Before I update you on my week, I want to ask you all to join me this Memorial Day weekend in remembering the courageous individuals who have lost their lives defending our great country. Our brave service members remind us that freedom is not free and we owe our country's safety and its liberties to their courage. This Memorial Day we not only honor the sacrifices they made, but we are also reminded of the importance of our commitment to our fallen service members. As Presidents Washington and Lincoln stated, taking care of our service members who fought to defend our country should rank among the highest of national priorities.
I was pleased to bring our community together last week in Modesto for a Veterans Roundtable meeting to discuss the regulatory obstacles service members face every day. I am proud to say this week that I voted on four pieces of legislation on the House Floor to improve and expand the care we provide our Veterans. All bills passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and now head to the Senate for consideration. To learn more about the bills click here.
We also voted in the House this week on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, H.R. 1540. In this time of grave economic uncertainty, every department and agency must closely and prudently scrutinize its expenditures. My colleagues on the Armed Services Committee undertook the considerable task of analyzing possible savings from the DoD, and H.R. 1540 presents not only a strong, but efficient plan to keep America safe. I will continue to support legislation that takes care of our troops, makes our nation safer, and reduces the regulations and inefficiencies in our government. The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act is a positive step in this direction.
Last week, I received praise in the district for my new bill, the Civilian Property Realignment Act (H.R. 1734). I'm happy to report that the bill passed my Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management by a voice vote on Wednesday. The legislation would establish an independent commission, similar to the BRAC commission, to review our federal assets and develop recommendations that will allow us to maximize real savings and efficiencies. Watch my remarks explaining how the bill, by employing a BRAC-like process to civilian properties, will reduce the federal footprint and save taxpayers billions of dollars. Keep up with me on facebook and twitter throughout the week for updates.
While the week was full of votes and a lot of committee activity, the main focus was on the importance of job creation. I know the only way to grow the economy and provide long-term stability is fostering an environment where businesses small and large can succeed. At several small business listening sessions in Fresno and Modesto last week, I talked with small business owners about how burdensome regulations and taxes are inhibiting their business and as a result, the growth of the local economies.
Concerns about burdensome federal regulations harming the economy and hindering job growth are being voiced all across the country. That is why House Republicans are including regulatory reform in the Republican Plan for America's Job Creators which will make it easier for businesses to grow and create jobs.
You sent me to Washington to get our fiscal house in order, grow the nation's economy and put Californians back to work. The Republican plan for job creators and economic growth does exactly this. In the short time I have been in office, Republicans have already changed the culture of spending in Washington. However, I know that we must also grow the economy through small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country. There are 3.2 million small businesses in California alone and we need to create an environment where these job creators can start hiring again.
Want to keep up with me throughout the week? There are many ways to stay up to date with my activity: you can "like" my facebook page, follow me on twitter, visit my website and sign up for this weekly update!
This Memorial Day weekend I encourage all Americans across the nation to find a way to remember all of our fallen service members and join me in honoring the extraordinary sacrifice they have made for our great country. Let us always keep those service members fighting overseas today and pray for their safe return.
I look forward to seeing you soon.
United States Representative