It was another busy and productive week in
. President Obama signed the short-term Continuing Resolution, proposed by House Republicans, with $4 billion in cuts that will keep the government running through March 18th. We were successful in preventing a government shutdown this week, but there are still many hard decisions to be made in order to protect the future of our kids and grandkids. With this in mind, House Republicans are looking for more ways to improve our business climate and get Americans back to work. The House also passed HR 4, legislation that would completely repeal the 1099 reporting requirements on small businesses that was imposed through ObamaCare. The provision in the Health Care Law imposed a huge tax compliance burden on small businesses, modifying this provision would reduce government spending and make health care services affordable for all Americans. Washington
The Surface Transportation Extension was approved by Congress this week as well. The legislation freezes funding at fiscal year 2010 levels for highway, transit and highway safety programs and allows these funds to be used for federal highway and surface transportation programs through
September 30, 2011. The extension will allow more time for the Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure to complete work on a multi-year reauthorization bill to create jobs and build our nation's infrastructure.
If you follow me on Twitter, you know that you are invited to a townhall meeting on Monday, March 7th at in
to discuss the federal budget and the need to cut government spending. I will be hosting the budget townhall and Fresno County Supervisor Debbie Poochigian and Fresno City Councilmember Larry Westerlund will join me in the discussion about the President's budget proposal and the implications it has for the Fresno Central Valley. The night will be a great opportunity for an open dialogue about the severe budget crisis we face. If you are interested in attending, please contact our office at (559) 449-2490 for further details and to RSVP. Fresno
We held an oversight hearing on the budget request for the Bureau of Reclamation in the House Subcommittee on Water and Power this week. Our hearing focused on Reclamation's wasteful spending and its divergence from the original mission of providing water and power abundance. In difficult economic times, the Reclamation's policies have triggered unnecessary, increased economic hardships on Valley farmers and have resulted in lost jobs. It is not acceptable that farmers cannot receive the full allocation of water that they have a contract for, even if wet years such as this one with a year-to-date snowpack level of 127 percent.
Increasing water storage in the Valley is a priority of mine, and this week I was proud to introduce my first bill that focuses on
's water needs. The bill will allow increased water storage at California at no cost to the federal taxpayer. HR 869 would increase the capacity of the reservoir by resolving a regulatory hurdle allowing for the modification of the spillway at the New Exchequer Dam. I was happy to have the support of fellow Lake McClure Central Valley delegates for this legislation that will increase water storage and flood control capacity, while also creating jobs.
I had the opportunity to question Interior Secretary Ken Salazar at the Natural Resources hearing on Thursday afternoon where we examined the Department's Fiscal Year 2012 Budget proposal. I was able to ask Secretary Salazar about the Bureau of Land Management's plan to acquire more properties at a time when we need to cut government spending and save taxpayer money.
Finally, I mourned the loss of Frank Buckles, the last of our World War I veterans, who passed away on February 27th at 110 years of age. I sent a letter with my colleagues to Speaker Boehner requesting that Frank Buckles lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda. He, like all of our veterans, is a brave and worthy hero and deserves our deepest respect. It is incredible to think of how our world has changed in the last 110 years and how much we have to be thankful for. Thank you to our veterans and the families and community that support them.
I hope to see you all in
on Monday night for on open conversation about the budget crisis that faces our country. I know there are many concerns in the Fresno Central Valley and I would enjoy answering your questions.
Remember to tell your friends to follow me in my official capacity on my website, Twitter and Facebook for the most up to date information and invitations to community events.
United States Representative