It was a productive week in Washington but I have to say, once returning home I was discouraged by the outrageous gas prices back in our district. I was in Wawona today and gas was $4.94. Hard to believe? See the picture here. This is unacceptable. House Republicans in D.C. are working to curb these prices and just this week we launched the House Energy Action Team (HEAT). My colleagues and I created HEAT because we are committed to promoting Republican energy policies that will address rising energy prices, create thousands of good jobs and enhance our national security by increasing American production of oil and gas.
Bottom line, Californians can no longer afford the burdensome government policies that are driving up gas prices and increasing job losses in the Central Valley. We need to increase domestic energy production in order to put Americans back to work and decrease our dependence on foreign entities. Yesterday, the house approved one of our American Energy Initiative bills, H.R. 1230, by a vote of 264-149. The bill expands American energy production, creates jobs and generates revenue for taxpayers.
This week I also introduced my Civilian Property Realignment Act (CPRA) legislation. My bill, H.R. 1734, introduces common sense ideas to reduce our federal footprint and save billions of taxpayer dollars. The CPRA, implements the five principles that I have been working on since early February. We have already scheduled a hearing next week to discuss the bill and I fully intend to move the bill through Congress quickly in order to get the process moving.
I believe the potential to save billions of dollars is real. Given our trillion dollar deficit and skyrocketing debt we must examine every area of government and look for ways to cut spending. My bill establishes a nine person Civilian Property Realignment Commission to take politics out of the process, increase transparency and save billions of taxpayer dollars.
This week, we all celebrated the significant step toward ridding the world of radical terrorism. Although we have brought Osama Bin Laden to justice, we must remain committed to fighting those who promote violence against innocent civilians. I am proud of the brave men and women who have fought for the last decade to rid the world of violent extremism and it is important as ever to honor their service every day. In a Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity hearing yesterday I voted to report four bills to the full House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. Collectively, the four bills protect the care veterans currently receive and provide solutions to fix flawed programs. The legislation is expected to go before the Committee as early as next Thursday, May 12, 2011.
I also voted on Wednesday to repeal two more portions of Obamacare. One would repeal funding from the health-care bill for states to establish insurance exchanges, and the other would repeal mandatory funding for school-based health center construction. I have discussed the importance of this issue with many of you and this vote represents part of House Republican's efforts to eliminate wasteful spending in all corners of government.
In a weekly shout out, I'd like to congratulate the Science Bowl Team from James Enochs H.S. for making it all the way to D.C. in the competition! You can read more about the Science Bowl at their website.
Also, I am announcing the winners of the Congressional Art Competition tonight at Fresno City College. Check out the artwork on my facebook page.
I will also be making a big push to increase my following on twitter in the coming week. Please encourage your friends and family to follow my activity on my twitter account, @RepJeffDenham.
Have a great weekend!
United States Representative