It was nice to be back in the district last week and hear from so many local residents, business owners, farmers and industry leaders about the issues you are facing in the district, as well as receive feedback regarding my actions in Congress. I want to remind you that "liking" my official Facebook page, Representative Jeff Denham, is a great way to stay up to date with all my activities throughout the week.
In all parts of the district this week, the common concern I heard was about the high price of gasoline. It is becoming more difficult for farmers to transport their crops, families are paying more at the grocery store and we're all feeling the increased cost to fill up our vehicles at the pump. At a local gas station in Fresno on Thursday, a woman explained to me how she now carpools to work because of the high gas prices. To learn more about what House Republicans are doing in Congress to increase domestic production of oil and gas in order to lower prices and put people back to work "like" my Facebook page.
Business owners at the small business listening sessions I held in Modesto and Fresno this week also shared concerns about high gas prices, but they were more fearful about the excessive regulations the Administration has placed on their businesses. There are 27.2 million small businesses in America and 3.2 million are here in California. At a town hall in Oakhurst on Thursday with Supervisor Wheeler, one business owner spoke about the expensive regulations she faces and her fears for the future of our economy if we don't reduce these regulatory impediments that strangle small businesses like hers. America's small businesses are the engines of job creation and the drivers of our economy. We must reduce the regulatory barriers they face if we want to grow our economy and I'm committed to seeing these changes happen sooner than later.
In discussions with many of you about reducing the size of government, I talked about my Civilian Property Realignment Act (CPRA) legislation that I recently introduced. It will reduce our federal real estate footprint and save billions of taxpayer dollars at the same time. After working with the Administration and receiving broad support from both sides of the aisle, I was very happy to hear support for the idea from so many of you in the district. My bill will reduce our federal footprint by finding ways to redevelop, consolidate and sell certain high-value federal properties. I intend to move the bill through Congress quickly.
Reducing regulations was also a major concern at the Veterans Roundtable I hosted in Modesto on Wednesday night. Too many Veterans face unnecessary bureaucratic obstacles everyday and it is a great tribute to the local community that we can come together and work to find ways to ensure our Veterans are well represented and receive the care that they were promised. Thank you to everyone who came out; the event was a huge success with standing room only. Be sure to look at the photos on my official Facebook page.
On Friday, I participated in a Maddy Institute event on California High-Speed Rail. Roelof Van Ark, CEO of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, Congressman Jim Costa, and Julia Berry from the Madera County Farm Bureau, among others, participated in a candid discussion about the future of high-speed rail in our state. I was able to stress my position that until there is a concrete business plan to explain to riders and investors how the funds will be spent and how the project will work, we cannot continue to throw taxpayer dollars at the idea. While I would like to see high-speed rail in California someday, it has to be off ag land, on time and on budget. I continued the discussion in an interview with Mark Keppler, Executive Director of the Maddy Institute at KSEE 24 after the event.
If you were not able to make it to my events this week, be sure to "like" Representative Jeff Denham, my official page, on Facebook for updates about events, interviews, district and committee activity throughout the week. Also, my staff will continue to hold mobile office hours throughout the district where you can stop by to have your questions addressed. Don't forget to have your friends sign up to receive my weekly newsletter here.
Have a great week!
United States Representative