Congressman Scott Peters

Representing the 52nd District of California

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Climate Playbook Updates

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February 19, 2021

Dear friend,

This week, millions of fellow Americans endured freezing temperatures and subsequent power outages and failures. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who passed away and all who are facing critical challenges while seeking safety, warmth, and normalcy during this devastating weather event.

Here in San Diego, vaccination sites have had to close and reschedule appointments due to vaccine shortages, but help is on the way. Statewide numbers indicate that we're on the right path to defeat this pandemic. Please continue to wash your hands frequently, wear masks, practice social distancing and avoid large gatherings.

I continue my work in the district to stay in touch with the people I represent. Below is another update on some of the work my staff and I have done this week to serve you.


Legislative Work

Energy & Commerce Committee hearing: “A Smarter Investment: Pathways to a Clean Energy Future”

This week, the Energy Subcommittee began its work for this Congress, renewing the efforts to chart a path toward a clean energy future. During this week's hearing, I discussed modernizing our national power grid so that we can connect renewable sources with areas of high electric demand. I also asked the witnesses about the role Congress can play to remove barriers in order to build large-scale transmission projects across state lines. Click here to watch my full remarks.


District Work

Briefing with SANDAG

SANDAG pic with delegation and others

On Wednesday, I hosted a meeting to discuss the progress of key priority projects such as the Central Mobility Hub, the LOSSAN Rail Corridor and the future of rail in San Diego. Rep. Juan Vargas (CA-51), Rep. Mike Levin (CA-49), Rep. Sara Jacobs (CA-53), Encinitas Mayor and SANDAG Chair Catherine Blakespear, San Diego Mayor and First SANDAG Vice Chair Todd Gloria, National City Mayor and Second SANDAG Vice Chair Alejandra Sotelo Solís and other SANDAG officials joined me for this virtual meeting. We look forward to increasing and improving transportation choices for San Diegans through continued collaboration and innovation.

Meeting with Plant Diego

On Wednesday, I met with members of Plant Diego, a local group dedicated to educating and informing San Diegans about the benefits of eating a plant-based diet for nutrition, health, and environmental sustainability. We discussed policy ideas related to farm bill subsidies and environmental laws. We also spoke about the broader effects of food on climate change and my work on super pollutants and coolants.

Meeting with the Regional Task Force on the Homeless

On Thursday, I spoke at the Regional Task Force on the Homeless' board meeting and discussed my efforts in Congress to preserve and expand the VA's HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) voucher program. To address veteran homelessness, HUD-VASH couples rental assistance with case management services from the VA. My bill, the Veteran HOUSE Act, was passed in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, and expands eligibility for HUD-VASH to veterans with other than honorable (OTH), but not dishonorable, discharges. Veterans with OTH discharges represent 3% of the veteran population, but they compose 15% of the homeless veteran population. I appreciated the opportunity to speak with the board and thank them for their critical work to support those experiencing homelessness.


NEW: Participate in our weekly poll!

We've recently introduced a new section in our e-newsletter for readers to weigh in on a relevant topic. Thank you to everyone who has participated so far. Here's this week's question:

Modernizing our national power grid can reduce the frequency and duration of power outages, reduce storm impacts, and restore service faster when outages occur. Building an interstate Macro Grid to connect remote renewable resources (sun, wind, geothermal, hydropower) with centers of high electric demand is a viable option according to research from the Dept. of Energy. Optimizing this grid may reduce carbon emissions, improve system resiliency and reduce wholesale power costs, but would require the federal government to override state and local objections to power line permitting and construction.

Would you support this kind of overhaul to our power grid?

Click here to submit your answer via Google Forms. We'll share the results in next week's e-newsletter.

Last week's question was: "Proposals to address student debt and the high cost of higher education are being debated as we deal with the current economic crisis. What do you think?"  Here are the results:

397 Responses: 46.6% Other 31.2% We should address the student debt crisis by making college more affordable: lowering student loan interest rates and tuition and making community college free. 22.2% The federal government should forgive all existing student loan debt.


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.

Feb 19, 2021

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February 12, 2021

Dear friend,

While most of the work out of Washington, D.C. continues to be focused on COVID-19 and relief, we also saw the start of former President Trump's impeachment trial. Re-watching the horrific violence that took place at the Capitol on January 6th affects all of us. In the context of this pandemic, it's more important than ever to take care of ourselves and others by wearing masks and practicing social distancing, but also to look after our mental health and overall well-being. To search for specific county mental health services and resources, click here.

I continue my work in the district to stay in touch with the people I represent. Below is another update on some of the work my staff and I have done this week to serve you.


Legislative work

House Committee on Energy and Commerce markup of COVID-19 relief budget reconciliation

We know the crises brought on by COVID-19 are far from over. Americans need relief now and the government must provide resources and boost existing efforts to end the pandemic. We're closer to delivering President Biden's American Rescue Plan after this week's full committee markup of important portions of this aid package. This markup session was extended over two days, during which committee members debate, offer and vote on amendments. You can watch my remarks here to hear about the inclusion of the Tracking COVID-19 Variants Act, a bill I introduced with Rep. Ami Bera (CA-07) and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (WI). This legislation provides crucial funding to scale up national genomic sequencing efforts, which are vital to track virus mutations and further protect public health.


District work

Conversation with NDN on New Dem 100 Day Agenda

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This week, I discussed the New Democrat Coalition's priorities during President Biden's first 100 days in office with Simon Rosenberg, the founder of the NDN think tank and advocacy organization. As Vice Chair of the House New Democrat Coalition for Policy, I reviewed the coalition's agenda and priorities, which include ending the pandemic, getting people back to work, fighting climate change and restoring our country's leadership role in the world. If you missed this conversation, you can watch it here.

Meeting with members of the San Diego Community College District

sdccd meeting screenshot

On Monday, I met with leaders from the San Diego Community College District. They spoke about the actions they would like Congress to take, including action for DACA recipients, Pell Grant increases, support for student veterans, and making Pell Grants tax exempt. We also discussed the toll COVID-19 is having on student and staff mental health

Meeting with service academy nominees

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On Thursday, I met the 33 students I have the honor of nominating to our nation's service academies. These young men and women were selected after applying and being interviewed by an independent service academy nomination board. The nomination makes them eligible to be selected for a fully-funded education with one academy, with the obligation and commitment to serve in the military for at least five years after graduating. Congratulations to this year's nominees! I wish you a successful and fulfilling future as you begin your careers in the armed forces.


This week's casework success story

Mehri from downtown San Diego is a nurse working at Scripps on the frontlines to battle COVID-19. She contacted the office in October to request assistance with expediting her asylum interview. Mehri originally filed in November 2016 under the previous administration's Last In/First Out policy. Since then, her interview has been delayed several times, creating uncertainty over her long-term status. My staff worked with Mehri to gather paperwork and justify the need for an expedited interview. After submitting employment letters and verification on behalf of Mehri, her expedited interview for asylum was approved.


NEW: Participate in our weekly poll!

We've recently introduced a new section in our e-newsletter for readers to weigh in on a relevant topic. Thank you to everyone who has participated so far. Here's this week's question:

Proposals to address student debt and the high cost of higher education are being debated as we deal with the current economic crisis. What do you think?

Click here to submit your answer via Google Forms. We'll share the results in next week's e-newsletter.

Last week's question was "What do you think is the best course of action for Congress to help families and businesses given the severity of this (COVID-19) crisis?" Here are the results:

438 Responses: 55.7% Pass the entire $1.9 trillion plan, 11.9% Pass the entire $618 billion plan, 20.6% Compromise and meet in the middle, 1.4% Offer a new plan altogether, 10.4% 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.

Feb 12, 2021

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February 5, 2021

Dear friend,

If you closely followed all the news coming out of Washington, D.C. this week, you know the topics that made headlines. The news cycle keeps running, but I want to reassure you that my focus remains on responding to the crises at hand: controlling this virus and providing relief to struggling Americans in the midst of this pandemic.

Fewer COVID-19 cases are being reported in San Diego, vaccines continue to be administered and some businesses are reopening. These are all positive signs, but we are far from resuming our normal lives. Please be safe and help keep those around you safe as well.

I continue my work in the district to stay in touch with the people I represent. Below is another update on some of the work my staff and I have done this week to serve you.


Legislative work

Addressing key gaps in our national COVID-19 response through legislation

This week, I re-introduced the bipartisan Health STATISTICS Act to improve our nation’s real-time response to COVID-19. 

Currently, reporting COVID-19 cases and vaccine statistics, such as patient demographics or cause-of-death information, is not compulsory. This granular data is key to track and fight the virus, but is missing from our COVID-19 response. We must break down the data siloes that make it difficult for researchers to combine different data sources. This will allow researchers to accurately analyze the effects of the virus nationwide. Expanding data accessibility and infrastructure will ensure we understand the full scope of the pandemic and address it accordingly. 

This bill answers escalating calls from experts, lawmakers and public health professionals to fix detrimental information gaps and barriers exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I also introduced the Tracking COVID-19 Variants Act with Rep. Ami Bera (CA-07) and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (WI) this week. This legislation provides crucial funding to scale up national genomic sequencing efforts. Sequence-based surveillance is vital to track virus mutations and further protect public health. In combination with other efforts like my Health STATISTICS Act, this bill would ensure our country is ready to combat the next phase of COVID-19 guided by science and accurate information.

Vote to pass budget resolution and start reconciliation process

screenshot of floor remarks on budget and recon

On Wednesday, I helped the House pass a Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2021 to begin budget reconciliation – a legislative tool to ensure the swift passage of President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. In my experience, it's better to start the clock and set a deadline for Congress.

When we passed the emergency COVID bill late last year, we knew more resources were needed to fight the virus and provide additional relief for many Americans who have been devastated financially. Bipartisanship has intrinsic value, and we should prioritize it, but this process will guarantee support for those bearing the brunt of this crisis, no matter the politics.

Watch my floor speech on the budget resolution and reconciliation, HERE.


Virtual town hall on COVID-19 vaccine efficacy and distribution

cropped cute pic from vax town hall

On Wednesday evening, I held a virtual town hall with two San Diego health experts to discuss COVID-19 vaccine efficacy and distribution. Dr. Shane Crotty, professor at La Jolla Institute for Immunology and Dr. Corinne McDaniels-Davidson, director of the Institute for Public Health at San Diego State University answered questions from attendees and provided timely information about the vaccine and the effects of this virus on our bodies and our communities. Thank you to our special guests as well as our attendees for your engagement and participation. Let's keep learning together and let science guide the way forward.

Watch the recording of the virtual town tall, HERE.


Meeting with students from Congregation Beth Am

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On Monday, I met with a group of students from Congregation Beth Am to discuss various topics including the US-Israel relationship, regional threats and rising antisemitism. We also spoke about the need for cooperation in scientific research to develop drought-resistant farming and combat the COVID-19 pandemic.


NEW: Participate in our weekly poll!

Last week, we introduced a new section in our e-newsletter for readers to weigh in on a relevant topic. Thank you to everyone who participated. Here's this week's question:

There are currently two COVID-19 relief plans being considered to help the American people: Republican senators proposed a plan worth $618 billion, while President Biden's plan calls for $1.9 trillion in federal spending. What do you think is the best course of action for Congress to help families and businesses given the severity of this crisis?

Click here to submit your answer via Google Forms. We'll share the results in next week's e-newsletter. We appreciate your engagement and feedback.

Last week's question was "Do you approve of President Biden's wide-ranging executive orders during his first days in office?" Here are the results:

490 Responses: 68% Yes, 20.2% No, 3.3% Somewhat, 2.4% Not entirely, 6.1% 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.

Feb 5, 2021

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January 29, 2021

Dear friend,

As the dust settles in Washington, D.C. with the first full week of a new administration, my priority remains serving San Diegans and supporting them through this pandemic. Although we've learned much about this virus in the past few months, the situation is still evolving and we need to keep our guard up. Please do your part to stay safe and keep those around you safe as well.

I continue my work in the district to stay in touch with the people I represent. Below is another update on some of the work my staff and I have done this week to serve you.


Legislative work

Reintroduction of OPRA II

This week, I re-introduced the bipartisan Ocean Pollution Reduction Act II (OPRA II) with the full support of San Diego's congressional delegation. This bill simplifies the City of San Diego’s required permitting process to operate the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant (PLWTP). It also solidifies the region’s water security, and further cuts the amount of wastewater that flows into the ocean from the plant. OPRA II was originally introduced in 2019, and it passed the House in November 2020 by an overwhelming vote of 395-4, but the Senate did not take action on the bill before the end of last year.


District work

San Diego in DC meeting

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On Wednesday, I hosted the first virtual San Diego in DC event of 2021. Key San Diego leaders, including Rep. Mike Levin and Rep. Sara Jacobs, and representatives from major public and private institutions in our region joined this event. We discussed upcoming projects and priorities for San Diego this year.


San Diego County COVID-19 vaccine information

COVID-19 vaccination events hosted by the county are currently open to healthcare workers, others in all tiers of Phase 1A, and people age 65 and older.

Vaccine appointment registration is required and space is limited. If you don't see appointments available at your nearest site, check back regularly for updates and openings.

Click here to make a vaccine appointment.


invite with frame

Join us next Wednesday for a virtual town hall event with two San Diego experts to discuss vaccine efficacy and distribution. We will also answer attendees' questions on this pressing issue. To attend, click this link. The event will also stream live on my Facebook page.


ICYMI: Column and op-ed on my efforts to fight climate change

Last year's bipartisan energy package was just the start of an evolving action plan to combat climate change. I've shared the climate efforts I'm leading this Congress with the San Diego Union-Tribune in a column this week and an op-ed in The Hill. My list of priorities includes reducing methane emissions, cutting black carbon pollutants, continuing to scale back hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) use and modernizing our national power grid. There’s no doubt that science-based policies will help us tackle one of the greatest crises of our time. The full San Diego Union-Tribune column can be found here and my op-ed in The Hill can be found here.


NEW: Participate in our weekly poll!

Starting this week, we'll include a poll for our e-newsletter readers to weigh in on a relevant topic. Here's this week's poll question:

Do you approve of President Biden's wide-ranging executive orders during his first days in office?

Click here to submit your answer via Google Forms. We'll reveal the results in next week's e-newsletter. We appreciate your engagement and feedback.


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.

Jan 29, 2021

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January 28, 2021

Dear friend,

Since February 2020, the world has grappled with a ruthless public health crisis due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Since then, 429,000 Americans have lost their lives due to this virus, including 2,465 San Diegans.

The development and approval of vaccines provide a glimmer of hope to finally end this pandemic, but distributing the COVID-19 vaccines and getting them into people’s arms proves to be a monumental task among local, state and federal governments.

Although the situation remains fluid, some San Diegans have concerns, including the order in which the public is being vaccinated, the number of doses available in hospitals, the way in which the public is being notified about important vaccine updates, and vaccine site information among others.

Please join us for an informative event next week. As part of our series of virtual town halls where I invite my colleagues in Congress and experts to present information to San Diegans, we'll discuss the state of the vaccine rollout in San Diego and provide updates on the continued efforts to fight this virus.

I will be joined by Dr. Shane Crotty from the La Jolla Institute for Immunology and Dr. Corinne McDaniels-Davidson, Director of the Institute for Public Health (IPH) at San Diego State University.


updated vax town hall mini flyer

Event Details

Date: Wednesday, February 3rd
Time: 5:00 - 6:15 P.M.
Location: Virtual via Cisco Webex - see link below

Attendees are welcome to join the town hall as early as 4:50 P.M. by clicking on the link below:

 

https://ushr.webex.com/ushr/onstage/g.php?MTID=e872b924319edb21c0febaac6f41c877d

 This event will also stream live on my Facebook page.


I look forward to hearing your thoughts on COVID-19, Congress, and how we're serving you in San Diego and Washington, D.C..

Sincerely,

Jan 28, 2021

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January 22, 2021

Dear friend,

This week, we carried out a democratic tradition that has defined our country for over 200 years: the peaceful transition of power. The inauguration ceremony looked different this year due to COVID-19 concerns and the threat of political violence, but the extraordinary measures taken to ensure a safe and organized event allowed the ceremony to run smoothly.

I was honored to attend and represent the 52nd district at this event and thank everyone involved who organized this ceremony, as well as the law enforcement officers who kept us safe. Click here for my statement on this historic inauguration.

President Biden and Vice President Harris have been in office for two days and already hit the ground running for the American people. The administration signed a series of executive orders to rejoin the Paris Agreement, require non-citizens to be included in the Census, reverse restrictions on entry for passport holders from seven Muslim-majority countries, and fortify the DACA program. To address COVID-19, President Biden signed additional orders to expand testing capacity, enhance the nation's collection, production, sharing, and analysis of COVID-19 data, and direct FEMA to create federally-supported community vaccination centers, among many others.

I applaud the administration's swift action on these pressing issues, but we know that our work is far from over. Below is another update on some of the work my staff and I have done this week to serve you.

shp capitol best pic

Click here for more pictures of my experience at the inauguration.


Co-sponsorship of resolution to remove deadline for ratification of the ERA

This week, a resolution I co-sponsored with Rep. Jackie Speier (CA-14) was reintroduced to facilitate the expeditious ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). By removing the arbitrary deadline for ratification, the resolution clears up legal ambiguities and reaffirms Congress’ support for the ERA and women’s equality.


March for Our Lives town hall

march for our lives

Before leaving for Washington, D.C., I joined Rep. Sara Jacobs (CA-53) for a town hall hosted by March for Our Lives San Diego. We discussed the January 6th attack on the United States Capitol, the second impeachment of former President Trump, and actions to combat gun violence in our schools and our nation. Giving the next generation a seat at the table is critical for building a better future.


Volunteers for Vaccination Super Station

UC San Diego Health and the County of San Diego are currently welcoming the support of volunteers at the Vaccination Super Station near Petco Park. They are asking for volunteers, including licensed medical professionals who can perform vaccinations, administrative professionals, and non-medical professionals. Shift times will vary, but generally last 8 hours per shift. The minimum age to volunteer is 18.

Visit UC San Diego Health's website for more information.

Reminder: Individuals in Phase 1A and those age 75 and older may currently visit county-hosted vaccination sites, including the Petco Park Super Station. Click here for vaccination appointments and locations. If no appointments are currently available at your nearest site, check back regularly for openings.


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 seen below.

Jan 22, 2021

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January 15, 2021

Dear friend,

This was another eventful week in our country's history as the consequences of the attack on the Capitol are still being felt. Security failures are being investigated, the House impeached President Trump again and now, a heavy National Guard presence is seen in Washington, D.C. ahead of President-elect Biden's inauguration.

We're still appalled and saddened by the violence seen on January 6th, but as the dust settles, we must remember that a great deal of work lies ahead.

San Diego families and businesses are in dire need of support to help them through the remainder of this pandemic. Yesterday, President-elect Biden announced his American Rescue Plan to control the virus and help our economy recover from this crisis. The plan is a strong start to getting the country back on its feet. I'm confident that the response to this pandemic will dramatically improve under the leadership of the incoming Biden-Harris administration. You can find my full statement on this plan here.

I continue my work in the district to stay in touch with the people I represent. Below is another update on some of the work my staff and I have done this week to serve you.


Meeting with Congregation Beth Israel's new senior rabbi

edited pic with Rabbi

This week, I met with Congregation Beth Israel's new senior Rabbi Jason Nevarez. In times of division and polarization, the faith-based community plays an important role in the lives of many San Diegans to bring people together and foster kindness and empathy. I was glad to hear about the rabbi's vision for the congregation and look forward to working together in the future for the community.


Marine Corps Reserve Association meeting

I met with Lieutenant Colonel Stan Smith (Ret.), the San Diego chapter president of the Marine Corps Reserve Association. We spoke about the importance of keeping Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) in San Diego. During our conversation, I restated my commitment to keeping MCRD here: San Diego has a long tradition of training the few, the proud and the brave, and that tradition will not cease on my watch. Our San Diego military bases serve as a critical deterrent to future Pacific wars and contribute significantly to the local economy.

The mission of the Marine Corps Reserve Association includes advancing the professional knowledge of the members of the United States Marine Corps Reserve and representing and assisting individual members and their families. I appreciated speaking with LtCol Smith about supporting the Marine Corps here in San Diego, a proud military town.


Taxpayers receiving second economic impact payments by debit card

To speed the delivery of economic impact payments to as many people as possible, the Treasury Department and the IRS are issuing millions of prepaid debit cards, along with paper checks and direct deposit.

If the Get My Payment tool on IRS.gov shows a date on which your payment was mailed, you should watch your mail for either a paper check or debit card. The debit cards will be sent to those eligible who don't receive direct deposit. They arrive in a white envelope that prominently displays the U.S. Department of the Treasury seal (pictured here.)

dept of tres seal

Click here for more information on the economic impact payment (EIP) card.


Information on the 59th Presidential Inauguration

The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies remains committed to working with its many partners to execute safe inaugural ceremonies that showcase our democracy. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, attendance for the 59th Presidential Inauguration was limited, and Congressional offices were unable to fulfill inauguration ticket requests. The ceremony will be made available to watch live online.

For a full schedule for the 59th Presidential Inauguration, click here.


To stay up to date on my work throughout the week, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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.

Jan 15, 2021

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January 8, 2021

Dear friend,

The events that unfolded this week in Washington, D.C. mark a dark and heartbreaking chapter in American history.

On January 6th, our constitutional role as members of Congress was to certify Joe Biden and Kamala Harris' victory. Our role wasn't to change election results or entertain false claims of widespread voter fraud on the House and Senate floors.

As this process was taking place, a mob of rioters sought to directly interfere with our democracy. They were incited and encouraged by the president's lies and conspiracies surrounding the election. In total, five people lost their lives due to this insurrection, including a Capitol Police officer. 

This was a sad and humiliating day for Americans here at home and on the world stage. Countries around the world look to us as a model of a stable government fortified by a peaceful transfer of power. They did not recognize the United States of America as they watched the violence escalate inside and outside the U.S. Capitol.

Our democracy has survived many assaults in the past, and this event was no different. Our institutions and democratic traditions were put to the test this week. They proved their strength once again, but it’s clear that the president is a grave threat to this nation. The Vice President and cabinet should invoke the 25th Amendment to immediately remove President Trump from office. It’s time for the members of this administration who’ve enabled the president to stop the destruction they’ve helped cause.

I want to thank my constituents for their concern during these past few days. I stand with my fellow members of Congress and assure you that we will not be intimidated as we continue to defend our democracy. It's an honor to serve you. Let's get to work.

oath 117 congress

Click here to read my recent Op-Ed on this insurrection in the Union Tribune.


Information on vaccine administration in San Diego

The county is following state and federal guidelines as vaccines are being given in phases based on priority groups. To determine the groups, the county is working with the community through its COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Advisory Group.

Click here for more on the clinical advisory group, COVID-19 vaccine phases, details on the authorized Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines and important information for healthcare professionals.

Vaccines give us hope in the fight against COVID-19, but cases continue rising and ICUs in Southern California are reaching capacity. Please continue to wash your hands frequently, wear a mask and practice social distance. Everyone's health and well-being depend on our willingness to do our part.


Deadline extension: California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program

To support our state's small business sector during this pandemic, the deadline for relief through a state-run grant program is extended until next Wednesday, January 13th. The amount of grant funding ranges from $5,000 to $25,000 and businesses are eligible based on their annual revenue as documented in their most recent tax return. You can apply for relief here.

Reopening of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that the Paycheck Protection Program will re-open the week of January 11 for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers.

This round of the PPP continues to prioritize millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $284 billion toward job retention and other expenses through March 31, 2021, and by allowing certain existing PPP borrowers to apply for a second draw PPP Loan. For more information on SBA’s assistance to small businesses, visit sba.gov/ppp or treasury.gov/cares


To stay up to date on my work throughout the week, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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.

Jan 8, 2021

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December 23, 2020

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Dear friend,

Back in March, we didn't know what to expect when our world changed due to a virus called COVID-19. In the past few months, we've endured unprecedented challenges.

As coronavirus cases spiked, our country experienced profound events this year. A renewed dialogue on racial justice drew millions to the streets to demand change, countless businesses were forced to close their doors and millions lost their jobs before a record-breaking number of citizens cast votes for one of the most tumultuous presidential elections in history.

We've been through a lot this year, but better days are ahead.

It's not easy getting through a time of year that's usually filled with warmth and cheerful gatherings with friends, family, and peers. In 2020 we're all required to make sacrifices to stay safe and healthy. I want to thank you for your continued engagement and support. I wish you happy holidays, a merry Christmas and happy new year.


COVID-19 Emergency Relief Package

A few days ago, Congress passed a long-awaited COVID-19 emergency relief bill, as well as funding for all federal government operations. This bill awaits the President’s signature – I’ve urged him to sign this bipartisan deal as soon as possible. Here’s what’s in the relief package:

  • $120 billion for unemployment insurance (provides an additional $300/week to supplement state and federal unemployment benefits until March 2021.)
  • $166 billion for economic impact payments (one-time direct payments of $600 for individuals making up to $75,000 and $1,200 for couples making up to $150,000, as well as an extra $600 per eligible child dependent.)
  • $25 billion for emergency rental assistance.
  • $325 billion to support small business (includes $284 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and extends PPP through March 2021.)
  • $10 billion for child care.
  • Additional funds for FEMA, education, transportation, vaccine distribution, broadband, U.S. Postal Service, agriculture, grants for venue operators, and more.

This bipartisan and overdue agreement is a step in the right direction to provide Americans with the help they need now. Although Secretary Mnuchin was one of the negotiators who agreed to the deal, President Trump last night suddenly threatened to veto the relief package unless direct payments were raised from $600 to $2000. So tomorrow, House Democrats will offer to pass a bill to do that. While it remains to be seen if the Senate will accept this change, I'll continue to fight for passage, and for more relief for families and small businesses as we look forward to Joe Biden taking office in January. Click here to read more about this relief package.


Holiday Safety Guidelines

According to the CDC, the safest way to celebrate the holidays is to do so at home with people who live with you. Traveling and attending gatherings with family and friends who live outside of your household increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu. Click here for additional information on holiday celebrations and small gatherings.

San Diego County guidance for winter holidays also has recommendations for common activities and additional information on the regional temporary stay at home order, which remains in effect. I urge you to stay vigilant by washing your hands frequently, keeping social distance and wearing a mask to help stop this spread.


Please be aware that my office is closed from December 24th through January 1st. My staff and I look forward to responding to your inquiries until then. Thank you for your patience and understanding.


To stay up to date on my work throughout the week, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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.

Dec 23, 2020

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December 18, 2020

Dear friend,

This week's news on the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine provided a glimmer of hope for all of us. We're one step closer to saving lives and a sense of normalcy, but the state of our hospitals' ICUs serves as a grim reminder that we must not let our guard down. Once again, I urge you to think of your safety and that of those around you by washing your hands frequently, avoiding large gatherings, keeping social distance and wearing a mask.

For additional resources and information, visit the county's COVID information page.

I continue my work in the district to stay in touch with the people I represent. Below is another update on some of the work my staff and I have done this week to serve you.


Legislative Work

COVID-19 Relief

Americans need help now to get through the economic crisis caused by this pandemic. I look forward to voting for a relief bill as soon as Congressional leaders strike a deal. I'm confident that our leaders will put country over party to deliver and provide critical relief for families and businesses in the coming days.

Bipartisan Vaccine Awareness Bill

This week, I joined Rep. Brad Wenstrup (OH-02) and a bipartisan group of colleagues to introduce a bill that would enhance COVID-19 vaccine awareness. It would help educate vulnerable communities and increase public trust in the vaccine's ability to control this virus. The bill provides funds for the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide grants to entities to launch public awareness campaigns no less than 30 days after a vaccine is authorized. For more information on this bill, click here.


District Work

Meeting with Nene and Ekene Okolo

PUSD zoom

This week, I spoke with two special students from Poway: Nene and Ekene Okolo. Together, these sisters created an engaging way to battle racism in their community through an Instagram account, Black in PUSD, in which they encourage students from Poway Unified and alumni of color to share their school experiences. During our conversation, we spoke about the story behind this initiative and Nene and Ekene's personal experiences with racism on campus. Looking ahead, they're working on having an ethnic studies course available to students in California public high schools. I look forward to continuing our discussions when I join their podcast in the future.

To learn more about Nene and Ekene's efforts highlighted in the Union-Tribune, click here.


Virtual Tour of Surgical Center of San Diego

UCSD surgical center

On Monday, I took a virtual tour of the Surgical Center of San Diego, which is operated as a partnership with UCSD Medical Center. During this virtual tour, the staff explained how COVID-19 has affected patients and the community, as well as the changes they made to ensure patient safety during the pandemic. We also discussed H.R.4350, the Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality and Access Act of 2019. This bill establishes and modifies certain requirements relating to Medicare payments for ambulatory surgical center services. My district alone is home to 17 different ambulatory surgery centers.


This Week's Casework Success Story

William from Point Loma is a 70-year-old Vietnam combat veteran who reached out to our office for assistance with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) back in February. He had filed a claim in 2016 to increase his service-connected disability compensation rating. My staff sent various inquiries and followed up with VA regarding William's claim. This month, VA notified William and my office that his disability rating was increased with a retroactive payment of $11,000. William earned a Bronze Star for his combat service in Vietnam, and I thank him for his bravery and sacrifices on behalf of our nation.


To stay up to date on my work throughout the week, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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.

Dec 18, 2020

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