Congressman Scott Peters

Representing the 52nd District of California

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Climate Playbook Updates

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November 25, 2020

Dear friend,

While Thanksgiving is typically a time of abundance for which we are grateful as well as togetherness, this year millions of Americans are still struggling to pay rents, survive food insecurity and lacking quality health care needed to beat COVID-19. With weeks left in the 116th Congress, I remain committed to work across the aisle in Congress to secure support for Americans in the middle of this public health and economic crisis. I'm hopeful that the 117th Congress, in a new partnership with incoming President Joe Biden, will allow us to control this pandemic and provide the country with the full-fledged support it needs.  

I have much to be grateful for and there is no better time to express my gratitude. 


To our Frontline and Essential Workers

Our healthcare workers were heroes long before the pandemic, but this virus continues to show us how far doctors, nurses and others are willing to go to serve their patients, even at the expense of their own health and well-being. These individuals make sacrifices in their own lives by spending time apart from loved ones and working harder than ever as they witness the human toll of this virus in hospital rooms and hallways. 

The dedication and commitment of other frontline and essential workers was and is critical to our resilience. Farm workers, grocery store employees, volunteers, non-profits, and local food banks are making sure we're nourished and fed. Educators and child care professionals are guiding and teaching future generations during constant change and uncertainty. Small business owners are supporting their communities while struggling to keep their workers employed and doors open. 

San Diego-based innovation continues to play a vital role in the fight against the coronavirus. At least 60 biotech companies in San Diego County are currently developing COVID-19 treatments, vaccines or tests. Academic and research institutions also contribute to this valuable effort. Thank you all for your hard work. 

To my Constituents

I'm grateful for another opportunity to serve you in Congress. I count on your engagement with my office, but also with your government at every level and the institutions that form our democracy. Your contributions to this great district continue to inspire my service to you in Washington, D.C. 

To my staff

My staff, both in San Diego and Washington, D.C., has graciously adjusted to a new normal. I want to thank them for their hard work, patience and resourcefulness while working from home. Modern technology connects us in unprecedented ways, but nothing replaces face-to-face interaction with all of you. I miss being in the room with all of you and look forward to seeing every member of Team Peters in person when it's safe and possible. 


Thank you, Padres!

This year, San Diegans enjoyed a thrilling Padres season. Every hit, every home run, (including a record-breaking number of consecutive grand slams) every strikeout and every catch made for an unforgettable season that cheered us up when we needed it. Thank you, Padres for helping us keep the hope alive. We'll get 'em next year!


National and State Health Guidelines

Please be aware that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise Americans to avoid travel this Thanksgiving holiday and to only gather with people within your same household. Click here for more information on holiday safety guidelines.

While in the purple tier, San Diego is currently under the Governors' limited stay-at-home order. This order requires Californians to stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., with some exceptions. For more information on this order, visit the California Department of Public Health's website.

Please continue washing your hands, wearing a mask and practicing social distance for your safety and that of those around you.


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.

Nov 25, 2020

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November 20, 2020

Dear friend,

I hope you and your loved ones continue to stay safe and well. This week, I traveled back to Washington, D.C. to pass critical legislation related to San Diego's long-term water supply, veterans' issues, foreign policy and a national plan to invest in apprenticeships, among other bills.

San Diego County health officials' most recent COVID-19 update pointed to a continued increase in coronavirus cases.

I know we are all experiencing levels of "pandemic fatigue." However, as some grow tired of safety precautions, others' lives are forever upended by this deadly virus. I urge you to be vigilant about your safety and the safety of those around you. Please continue to wash your hands frequently, wear a mask, practice social distance and do what you can to avoid large gatherings this Thanksgiving season.

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


Legislative Work

House Passes the Ocean Pollution Reduction Act II (OPRA II)

floor vote tally OPRA

On Tuesday, the House overwhelmingly passed my bill, the Ocean Pollution Reduction Act II (OPRA II). This bill simplifies the City of San Diego’s permitting process to operate the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant (PLWTP) and will deploy cost-effective technology to protect our region’s water sources. This bill provides San Diego with greater long-term water supply reliability and reduces the amount of treated wastewater that is discharged into the ocean from the City's PLWTP.

The City of San Diego has treated the region’s sewage water through the PLWTP for over 57 years, purifying wastewater to a level that can be discharged into the ocean without harming the environment. To increase the region's water supply and further cut the amount of discharge released from the facility, the city recently adopted the Pure Water Program to produce 83 million gallons of purified drinking water per day.

Under OPRA II, the City of San Diego must demonstrate that its new Pure Water Program is able to produce 83 million gallons of water a day, one-third of the City’s water supply demand, by 2036. Over the same period, the program is predicted to reduce discharge from PLWTP by over 100 million gallons, which will be continuously monitored and subjected to ongoing research by academic, city, state, and national entities. If these conditions are met, the City can forgo the expensive secondary treatment waiver application and can instead apply for its five-year permit through a simpler process.

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Click HERE to watch my full floor remarks.

Legislation Passed to Support and Improve Care for Our Veterans

This week, I also voted to pass four bills to improve various aspects of veterans’ health, security and well-being. The bipartisan bills involve increased oversight for patient safety and care at Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers, care for Native American veterans, free and lifetime entry to U.S. national parks and federal lands for all veterans with service-related disabilities, and VA websites accessibility for individuals with disabilities. We continue to support veterans in San Diego and throughout our country, fixing problems we learn along the way and will keep working to identify and eliminate the hurdles in the way of veterans' quality of life.


Thanksgiving 2020

thanksgiving 2020

As we look ahead to next week, I want to wish you and yours a happy, thoughtful, and safe Thanksgiving. Many celebrations and traditions this year will look different because of COVID-19 and I want to thank you for the sacrifices you've made to help stop the spread. We will get through this together.

Please be aware that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises Americans to avoid travel this Thanksgiving holiday and to only gather with people within your same household. Click here for more on holiday safety guidelines.


This Week's Casework Success Story

Frederick contacted my office in August to request assistance with an IRS amount due notice. He mailed the payment in time, but due to COVID-related delays, the IRS had yet to credit his payment. As a result, he was mailed an amount due notice, which included late fees and interest. My office staff worked with Frederick to gather information from his bank, including the cancelled check and USPS delivery confirmation for the old check and new check. This week, IRS confirmed receipt of his payment dated back to July and removed all late fees and interest for a total accounting change of $8,336.51.


Stand Down Event

This Sunday, Veterans Village of San Diego is hosting its annual intervention program to support homeless veterans and their families. My staff will be running a booth at the event to offer casework services, and there is still a chance to donate clothing and underwear to help veterans in need. For more information, 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.

Nov 20, 2020

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November 13, 2020

Dear friend,

I hope you and your loved ones continue to stay safe and well. As our state reaches 1,000,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and San Diego County finds itself once again in the purple tier, I urge you to be vigilant about your safety and the safety of those around you. Please wear a mask, practice social distance and avoid large gatherings. The future of our local businesses also depends on our willingness to follow state and county orders.

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

Sgt. Daniel Somers Veterans Network of Support Act passes Senate, heads to White House

On the heels of Veterans Day, the Senate passed the COMPACT Act, and the bill is now on its way to the White House to be signed into law by the president.

The COMPACT Act is a comprehensive package of bipartisan bills dedicated to reducing veteran suicide. It includes my Sergeant Daniel Somers Veterans Network of Support Act to boost veterans' mental health by creating a network of support that shares information from the VA with designated family members and loved ones of veterans.


District Work

Visit to Frank Konyn Dairy Farm

konyn dairy 2 employee wall

konyn dairy SHP with cow

konyn dairy 1

This week, I visited Frank Konyn Dairy, only one of two dairy farms in all of San Diego County. I learned about the farm's operations in the San Pasqual Valley Agricultural Preserve, just south of Escondido. During my visit, we discussed the challenges the agriculture sector faces in San Diego and California. I also learned about Konyn Dairy's compost facility, which provides compost to nearby San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and the farm's sustainable agriculture techniques.


Virtual Discussion with members of the US-ASEAN Business Council and San Diego World Trade Center

USASEAN Biz Council

On Tuesday, I participated in a virtual discussion hosted by the US-ASEAN Business Council and the San Diego World Trade Center. This event touched on different topics including the current state of the US-ASEAN trade relationship, the benefits of doing business in Southeast Asia for San Diego businesses, and how the US-ASEAN trade relationship is expected to develop over the next 10 years. I spoke about San Diego's critical role in international trade and the importance of access to foreign markets with protections for American-made intellectual property. I want to thank US-ASEAN Business Council and the San Diego World Trade Center for inviting me to this important event.


Veterans Day and Marine Corps' 245th Birthday

Vets Day 2020 graphic

Click image to watch video.

This week, we celebrated the Marine Corps' 245th birthday as well as Veterans Day. I'm proud to represent a district with deep ties to our nation's armed forces.

During my time in Congress, I've worked hard to pass laws that address education and job training benefits and mental health peer counseling for our veterans, but our work isn't done. I’ll always be committed to serving our servicemembers and veterans, in San Diego and beyond, just as they have served us. Click on the image above for a special video message.


Tickets for the Presidential Inauguration

The Presidential Inauguration is set for Wednesday, January 20, 2021.

If you're interested in securing tickets to the inauguration, please call our office at 858-455-5550. As we await event details, your name will be added to our wait list and we will follow up once more information becomes available.

Our office has no information or access to tickets for any supplemental inauguration events, such as the inaugural balls or parties. Thank you for your patience and understanding.


This Week's Casework Success Story

Salim from Carmel Valley contacted my office in October requesting assistance with obtaining a loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA.) Initially, the loan status on the SBA's website said "approved," but then changed to "denied" prior to funding. My staff reached out to the SBA to gather more information on the change and was notified that Salim could request reconsideration. My office worked on this reconsideration request and the loan was subsequently approved. Salim then received a loan for $149,300.


Economic Impact Payments for Self-Supporting College Students and Non-filers

Eligible self-supporting college students who don't need to file a tax return may receive an economic impact payment before the end of this year by using the non-filers tool by November 21. Dependent students do not qualify.

San Diegans who don't normally file taxes may also secure their stimulus checks by November 21. Click here to request your payment.


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.

Nov 13, 2020

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November 6, 2020

Dear friend,

I hope you and your loved ones continue to stay safe and well.

As we continue to wait for final election results, I want to remind my constituents to be patient. Counting votes is democracy in action. Thank you to all the poll workers, and every citizen who voted and made their voice heard by casting a vote. I'm honored and humbled to serve the people of San Diego, Poway, and Coronado in the U.S. House of Representatives for the next two years. The weight of this job is not lost on me, and I will keep working hard for everyone, regardless of political party or ideology.

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.


District Work

RESULTS Meeting

RESULTS screenshot

On Thursday, I spoke with local members of RESULTS, an organization advocating for an end to poverty. The San Diego chapter focuses on policy issues related to COVID-19, inequality and tax policies, health and nutrition, and housing.

During this meeting, we discussed my co-sponsoring of the Rent Relief Act of 2019 and support for the HEROES Act. As Congress continues debating COVID-19 relief, we must come together to pass a bill that helps Americans now. This includes rent relief, which is an important issue in my district. San Diego still lacks access to affordable housing, and we need to keep working to improve basic fair housing law.


Veteran's Day

Next Wednesday, we will be honoring our veterans for their sacrifice and service to our country. I'm proud to represent a district with deep connections to our armed forces. My office has been a proud partner of the Vietnam War Commemoration for the past three years to honor this population of veterans.

In 2007, Congress passed a bill allowing the Secretary of Defense to administer a program commemorating the Vietnam War's 50th anniversary. The Commemoration recognizes those who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces from November 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975.

The commemoration also recognizes former prisoners of war and families listed as missing in action. It also pays tribute to American citizens’ wartime contributions at home, highlights technology, science, and medical advances made during the war and recognizes the contributions of our Allies.

These are challenging times for our communities and our country, but we should do our best to take care of each other and reflect on this Veteran's Day. I want to thank all our brave and courageous Vietnam Veterans, and all veterans, for your service and resolve.


This Week's Casework Success Story

The One Harbor Drive Homeowners Association in Downtown San Diego contacted my office at the end of September to request assistance with obtaining a “highly qualified workers” exemption from the Spanish consulate. The association needed two engineers to inspect new maintenance machines in Madrid, which required San Diego-based engineers to sign off before shipment.

Currently, Spain does not allow the entry of American citizens due to COVID-19 except under certain conditions. My staff worked with the homeowners association and the engineering company to gather paperwork to justify the reason for travel and indicate how precautions were in place for travelers. This week, the consulate approved the exemption, allowing the engineers to finalize process of obtaining the building equipment.


Open Medicare Enrollment

Open enrollment for Medicare has begun and ends on December 7th. You can review coverage options and sign up for a health care package that fits your needs by visiting medicare.gov.

Five important facts about getting started:

  1. Some people get Medicare automatically, and some will have to sign up. You may have to sign up if you’re 65 (or almost 65) and not getting Social Security.
  2. You can sign up or change how you receive your coverage during certain times of the year.
  3. If you sign up for Medicare Part B when you’re first eligible, you can avoid a penalty.
  4. You can choose how you get your Medicare coverage.
  5. You may be able to get help with your Medicare costs.

Service Academy Nominations Deadline

The deadline for Service Academy Nominations is Monday, November 30th. Due to teleworking, we urge those who apply to send applications by USPS in lieu of certified mail (UPS, FedEx.) For more information, click here.

Nov 6, 2020

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October 30, 2020

Dear friend,

I hope you and your loved ones continue to stay safe and well. As we head into the last few months of the year that usually include gatherings with friends and families, we should all be vigilant about our safety and the safety of those around us.

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

Introduction of the Carbon Removal, Efficient Agencies, Technology Expertise (CREATE) Act

I joined Reps. Annie Kuster (D-NH), David McKinley (R-WV), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ), David Schweikert (R-AZ) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) to introduce the CREATE Act, which would tackle the issue of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.

This bipartisan legislation mobilizes various areas of government to research, develop, and demonstrate carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technology. It directs federal agencies to include the development of CDR in their annual budget requests and ensure this work is coordinated across the federal government.

To avert the devastating consequences of global warming, we must invest in innovative solutions that remove carbon from our atmosphere. This comprehensive portfolio of carbon removal technology will be crucial in protecting our planet, promoting a clean energy economy and building a more sustainable future for our country and the planet.


District Work

Meeting with Ocean Beach Networking Group

ob net work

On Tuesday, I met with members of the Ocean Beach Networking Group, a group of Ocean Beach business owners and residents. The networking group meets every week to share updates and foster connections in the community.

During this discussion, I updated the group on my work in Congress and responded to questions on housing, homelessness, immigration, climate change and addressing methane emissions, and health care.

Meeting with Society of Addiction Professionals

(SD-SOAP)

On Wednesday, I met with members of the San Diego Society of Addiction Professionals (SOAP.) This group supports individuals and families struggling with addiction issues by facilitating collaboration among community leaders and professionals, and enhancing education opportunities and access to resources to maximize positive recovery outcomes.

We had a great discussion on how my office can engage in much-needed resources for mental health and addiction programs. We also discussed the stigma surrounding addiction, and the importance of awareness and open conversations on this topic.

Meeting with Interns

interns zoom pic

On Thursday, I spoke with interns currently working with my district office. They provided updates on the work they're doing, including their legislative research and how this opportunity has helped them learn new things about our government.

I also shared my thoughts on what the next Congress might be able to deliver for the country.

If you're interested in pursuing an internship with my office, click here for more information.

Meeting with San Diego Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects 

ASLA meeting climate playbook

On Tuesday, I joined the San Diego Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects for a panel on resilient design and climate change. During this meeting, I discussed relevant elements of my Climate Playbook, the need for bipartisan climate action, the role of landscape architects in future infrastructure plans, and opportunities for climate-conscious design in landscaping.


This Week's Casework Success Story

Ron from University City contacted the office at the beginning of June to request assistance with the IRS. He filed his 2019 tax return in late March and had not received his anticipated refund of over $18,000. After contacting the IRS, my district staff was made aware of a few discrepancies on Ron's return that required additional documentation to rectify. My staff worked with Ron to obtain the necessary documents and pass along to the IRS. On Friday, he received a check for $18,869.18.

FEMA Disaster Relief

The FEMA Individuals and Housing Program is available to all eligible renters and homeowners in San Diego County affected by recent wildfires.

Federal funds may help pay for temporary housing and other needs not covered by insurance. The initial rental award is for two months and may be reviewed for further assistance.

Renters may also qualify for an award under FEMA’s Other Needs Assistance Program to cover essential personal property and disaster-related expenses, including replacement or repair of furniture, appliances, clothing, school supplies, job-related equipment, and medical and/or dental bills. Click here to sign up or for additional assistance.


Information on Voting in Person for the 2020 Election on Nov. 3

If you haven’t voted by mail yet, you can still vote early and in person at your assigned polling place starting tomorrow. Polling places will be open through Monday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Early in-person voting is also underway at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters. Voting before election day is encouraged to avoid crowds and long lines.

For more information, including a list of polling place locations and COVID-19 protocols to ensure the health and safety of election workers and voters, 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.

Oct 30, 2020

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October 23, 2020

Dear friend,

I hope you and your loved ones continue to stay safe and 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

Introduction of Temporary Family Visitation Act (TFVA)

Last Friday, Rep. Francis Rooney (FL-19) and I introduced the bipartisan Temporary Family Visitation Act (TFVA) to ease obstacles for travelers looking to temporarily enter the United States to visit family.

Under the current system, travelers who plan trips to the U.S. must apply for a B-2 visitor visa. Before a visa is approved, applicants are interviewed to assess potential intent to overstay their visit or remain in the U.S. permanently. Factors considered include financial and personal ties to their home country, as well as any indicators a traveler would want to move to the U.S. indefinitely, such as family connections or employment opportunities within the U.S. This makes visa approval difficult for those who wish to visit their family solely for special occasions; their applications are at a higher risk of denial simply because they have family ties in the United States.

The Temporary Family Visitation Act would mitigate this issue by establishing a new B-3 nonimmigrant visa category specifically intended for relatives of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. This bill will make it easier to unite families for special occasions like graduations, weddings, and childbirths while strengthening our tourism-driven economy in San Diego.

Problem Solvers Caucus Budget Principles Endorsement

Earlier this week, the Problem Solvers Caucus endorsed a set of bipartisan principles I introduced with Rep. Tom Reed (NY-23) to help balance our federal budget once we emerge from this crisis.

I became a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus when I first entered Congress in 2013. Equally divided with 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans, the bipartisan coalition is committed to finding common ground on many of the key issues facing the nation.

There is no question we should borrow money to save American lives and livelihoods. But once our country recovers, we must be mindful of the future, get our budget back on track, and form an agenda which tackles medium and long-term deficit reduction that members of both parties can get behind.


District Work

PsychArmor Site Visit

psycharmor visit

This week, I visited PsychArmor's new facility to meet with CEO Tina Atherall and her staff. This local nonprofit organization offers essential support for military service members, veterans, and their families by providing free online training videos thoughtfully put together by national subject matter specialists.

One of the courses they showed me during my visit was "15 Things Veterans Want You to Know," created by Dr. Heidi Squier, a Navy veteran. 

PsychArmor's work is critical in helping our nation's service members and veterans successfully transition to civilian life, and shares with those who have not served more about military culture to help bridge the civilian-military divide.

Meeting with Akilah Templeton, new CEO of VVSD

On Wednesday, I spoke with Akilah Templeton, the president and new CEO of Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD). She previously worked as the executive director of U.S. Vets in Inglewood, CA, a nonprofit provider of overall services to homeless and at-risk veterans before coming to San Diego.

VVSD has been helping veterans since 1981 and is a one-of-a-kind program that has been nationally acknowledged. VVSD is a constant leader in assisting homeless military veterans by hosting Stand Down, an annual intervention program supporting more than 800 homeless veterans and their families with the dedication of 3,000 tireless and committed volunteers and more than 150 service providers. 

Their important work will be uplifted under Akilah’s leadership and it was my pleasure to speak with her to discuss her vision for the organization’s future.

Farm Bureau Discussion

farm bureau 2020

On Thursday morning, I met with members of the San Diego Farm Bureau to discuss the impacts of COVID-19, the need to expand rural broadband access, and the importance of passing comprehensive immigration reform. San Diego is the 12th largest farm economy in California, housing a large number of nurseries, and is among the leaders in cut flower production. Congress should work with farmers to expand programs that deliver fresh, local produce to the community and improve educational opportunities for the next generation to learn about where their food comes from.

U.S. - Mexico Water Market Intelligence Roundtable

us chamber and scott peters

I joined San Diego Regional Chamber President and CEO Jerry Sanders, U.S. Chamber Vice President for Environmental Affairs and Sustainability Chuck Chaitovitz, and other interagency leaders and Mexican decision-makers for a virtual conversation on ways to ease market entry and bolster exports for U.S. water technologies, products, and services along the U.S.-Mexico border.

I presented keynote remarks during the roundtable discussion, where I talked about U.S.-Mexico water market intelligence and the potential to link water and wastewater solutions along our southern border to clean energy initiatives. We must invest in smart infrastructure at our border that also benefits the future of our planet. 

 


This Week's Casework Story

Retired Chief Petty Officer Graham reached out to my office in September regarding his lost Purple Heart medal along with his U.S. Navy citation. My district staff requested an official congressional inquiry into his lost medal and received CPO Graham's new Purple Heart Medal from the Navy in late October. CPO Graham appreciated our assistance and shared how he received his medal in combat:

"I was a Navy EOD Team Leader in support of Army ODA 5212 in the summer of 2012 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. We were operating out of VSP Zombolay in Helmand Province. We were deep into enemy territory on a dismounted patrol in September 2012 with Afghan Local Police. My buddy SFC Henderson, who was 10 feet behind me, stepped on an IED. The IED injured both of us, instantly rendering him a double amputee and ultimately killing him. The blast picked me up and threw me 15 feet forward, landing directly on my head, briefly suffering loss of consciousness and multiple injuries.  My team member was able to step up into the role of team leader and lead the patrol back to base safely."

I want to thank CPO Graham for his service and courage in combat and for reaching out to our office. My district staff is always ready to help service members and veterans in any way possible.


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.

Oct 23, 2020

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October 16, 2020

Dear friend,

I hope you and your loved ones continue to stay safe and 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

Introduction of the Build for Future Disasters Act 

Today, Rep. Andy Barr (KY-06) and I introduced the bipartisan Build for Future Disasters Act to end the costly system of building, flooding and rebuilding perpetuated by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP.) Federal taxpayer money is currently subsidizing the rebuilding of structures in some areas that are prone to flooding, and this bill would instead encourage regional resiliency planning as we prepare for future climate crisis-induced disasters.

The Build for Future Disasters Act would end NFIP subsidies for newly constructed properties in areas vulnerable to flooding. Newly constructed properties built during 2025 or later would be subject to rates that reflect up-to-date flood risk information and will not later qualify for a subsidy. Meanwhile, structures built before 2025 in flood zones or that are re-mapped into flood zones would still be eligible for grandfathering subsidies. The bill also requires the US Government Accountability Office to study the feasibility and implications of lowering all subsidies to put the NFIP on a path to stronger financial footing.

For more on this bill, click here.


District Work

Food Distribution Event

food distribution

Food insecurity is a pressing issue in San Diego and around the country. The effects of COVID-19 exacerbated conditions for families and residents in need.

Today, I helped receive around 2,500 food boxes as part of the USDA's 'Farmers to Families Food Box' Program. This program provides relief to families while also supporting American farmers impacted by the ongoing pandemic.

Local partners including the San Diego Food Bank, Serving Seniors, PATH, Paving Great Futures, San Diego Labor Council and Jewish Family Services will distribute these boxes to San Diegans facing food insecurity.

Today's event also coincides with World Food Day and the 75th anniversary of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. May we keep moving and working towards a sustainable and nourishing future for all.

PPE Exchange Meeting

ppe

I had a meeting to learn about PPE Exchange, a San Diego-grown digital marketplace that supplies front line workers with the equipment they need to battle COVID-19. JT Garwood, a co-founder of PPE Exchange and USD alumnus, shed light on the company's role as a transparent and efficient player in the medical supply chain and detailed how they search for businesses overseas to get those supplies to the U.S. PPE Exchange's network relies on more than 900 manufacturers and distributors and has supplied over 10,000,000 PPE units so far.

Meeting with Angeline Aloysius

angeline

I spoke to Angeline Aloysius, a Cathedral Catholic High School student and member of the Borgen Project, regarding international affairs budgets and funding for COVID-19 relief. We discussed my support for the Keeping Girls in School Act, which passed the House earlier this year and the Girls Lead Act, which will implement measures to help adolescent girls participate in democracy, human rights issues and government.

Meeting and Virtual Town Hall on Rare Diseases

retro patients

I had a very productive discussion with rare disease patient advocacy groups and Retrophin's executive team. After, I participated in a virtual town hall with Retrophin employees to discuss my efforts in Congress, including my work with the Rare Disease Caucus, my bill called the Ending the Diagnostic Odyssey Act of 2019, the importance of the biotech and life sciences industries for San Diego’s economy, NIH funding, drug pricing, and healthcare reform.


This Week's Casework Success Story

Josephine from Rancho Bernardo contacted the office in June to request assistance with obtaining her CARES stimulus check. She did not understand the delay since she has received social security for years. My staff repeatedly followed up with IRS officials to ensure she received the money to which she was entitled. After almost 4 months of advocating for Josephine, the IRS mailed her check.


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.

Oct 16, 2020

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October 9, 2020

Dear friend,

I hope you and your loved ones continue to stay safe and well. I'm back in the district this week and had several meetings 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

Letter on Interconnections Seam Study

This week, Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-8) and I sent a letter to Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Dan Brouillette requesting answers on actions taken by political appointees within the DOE concerning the Interconnections Seam Study.

The study's findings showed that expanding and increasing electric transmission capacity across transmission lines that bridge the “seams” in the grid could save consumers billions of dollars and eliminate up to 35 megatons of carbon dioxide pollution per year by 2038.

While the study is essentially complete, reports indicate that Trump Administration appointees indefinitely delayed its release because they deemed its preliminary findings to be too anti-coal. We need to get to the bottom of this because impartial scientific research is what we need to rely upon to secure our energy reliability and address the climate crisis.

 

TruCon 2020

Last Friday, I joined a high-level conversation for the Truman National Security Project's 2020 Conference about the future of U.S. climate policy. My fellow panelists included Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, and the Honorable Sherri Goodman, formerly the U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of Defense in Environmental Security.

We discussed climate as it relates to our national security and military preparedness, potential cross-border carbon adjustments in international trade, and finding bipartisan climate solutions in Congress and across the country.

TruCon

Click here to watch our full discussion, beginning at 2:06:00.


District Work

Visit to MCAS Miramar

mcas crop

This week, I toured energy, communications, and logistics facilities at MCAS Miramar. I learned more about the excellent work Marines are doing locally to drive innovation at the 5G Learning Lab, maximize emergency energy preparedness with their microgrid, and develop emerging technologies to support national security objectives as well as our local communities. Thanks to Colonel Dockery, Lieutenant Colonel Newell, and the rest of the team for your work and insight. 

mcas crop 2

Virtual Meeting with Biocom Leadership and San Diego Life Sciences Experts

biocom Oct. 2020 meeting

I had a great conversation with Biocom and other San Diego life science industry experts on Tuesday. We touched on a range of nationwide issues they are currently addressing, including COVID therapies and vaccines, the need for reinforced public health stockpiles, as well as my Ending the Diagnostic Odyssey Act to expand access to next-gen diagnostics. It's imperative we lower drug costs without sacrificing innovation.

Meeting with Consul General of India

Consul General of India for San Francisco

On Wednesday, I met with Consul General of India in San Francisco, Dr. TV Nagendra Prasad. We discussed ways to expand current partnerships in agriculture and high technology, and how to develop new opportunities in healthcare and renewable energy.

American Chiropractic Association Virtual Meeting

I also met with members of the American Chiropractic Association. Our discussion included legislation that would allow chiropractors to bill Medicare for the full scope of chiropractic services as allowed by state law, and treat them like any other provider in the Medicare program. This would remove barriers to care and reduce costs. I also spoke about my commitment to drive down health care costs and expand access for all Americans.

U.S. Service Academy Nominations Info Night

Thank you to all our liaisons and attendees for participating in Wednesday's service academy nominations info session. If you missed the meeting, you can watch it here. Applications are due by November 30th.


This Week's Casework Success Story

Reem from Poway contacted the office requesting assistance with expediting her application for a replacement green card. Reem recently became a permanent resident, but U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) incorrectly listed her status on the card, subsequently compromising her ability to travel outside the United States. Due to USCIS' error, my staff worked with Reem to gather paperwork highlighting the agency's mistake. After identifying the incorrect status, USCIS approved the request and began production on a new card for Reem with her correct status. 


Financial Aid for 2021-2022

Federal student aid applications, FAFSA, for the 2021-2022 academic year are now open. Federal aid includes grants, scholarships, work-study programs, loans and aid for military families and international study.

FAFSA forms must be submitted by June 30, 2021, though each college may have its own deadline. Students should check with the colleges they are interested in attending and plan accordingly. Click here for more information on deadlines.

Oct 9, 2020

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October 2, 2020

Dear friend,

I hope you and your loved ones continue to stay safe and well. Below is another update on some of the work my staff and I have done this week to serve you.


Legislative Work

The House of Representatives remains in session and this week, we worked to pass critical bills including a revised version of the Heroes Act to provide relief for millions of Americans, and my bipartisan STANDUP Act to prevent violence on campuses and ensure school safety.

standup new pic

Click image to watch video of STANDUP Act floor remarks.

  • Updated Heroes Act: The $2.2 trillion package strengthens support for small businesses, and ensures the Paycheck Protection Program serves the smallest businesses and struggling non-profits. It also provides targeted assistance for independent live venue operators and the restaurant business.
    • This legislation also extends the Payroll Support Program to protect airline industry workers who face mass layoffs, and enhances education and child care resources, with $182 billion for K-12 schools, $39 billion for colleges and universities, and $57 billion to support child care for families.
  • STANDUP Act: Requires states, schools and Tribes to implement commonsense, evidence-based policies to prevent suicides and equips teachers, administrators, and students with the skills needed to get help for people who are at risk of harming themselves or others. (Related floor remarks pictured above.)
  • Creating Hope Reauthorization Act: Incentivizes the pharmaceutical industry to develop treatments and cures for life-threatening conditions through an extension of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) rare pediatric disease priority review voucher program.

GovDATAx 2020

govdatax 2020 screen grab

This week, I spoke about my Health STATISTICS Act during GovDATAx 2020, a leading virtual event for the data community to engage in dialogue and planning for future U.S. policies related to data. I explained the bill, which seeks to fix inconsistencies in data collection and essential reporting to effectively combat coronavirus, as part of the conversation on sound public health data during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This event was hosted by the Government Matters news program and the Data Coalition trade association, which advocates for responsible policies to make government data high-quality and accessible.


Virtual Town Hall on Wildfires Assistance

fire townhall screen grab

I joined California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara for a virtual town hall on wildfires assistance and insurance resources available to renters and homeowners. We discussed the efforts involved with protecting California residents and their properties, the effects of climate change, and the related policy challenges including forest management, land use and development and providing more federal resources. 

Amy Bach, Executive Director of United Policyholders, San Diego Fire Chief Colin Stowell, and Deputy Fire Chief/Fire Marshall Douglas Perry also joined this important discussion.


This Week's Casework Success Story

Gary from Carmel Valley contacted our office in April requesting assistance with the IRS. He had been trying to obtain a refund on behalf of his parents for the past three years. Gary repeatedly provided the IRS with the necessary documentation to process his case, but was not successful. My staff worked with Gary and IRS officials to clear any confusion and gather all the necessary information for the release of funds. This week, IRS notified that Gary would soon receive a check for $2,375.


Election Information

The San Diego County Registrar of Voters provides important information regarding the presidential general election. Notable changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic include the following:

  • All active registered voters in California will receive a ballot in the mail.

**Click here for a list of mail ballot drop-off locations throughout San Diego County.**

  • Polling places will be open for four days, October 31st through November 3rd, for those who need to vote in person. There will be fewer locations than in prior elections, so the location of your assigned poll has most likely changed.
Oct 2, 2020

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September 25, 2020

Dear friend,

I hope you and your loved ones continue to stay safe and well. Below is another update on some of the work my staff and I have done this week to serve you.


Legislative Work

The House of Representatives remains in session and this week, we considered and passed many important bills related to energy, critical resources for veterans, the integrity of our voting systems and domestic terrorism.

Notable Bills that Passed the House

  • Defending the Integrity of Voting Systems Act: Makes hacking a voting system a federal crime.
  • Strengthening America’s Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) Act: Increases funding for SNS, our country's largest supply of drugs and medical supplies, to $705 million for FY 2020 through FY 2023.            
  • Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act: Creates offices in the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, and FBI to investigate and prosecute domestic terrorism. It also creates a task force to investigate white supremacist and neo-Nazi infiltration in military and law enforcement agencies.
  • CROWN Act: Prohibits discrimination based on an individual’s hair texture or hairstyle based on its association with a race or national origin; will apply to those participating in federally-assisted programs.

National Small Business Week

This year, National Small Business Week highlighted the resiliency of businesses across the country in the face of COVID-19. The pandemic undoubtedly shaped the way we do things, but it also uplifted businesses' creativity and ability to adapt to a new normal. As seen below, small businesses make up a critical part of San Diego's economy.

CA52 small biz profile

This Week's Casework Success Story

Esther from Coronado contacted our office at the beginning of September requesting assistance with the renewal of her passport. She was in the middle of a special and time-sensitive medical procedure and needed to travel by a certain date to complete the procedure. My staff worked with State Department officials and Esther to gather all the necessary medical documents to expedite this request. Esther received her passport in the mail and was able to travel in time thanks to these efforts.


Virtual Town Hall on Wildfires Assistance and Insurance Resources

Next week, I will participate in a virtual town hall with California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara to discuss wildfires assistance and insurance resources available to renters and homeowners. With many communities experiencing evacuations, loss of homes and the continued threat of COVID-19, it is imperative for you to have the most updated information on available services and resources. I will also be discussing federal policy challenges associated with the consequences of wildfires in our communities.

When: Tuesday, September 29th at 1:30 P.M. (PST)

Register in advance here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ZLkGfqDzRsupFNTPPKkSqw


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.

Sep 25, 2020

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