Since 2013

$10,487,106 DOLLARS RETURNED TO SAN DIEGANS

Congressman Scott Peters

Representing the 52nd District of California

Climate Playbook Updates

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November 11, 2021

Dear friend,

I brag all the time that the district I represent is the best in the country for many reasons, one of those is certainly its role in our national defense and the fact that it is home to so many veterans. Since coming to Congress, one of my top priorities has been to support veterans and their families. This support means fighting for increased access to healthcare for veterans' wellbeing, providing opportunities to help them prosper in the job market, and expanding networks of support as they transition to civilian life. 

The sacrifices of our veterans have shaped the soul of our country. They will never be forgotten. I want to wish a happy Veterans Day to all the servicemembers who have fought for our country and to the families who supported them every step of the way. You are the pride of our nation.

On this special occasion, I am providing an update on some of the work my staff and I have done this past year to support our veterans and their families.

 


Veterans Bills I Have Introduced &

Co-sponsored

 

I introduced a resolution to designate the month of June 2021 as ‘‘National Post-Traumatic Stress Injury Awareness Month’’ and June 27, 2021 as ‘‘National Post-Traumatic Stress Injury Awareness Day."

 

In July, I introduced the Veteran Peer Specialist Act of 2021. The Veteran Peer Specialist Act of 2021 would expand the peer specialist program to all VA medical centers over a five-year period by initiating the program at 25 VA medical centers per year, hiring two peer specialists at each facility, and ensuring diversity in the hiring of peer specialists. This bill builds on the Peer Act I introduced in 2018 that was later incorporated into the VA Mission Act of 2019.

 

Letter to Department of Veterans Affairs Regarding Community Providers

 

In September, I sent a letter to Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough to request action to mitigate challenges veterans experience in accessing community care. Reps. Katie Porter (CA-45) and Lou Correa (CA-46) also joined this effort after we heard from constituents who have encountered difficulties, such as delays in receiving referrals and authorizations from the Department for private care, breakdowns in transferring health records between VA and private health care providers, and a lack of timely adjudication of claims. We requested answers on modifications needed to improve the internal process for referrals, actions to improve the electronic transfer of medical records, and actions to improve the VA appeals backlog, among other pressing issues.

 

I have also supported my colleagues' efforts this year by cosponsoring the following bills:

 

SAVE LIVES Act

Commission on LGBTQ Servicemembers and Veterans Act

Military Retiree Survivor Comfort Act

VA Employee Fairness Act of 2021

LGBTQ+ Veterans Advisory Committee

Michael Lecik Military Firefighters Protection Act

Veterans Affairs Electronic Health Record Transparency Act of 2021

Military Hunger Prevention Act

National Memorial WWII Commemorative Coin Act

SERVE Act of 2021

VET RENT Act

Autonomy for Disabled Veterans Act

Health Care Fairness for Military Families Act of 2021

 


Site Visits and Meetings in CA-52

 

The 52nd district is the proud home of so many organizations and facilities that serve our veterans. When I am not in Washington, D.C., it is my priority to meet with important stakeholders and visit these places to learn more about what we can do for our veteran communities.

 

RTFH briefing 3.12.21

 

In March, I had a briefing with Tamera Kohler, Chief Executive Officer of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless. She discussed the organization's work and how COVID-19 has affected the homeless community's needs. We also spoke about veteran and youth homelessness, and the need for low-barrier housing to connect individuals experiencing homelessness with services they need.

 

miguel keith

 

In early May, I delivered the welcoming address at the commissioning ceremony for USS Miguel Keith at Naval Air Station North Island. USS Miguel Keith was built by San Diego’s own General Dynamics NASSCO and bears the name of Marine Corps Lance Corporal Miguel Keith who was killed in action while defending his platoon in Vietnam.

 

A few days later, I met with Rear Admiral (ret.) John McLaughlin who also serves as President & CEO of the USS Midway Museum to discuss updates with the museum and his ongoing efforts to honor veterans.

 

trinidad presser

 

In late May, I signed onto a letter to the Secretary of the Navy requesting that the Navy name a ship after a Filipino sailor who received the Medal of Honor 106 years ago: Telesforo Trinidad. Trinidad received the Medal of Honor for his heroism in the line of duty during boiler explosions onboard the USS San Diego while the ship was underway in the Gulf of California in 1915. After 106 years, Trinidad still holds the distinction of being the first and only Asian American (and first and only Filipino) in the U.S. Navy to receive a Medal of Honor.

 

On Memorial Day, I attended the ceremony at Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial to honor the memory and sacrifice of fallen U.S. servicemembers. It was one of the first in-person events to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country since the lifting of local COVID-19 restrictions. This year’s event also commemorated the 30th anniversary of Operation Desert Storm.

 

In June, I met with representatives from the University of San Diego's Veterans Legal Clinic to discuss common veteran cases they handle, reforms on military discharge upgrades, and policies on extremism in the military.

 

In July, I met with members from the local chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America. We discussed expanding veteran access for earned benefits, and enhancing the VA's network of care, particularly in telehealth and specialty care services. We also spoke about housing issues for veterans and the VA claims appeals backlog, as well as my role in the spinal cord injury clinic and community center at the San Diego VA.

 

ray chavez ceremony

In August, 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 to rename this post office back in 2019 and it was signed into law last December. This recognition now reminds the Poway community of Chavez's enduring legacy.

 

VA visits

 

Also in August, I visited the VA San Diego Regional Office and met with staff to learn more about how they support our veterans. I toured the veteran's readiness and employment facilities and the public contact office where veterans can seek services to assist with claims in person. Afterwards, I visited the VA San Diego Hospital and met with Director Dr. Smith to discuss the care they provide to veterans and their infrastructure plans. During this tour, I observed the construction of the new Spinal Cord Injury facility and the hospital's COVID-19 vaccination station.

 


Serving Veterans on the Military Transition Assistance Pathway Caucus

 

In July, I proudly agreed to serve as the Democratic co-chair of the Military Transition Assistance Pathway (MTAP) Caucus. This bipartisan caucus supports and advocates on behalf of military servicemembers who return to civilian life, advances policies that improve services and resources for them, addresses gaps of care, and honors the service of our nation’s servicemembers and their families. As representative of a military town like San Diego, I am well aware that a return to civilian life presents unique challenges. It is an honor to support this community on this caucus and I look forward to continuing to serve on their behalf.

 


Honoring Employers Who Hire our Nation's Heroes

 

Four years ago, I voted to establish the HIRE Vets Medallion Program, the only federal program recognizing and honoring job creators for recruiting, employing, and retaining veterans. As we honor our veterans today, I want to recognize employers and awardees of the HIRE Vets Medallion Program in the 52nd district:

 

Coronado Distribution Company

Essence of America

Life’s Investments

Exceptional Employees for Exceptional Results

R3 Strategic Support Group

AVIVV

The Elite Guardian Consulting Services

Spectral Labs Incorporated

Support the Enlisted Project

 

I thank these companies for your commitment to stand by our veterans after their service and helping them pave a successful future.


 

It is an honor to serve CA-52’s veterans and their families in Congress. Happy Veterans Day!

Nov 11, 2021

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November 5, 2021

 

Dear friend,

As we send this, votes on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework and Build Back Better Act are still pending in Washington, D.C. I support both bills. The Build Back Better Act will make historic investments in early childhood education, health care, housing, and tackle our climate crisis in an unprecedented way. I personally worked hard to include a plan to lower prescription drug prices.

New reports predict Build Back Better will generate 1.5 million jobs per year for 10 years, decrease inflation and generate revenue to help pay for these investments. I thank my colleagues who have worked hard and are working to improve this bill, and I look forward to voting yes when it is put on the floor.

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

 

This Week:

We Helped Ryan Get his Tax Refund

 

This week's casework success story is about Ryan from Bay Park, who contacted the office in June to request assistance with obtaining his 2019 tax refund. The Internal Revenue Service had asked for additional information from Ryan in early 2021 to which he responded promptly, but had not heard any further updates since then. My staff worked with Ryan to resubmit all the requested documents to the IRS. In October, Ryan finally received his refund for a total of $28,674.06.

 

Tackling Climate Change with

Smart Trade Policy

 

bpc climate and trade

 

On Tuesday, I participated in a virtual panel event hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) on climate and international trade policy. I spoke about how the U.S. can leverage its trade policy to strengthen the competitiveness of our industries while reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Policymaking and research experts also discussed the U.S. carbon advantage and the possibility of creating a "carbon club" with other world economies during this event. As world leaders convene for the COP26 Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, it is more important than ever to discuss these solutions and turn them into a reality to save the health of our planet.

 

Talking Supply Chain with

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo

 

raimondo ndc del bene

 

On Tuesday, New Dem Coalition members spoke with Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo about the Build Back Better agenda during our weekly meeting. We also discussed actions the Administration is taking to address supply chain issues and strengthen the resilience of our supply chain.

 

Recognizing the Critical Work of

Special Ops

 

On Wednesday, I addressed a symposium for the Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict division of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA). I discussed the important work of the Special Operations Forces Caucus, for which I serve as co-chair, the goals of the caucus, and how special it is for me to represent the operators and their families stationed in my district at Naval Base Coronado. I also took the opportunity to recognize the extraordinary sacrifice and success of the special operations community over the past twenty years. This community has played a crucial role countering violent extremism throughout the globe and in our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 


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.

Stay safe and be well,

Nov 5, 2021

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October 29, 2021

Dear friend,

After months of intense work and negotiations, the White House released a very promising framework for the Build Back Better Act. I am encouraged by the historic investments in climate to drastically reduce emissions, make preschool universal for 3- and 4-year-olds, and construct affordable housing. Congress must continue to work on including paid family leave and prescription drug price reforms, and I continue to advocate for these policies.

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


This Week's Casework Success Story

Joe from Carmel Valley contacted my office earlier this month with an issue he was having to secure safe and affordable housing for his disabled son. Joe was seeking to expedite the approval process for an exception to the Section 8 Department of Housing and Urban Development payment standard. This exception would allow Joe's son to secure housing near his parents. Shortly after my staff contacted the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) on Joe's behalf, SDHC expedited the process and notified him of the approval. Securing safe and affordable housing for Joe's son marks a new chapter in his journey toward independence, and our office was happy to help.

"The very day after I sent in the HUD Privacy Act Waiver, we received the good news from the San Diego Housing Commission...We had been patient for greater than 45 days for such an approval, as well as the property manager who held the apartment for (my son) for 6 weeks. We would like to sincerely thank your office and colleagues, as well as the DC office of Congressman Scott Peters whom I contacted as well, for whatever role they played in this approval.”

- Joe from Carmel Valley


"Help Wanted: A Stronger Labor Market for Robust Growth" Hearing

jec hearing

On Wednesday, I participated in a Joint Economic Committee hearing on the current state of our country's labor market. I urged changing our immigration laws to help address today's labor shortage and asked Skanda Amarnath, Executive Director at Employ America, and Dr. Betsey Stevenson, from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy University of Michigan, about the role of the immigrant workforce in our economic growth. I also spoke about the value of the Child Tax Credit and how it empowers parents' choices to spend more of their hard-earned money on their families. Click here to watch my remarks during this hearing. 


Letter to Secretary Xavier Becerra

This week, I sent a letter to Xavier Becerra, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, requesting permission for San Diego health officials to share unused COVID-19 vaccines with Mexico. The letter, which was also signed by Rep. Juan Vargas (CA-51), requests a briefing about the barriers to sharing the vaccine with our neighbors in Baja California. Earlier this month, San Diego County medical leaders attempted to donate unused vaccine doses to residents of Mexicali, Baja California. Shortly thereafter, officials from the White House Vaccine Force notified them that donations could only be managed from Washington, D.C. since they are federal property. We strongly encourage our federal government to allow health authorities to share precious, limited supplies of COVID-19 vaccines so that shots go in arms, not the trash. A copy of this letter is available here.


Meeting with CA-52 Constituents

constituent meeting

On Thursday, I met with Lynn Dedrick and Leslie Hopwood from my district to speak about caregiving challenges during the pandemic. We discussed H.R. 3733 the Essential Caregivers Act, and what that bill would do for families like theirs. Mikko Cook, the co-founder of the Essential Caregivers Coalition, also joined this call and I heard about first-hand experiences of caretaking for the elderly during these difficult times. I want to thank Lynn, Leslie and Mikko for sharing their personal stories and meeting with me this week.


Meeting with Temple Adat Shalom Men's Club

tempe adat shalom men's club

I was glad to join the Temple Adat Shalom Men's Club last weekend to provide a broad update on the current work in Congress. I spoke about drug pricing, affordable housing, the climate crisis, investments in infrastructure, and the state of current US-Israel relations. I remain committed to addressing these issues in Congress and for the people of California's 52nd district.


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 29, 2021

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October 22, 2021

Dear friend,

I was honored to spend the past week working for the 52nd district in Washington, D.C. Our hard work as lawmakers to make transformative investments for our future, specifically through President Biden's Build Back Better agenda, continues. As of this week, we have an increasingly clearer picture of a framework that we will vote on in the coming weeks, and I am encouraged by the conversations that we are having to come to an agreement. 

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


The Importance of Carbon Pricing in the Build Back Better Act

While negotiations continue, I want to remind the people I represent about some of the priorities in President Biden's agenda that I care for the most.

To address the climate crisis, we must ensure polluters pay the cost of their climate pollution. I strongly support the Clean Electricity Payment Program and believe we should pass it as part of the reconciliation package. If it does not have the support of the Senate, we must add a price on carbon pollution to the Build Back Better Act.

A price on carbon pollution is the only single budgetary tool that substantially reduces greenhouse gas emissions and raises significant revenue to reinvest in the American people and economy.

This is why I joined Rep. Ted Deutch as a co-lead on the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act and have been pushing for a carbon fee to be a part of this climate bill since the start of the negotiations. Earlier this year, I also spoke to Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm and emphasized how the employment of a carbon price would complement the American Jobs Plan.

I encourage my colleagues in the House, Senate counterparts, and President Biden to include a price on carbon pollution in the final version of the Build Back Better Act. The climate crisis is here, and we must act now.


Subcommittee on Energy Hearing: “Offshore Wind, Onshore Benefits: Growing the Domestic Wind Energy Industry”

offshore wind

On Thursday, I participated in a hearing of the Subcommittee on Energy of the Committee on Energy and Commerce to discuss offshore wind. I asked Heather Zichal, Chief Executive Officer of the American Clean Power Association, about the policy barriers involved in deploying more offshore wind projects off the coast of California compared to the East Coast. I also asked David Hardy, Chief Executive Officer of Orsted Offshore North America, what we can learn from policies in places like Europe where the build out of this energy source is well ahead of the U.S. I firmly support that offshore wind can help us reach our clean energy and climate ambitions. We need to act on climate now! See my full remarks here.


Visit to NAVWAR Facilities

navwar jacobs 2021

Last week, I visited the current NAVWAR headquarters facilities for a tour and update on the Navy Old Town Campus Revitalization Project with Rep Sara Jacobs (CA-53). San Diego is the ideal location for NAVWAR given our region’s highly skilled workforce, military footprint, private aerospace and defense ecosystem, and world class university system. The Navy's plans to redevelop the area and build modern facilities will improve NAVWAR's contributions to the joint force worldwide, while creating new opportunities for economic growth, housing, and transportation expansion. The Navy is expected to announce final project plans in 2022.


CA-52 Community Spotlight

farmer of the year

Congratulations to Ken Altman on being named the 2020 Farmer of the Year by the San Diego County Farm Bureau earlier this month! A member of my staff attended this wonderful celebration at the world-famous San Diego Zoo Safari Park, which is located in my district. 


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 22, 2021

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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

capitol photoshoot

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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