Weekly Update from Rep. Denham - December 14, 2012
I’m happy to announce that this week my request was granted to return to the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee next year where I’ll have the opportunity to continue my work in ensuring the best care possible for our brave and deserving veterans. Last week I announced my other two Committee assignments to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure as well as the House Committee on Agriculture. A position on these committees will also allow me to bring the voice of our state’s number one industry to Congress as well as continue working to improve California’s infrastructure needs on behalf of the Central Valley.
It is always one of the greatest privileges of my year to personally call each of the young and talented Californians whom I have the distinct honor of nominating to attend one of the U.S. Service Academies. These 19 individuals represent our state’s best, and I’m proud to nominate them to our nation’s military academies. It’s truly inspiring that so many young and talented Californians desire to serve our nation by joining the armed forces. This dedicated group will surely lead our country to a brighter future. A list of this year's nominees can be found on my website here.
With millions of square feet of expensive leased space in the Los Angeles area, we need to continue to shrink and consolidate the federal footprint. This week, the General Services Administration (GSA) announced that the agency is moving forward on disposing of the Spring Street Courthouse in Los Angeles, which is one more step toward ridding the federal government of unneeded property. With millions of square feet of expensive leased space in the LA area, we need to continue to shrink and consolidate the federal footprint. I will continue to follow this project to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent properly and look forward to working with the Administration to further reduce our nation’s debt by enacting the Civilian Property Realignment Act into law.
The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure held another hearing on High-Speed Rail this week, following the hearing on the California rail project last week where I called on U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to address growing concerns regarding the viability of the proposed California High-Speed Rail project. This week’s hearing centered on the project in the North East Corridor, which runs from Boston to Washington, D.C. I continue to believe that there needs to be a concrete business plan, with private investors, before billions of taxpayer money is spent on any High-Speed Rail project. Earlier this year, the House passed my amendment to H.R. 5972, the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2013, preventing funding from being used on California High-speed Rail. I also addressed this important fiscal issue on Capitol Public Radio in Sacramento, which you can list to here.
It was great to sit down with valley dairy interests this week to discuss my new position on the House Committee on Agriculture. California is the number one state in the nation for agricultural economic output and dairy is the highest grossing portion in the California so it was valuable to hear their thoughts on dairy pricing and policy in the House and Senate proposals for the 2012 Farm Bill. As you know, the agricultural industry is the biggest contributor to the economy in the Central Valley and I want to continue the Farm Bill discussions as informed and up to date as possible.
Finally, I wanted to let you know about changes at our district offices. As of today, our Fresno office has been closed due to redistricting and the Modesto district office will move to 4701 Sisk Road, Suite 202. The new Modesto District Office will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. I encourage you to stop by to meet our district staff and say hello. The phone number for the Modesto office remains (209) 579-5458. Whether you need help with a federal agency, would like to order a flag, are requesting tours and tickets for a visit to Washington DC, are searching for federal assistance for your project, or are considering applying to a military academy, my office is here to assist you. Specific examples of items my district office can assist with:
· Congressional Commendations: Visit the office or fill out an online request to have my office officially recognize the outstanding public achievement of a person who lives in our Congressional district.
· Help with a Federal Agency: We regularly work with federal agencies for problems with housing, education, immigration, passports, Social Security or veterans' benefits.
· Internships: Internship opportunities are available in my district and D.C. offices.
· Military Academy Nominations: We provide information and instruction for people seeking nomination to a US Military Academy.
· Presidential Greetings: Birthday, wedding and anniversary greetings from the President may be requested through my office.
· Visit Washington, D.C.: My staff is happy to assist constituents with obtaining tickets for tours of the U.S. Capitol and other Washington, DC attractions.
If you need assistance or have any questions not addressed in this newsletter or on my website, please feel free to call my district office at (209) 579-5458. Again, I look forward to seeing you in the new district office.
Have a great weekend!