I hope that everyone had a great Fourth of July! We had a great holiday and then we were back at work on Tuesday.
Wednesday was a big day in my Subcommittee. I held a hearing where I questioned the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman and Inspector General regarding the Agency's recent lease of hundreds of thousands of square feet of unneeded space. As a result of my investigation, the SEC agreed to give up its leasing authority and many of the SEC employees may also face prosecution from the Justice Department for backdating documents that "justified" the lease.
As Chairman of the Subcommittee, a priority of mine is to ensure that there is accountability for your tax dollars. This was not the first time that SEC has abused its independent and unchecked leasing authority. Because of this and prior instances, I introduced legislation, the Civilian Property Realignment Act (H.R. 1734), in May which eliminates the independent leasing authority for the SEC and ensures that incidents like this cannot happen in the future. By reducing our federal footprint and ensuring more efficient ways of managing our federal properties, we can identify real savings. To read more about the hearing and my work as subcommittee Chairman, click here and be sure to "like" my facebook page for updates on any future action.
The Labor Department reported this morning that unemployment hit 9.2% in June and that the economy added only 18,000 new jobs – a very disappointing report that reinforces that our top priority must remain job creation and economic growth. With double-digit unemployment in our district, the solution is simple: we have the natural resources to get people back to work and we must use them. We must maximize domestic energy production, bring water to the Valley, increase our timber harvest, reduce regulatory burdens and get serious about putting people back to work and turning our economy around. House Republicans have the bills to create jobs, but we need to have the will to move them through both houses and encourage the President to create American jobs. Not Republican jobs, not Democrat jobs but American jobs. I issued a statement on the report and you can read it here.
Today we approved H.R. 2219, the 2012 Department of Defense Appropriations Act, by a vote of 336-87. The bill will provide the necessary funds for defense activities and is important because it ensures that our troops have the equipment and support that is essential to their success and protection. As an Air Force Veteran, I will continue to support our men and women in uniform and provide the resources needed to protect America from foreign threats. House Republicans are still focused on the enormous debt facing the nation and have decided to reduce President Obama's Defense request by $9 billion because all areas of government must see reductions in spending. A strong military is important to me, but so is the amount of debt we leave our children.
We are back in D.C. next week and as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management, I am holding a hearing to address the cost to our nation if we do not better manage our natural resources and correctly prepare for natural disasters. My committee has jurisdiction over FEMA and we will be discussing ways that we can improve the management of our emergency preparedness and disaster recovery programs.
Be sure to "like" my facebook page and follow me on twitter to be the first to see photos or hear about my activity during the week. Also, tell your friends to sign up for this weekly newsletter on my website.
Have a great weekend!
United States Representative