

caes

This week, I also visited the San Diego facilities of Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions (CAES.) This company is the largest provider of analog and radiation hardened technology for the U.S. aerospace and defense industry and employs 1144 people locally. The company focuses on electronic warfare, missiles, radar, space, medical devices, industrial equipment, and other applications. Many innovative new technologies are developed by our highly skilled workforce here in San Diego.

Meeting with MS Society Members

On Wednesday, I met with local members of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. We discussed the Credit for Caring Act, which would provide a federal tax credit of up to $5,000 for eligible working family caregivers, and how it would help individuals living with MS and their families. We also spoke about the need to expand access to MS medications and reduce the high cost of drugs. 

Meeting with Jane Duke, Australian Consul-General

aussie consul general

On Tuesday, I spoke with the Honorable Jane Duke, Consul General of Australia. We discussed our ongoing economic ties and concerns over China. Australia is a critical partner for the U.S. within the Indo-Pacific region, and we must continue to work together to boost economic ties and combat China's increasing hostility. I look forward to working with the Consul General to find more ways to strengthen the relationship between our two countries.


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.

To stay updated on my work throughout the week, you can also follow my social media accounts by clicking on the icons below.

Sep 10, 2021

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September 3, 2021

Dear friend,

The last American servicemember left Afghanistan this week, ending America's 20-year military involvement in the country. The brave men and women who served in Afghanistan have my deepest gratitude for their dedication to keep our nation safe. Their sacrifice made a difference in thwarting ISIS and Al-Qaeda, and we are here to support them and their families as this war comes to an end.

My office has processed requests for evacuation for approximately 500 people and we are still processing additional requests. We are aware that at least 100 of those people have been evacuated to either the U.S. or another country, and also know six families that we assisted have returned to San Diego. 

Time will allow us to look back at the past two decades and the final days in Afghanistan to determine what we could have done better. For now, we must continue working with our allies, like-minded partners, and the international community to bring home our citizens, evacuate vulnerable Afghans, mitigate the Taliban’s worst behavior, and protect America’s enduring security interests in Afghanistan. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress and the Biden administration to ensure that happens and to protect our nation from international terror.

This week, I continued my work in the district. Below is another update on some of the work my staff and I have done this week to serve you.


Meeting with San Diego Organizing Project

sd organizing project

On Tuesday, I met with San Diego Organizing Project to hear from DREAMERS and front-line workers about the urgent need to pass immigration reform. Immigrants enrich our communities and are a critical part of our economy. Doctors, nurses, teachers, scientists, and members of our armed forces all play key roles in making San Diego and our country a better place. We must do our part to provide the security they deserve by fixing our broken immigration system.


San Diego Prescription Drug Abuse and Meth Strike Force Meeting

Earlier today, I spoke with members of the San Diego County Methamphetamine Strike Force. This Strike Force is composed of around 70 member organizations, including representatives from public health, law enforcement, judiciary, education, treatment, prevention, and intervention agencies. I discussed federal solutions to combat the meth crisis, including my bipartisan Methamphetamine Response Act and the work I have been doing to promote the use of non-opioid alternatives in surgical settings. The Strike Force's local work is especially relevant as this week marked International Overdose Awareness Day and September as National Recovery Month.


Meeting with San Diego Regional Fire Foundation

sd fire foundation

Frank Ault (Chairman) and Joan Jones (Executive Director)

I also met with the Executive Director and Chairman of the San Diego Regional Fire Foundation today. We spoke about the foundation's work and potential federal funding opportunities. As we experience the effects of climate change and see the devastating fires in northern California, it is more important than ever to address our region's specific fire needs. This includes ensuring our communities have resources to create defensible space around their homes and supporting fire departments. We also discussed opportunities in the latest reconciliation bill to address our critical fire needs. 


Roundtable and Site Visit with Local Business Owners

goldman sachs biz

On Monday, I met with local small business owners who are members of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Voices community. We discussed the challenges small businesses are currently facing including staffing shortages, tariffs, payment delays, and COVID-19. We also spoke about the ways in which the federal government can help them succeed. Small businesses are the economic backbone of the greater San Diego community. I will continue to advocate for them in Washington, D.C. for their continued growth and prosperity.

Rancho Bernardo Community Council Meeting

rb community council

Yesterday, I joined the Rancho Bernardo Community Council monthly meeting to give a broad update on some of the most pressing issues currently under review by Congress. We discussed the continued importance of bipartisanship, concerns over the federal deficit, voter suppression laws, prescription drug pricing, the status of the reconciliation and bipartisan infrastructure packages, and the most recent UN climate report. I always enjoy sharing my work in Congress with my constituents all throughout CA-52. Thank you for having me!


Participate in Our Weekly Poll!

This section in our e-newsletter allows readers to weigh in on current events. Thank you to everyone who has participated so far. Here's this week's question:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently recommended that unvaccinated Americans should avoid travel this Labor Day weekend due to rising COVID-19 cases. The CDC also said vaccinated Americans need to take risks into consideration as they think about traveling. Have you made travel plans amid increasing delta variant cases?

Click here to submit your answer via Google Forms.

Our previous question was: This week, the Federal Drug Administration fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Do you believe this approval will encourage more people to get vaccinated?

Here are the results:

236 Responses: 43.2% Yes; this has the potential to convince those who were still undecided about the vaccine. 33.9% No; I don't believe this will make a difference for many people. 5.5% Vaccination rates might rise only after FDA approves more COVID-19 vaccines. 17.4% Other


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.

To stay updated on my work throughout the week, you can also follow my social media accounts by clicking on the icons below.

Sep 3, 2021

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August 20, 2021

Dear friend,

The situation unfolding in Afghanistan is heartbreaking. These recent events are more than another chapter in history; they are very personal for the post-9/11 veterans I represent in Congress. 

There’s a time and place to examine the errors of our pull out – whether to withdraw completely after investing lives and money, and why we didn’t anticipate how quickly it would all fall apart. But right now, we must remain laser-focused on evacuating Americans and our allies out of Afghanistan unharmed.

If you are a U.S. citizen, legal permanent resident, or SIV holder currently in Afghanistan seeking evacuation, click here to find the Repatriation Assistance Request form. A completed form for each traveler is necessary to pass through airport gates. My office is also ready and available for support at 858-455-5550.

This week, I continued my work in the district. Below is another update on some of the work my staff and I have done this week to serve you.


This Week's Casework Success Story

Laura from La Jolla contacted my office in July with eight days left until a planned family vacation. She had already processed her children's passports, but only one of them was approved. With the date of travel quickly approaching, my staff gathered the necessary information and worked with the National Passport Agency to track down the application. After this inquiry, my staff determined there were administrative issues that Laura needed to resolve before proceeding. My staff helped Laura send the necessary form to the Downtown Passport Agency. The agency then contacted the National Passport Center to process and overnight the passport to the family. The passport was swiftly delivered one day before the family's planned departure.

"When I reached out to your office, I had already spent hours on hold and online with the passport agency and each time hit a wall....We just want you to know it means so much that you helped with this, we feel like we count. That means everything to my family!"

- Laura from La Jolla


EPA Administrator Michael Regan Visits San Diego

pure water cheers

epa trv

Earlier today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan arrived in San Diego to formally kick off the construction of Phase 1 of the Pure Water program. Pure Water San Diego aims to provide nearly half of San Diego’s water supply locally by 2035 by cleaning recycled water to produce safe, high-quality drinking water. It also aims to provide a reliable, sustainable, water supply for our region as we experience the effects of climate change. 

Administrator Regan also joined us for a tour of the Tijuana River Valley to learn more about the pollution crisis between the U.S. and Mexico. Officials discussed recent efforts in Mexico to control transboundary flows. We also visited the International Boundary and Water Commission offices for a briefing on binational collaboration to reduce trash, sediment and flooding. I appreciate Administrator Regan's commitment to visit our region after I invited him to San Diego earlier this year during an Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing. I look forward to working together to find solutions for our region's environmental challenges.


Ray Chavez Post Office Renaming Ceremony

poway post office

On Thursday, it was an honor to officially rename the Poway Post Office after Ray Chavez, a brave World War II veteran and beloved community member. I introduced legislation in the House to rename this post office back in 2019 and it was signed into law last December. I held a ceremony to mark this special occasion and bring together Ray Chavez's loved ones for them to see the plaque installed in the post office. This recognition is not enough to honor Chavez's service, but it serves to remind what his enduring legacy means to the Poway community.


SDG&E Visit with White House Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy

sdge mccarthy

On Tuesday, I visited SDG&E's Emergency Operations Center with White House National Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy and Rep. Mike Levin (CA-49). We learned about the technology the company deploys to reduce wildfire risk, strengthen climate resilience and protect public safety. I thank Adviser McCarthy for her time and for recognizing local efforts that address the effects of climate change.


Veterans Affairs Regional Office and San Diego Hospital Visit

VA visits

On Tuesday, I visited the VA San Diego Regional Office and met with staff to learn more about how they support our veterans. I received a tour of the Veteran's readiness and employment facilities and the public contact office where veterans can seek services for claims in person.

Afterwards, I visited the VA San Diego Hospital and met with Director Dr. Smith to discuss their infrastructure issues. During this tour, I observed the construction of the new Spinal Cord Injury facility and the hospital's COVID-19 vaccination station.


Meeting with Consul General of Mexico Carlos González Gutiérrez

shp mx consul

On Monday, I had the honor of meeting Carlos González Gutiérrez, Consul General of Mexico. We discussed the latest on the construction of Otay Mesa East Port of Entry, the continued efforts to clean the Tijuana River Valley, and border travel restrictions that remain in place due to COVID-19. 


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.

To stay updated on my work throughout the week, you can also follow my social media accounts by clicking on the icons below.

Aug 20, 2021

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August 13, 2021

Dear friend,

This week was a pivotal moment in Congress as the Senate passed a bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill. This legislation is a once-in-a-lifetime project to invest in our nation's bridges, roads, rail, transit and electric grid. One critical element included in this bill is the POWER Act. This bill I authored promotes the interstate transmission of renewable electricity, helps decarbonize the power sector, adapts the grid to withstand the effects of climate change, and lowers costs for consumers.

The deal also allocates billions of dollars for community investments in wildfire resilience, which is urgent as millions across the West Coast battle another record fire year. We must get this done for the American people as soon as possible.

Below are important resources for the people I represent and another update on some of the work my staff and I have done recently to serve you.


This Week's Casework Success Story

Raphaela, a doctor living in Mira Mesa, contacted the office asking for assistance with expediting her work permit. She is currently working to create two new COVID tests, but her visa was about to expire. She applied for a work permit ahead of time back in December, but it is currently taking around 10 months to process those permits. Staff worked with Raphaela to gather personal documents and letters from her employer detailing the importance of her work so U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services could consider her application for expedited processing. This week, the work permit was approved so she will continue her work combating the pandemic. 


Friends of CalRTA Award

cal rta award 8/2

Earlier this month, representatives from the California Retired Teachers Association recognized me with the "Friends of CalRTA" Award in person. I originally received this recognition in May during the association's annual convention, but it was great to meet Susan Dixon and Marcia and Lee Finney in person. I thank the organization for its partnership during my time in Congress and its tireless advocacy on behalf of retired teachers across California. As we continue dealing with this pandemic, my goal is to bring our students back to school safely. We would not be able to do that without the hard work and sacrifices of our educators. Thank you! 


Service Academy Information Night

armed forces stock photo

Every year, I have the honor of nominating students to attend our nation's service academies. The privilege of attending a service academy comes with a service obligation and commitment to serve in the military after graduation.

If you are interested in attending one of our nation's service academies and have questions on the nomination process, my office will hold an information night on Thursday, September 16 at 6 P.M. via Zoom.

Admissions counselors from each service academy and from college ROTC programs will participate as panelists to answer questions. Click here for more information and to download the Service Academy Nomination application form.


Information on Passport Renewals

passport renewal

My office continues to receive a high volume of calls related to passport renewals. We thank you for your patience as my staff evaluates individual cases. Currently, regular processing takes approximately 18 weeks while expedite requests take around 12 weeks. Please check your passport expiration date before booking international travel as you may not receive your passport in time before your departure.

Visit the State Department's Passport Agencies website for more information.


City and County Resources for Rental & Utility Assistance

As many people in my district recover from the devastation of COVID-19, I want to remind you that there are still many resources for rental and utility assistance. City of San Diego residents can apply for the COVID-19 Housing Stability Assistance Program here. If you live in other parts of San Diego County, you can access the COVID-19 Emergency Rent and Utilities Assistance Program here.


Participate in Our Weekly Poll!

This section in our e-newsletter allows readers to weigh in on current events. Thank you to everyone who has participated so far. Here's this week's question:

A new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change details how almost all warming that has occurred since pre-industrial times was caused by the release of heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, which are emitted when humans burn fossil fuels and perform other climate polluting activities. Do you believe world leaders are responding fast enough to combat the climate crisis?

Click here to submit your answer via Google Forms.

Last week's question was: "The federal government recently extended an eviction moratorium that had expired last weekend. It is intended to cover parts of the U.S. experiencing a high spread of COVID-19. As of this week, that means most counties in the country. Do you agree with this extension to avoid evictions as coronavirus cases rise?"

Here are the results:

365 Responses: 46.6% Yes; this is a necessary measure for our public health and for millions of families. 30.6% No; the federal government can focus on other measures to control the spread. 7.7% I agree with local and state eviction bans, not a federal moratorium. 15.1% Other

 

Aug 13, 2021

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