Weekly Update from Rep. Jeff Denham - May 10, 2013
I want to take a moment to recognize all of the teachers who are making a difference in the lives of our children every day and who instill in them the skills they need to create a bright and secure future for our country. This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week, and an important opportunity to thank our nation’s educators across the country.
This week the House passed two important pieces of legislation to help alleviate some of the struggles working families face and another measure to remove the threat of default on our debt. On Wednesday, the House passed H.R. 1406, the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013, to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and allow private sector employers and employees to establish agreements that provide for compensatory time off in lieu of monetary overtime compensation – an option that is currently available for federal, state and local government employees. As working parents of two children, my wife Sonia and I fully understand the delicate balancing act between meeting the needs of family and the workplace, and this common-sense legislation will help American workers better meet those needs.
As a small-business owner and farmer, I'm always faced with choices about how much money I spend, how much debt I have and how I will increase revenue. A responsible person considers all of these to avoid default and financial ruin. A responsible Federal Government should also focus on balancing the budget, reducing waste and managing its debt obligations for these very reasons. On Thursday, I joined my colleagues in passing H.R. 807, the Full Faith and Credit Act, ensures the federal government will never default on its debt and guarantees the solvency of Social Security. Now we must remain focused on managing the national debt by reducing spending in order to grow the economy and expand opportunity for Valley residents.
Next week the House Agriculture Committee will begin its process of sending a long-term, five-year Farm Bill to the Floor for a vote. As you know, the agriculture industry contributes significantly to the economy in the Central Valley and I want to enter next week’s Farm Bill discussion fully aware of the specialized needs of various sectors of our agriculture economy. That’s why I’ve continued to meet with several different agriculture industry representatives back home in California and here in Washington, D.C., to hear from all sides of this issue – our farmers, ranchers, consumers and producers, and our local small businesses – each of whom are greatly affected by federal and state agriculture policy and regulations. Continuing these discussions, this week I met with the California Association of Winegrape Growers, the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement Executive Committee, as well as with representatives from California’s olive oil and sugar industries.