Weekly Update from Rep. Denham - February 17, 2012

Feb 17, 2012

February 17, 2012

Dear Friend,

In case you missed it, on Saturday, ABC World News reported on my efforts to eliminate government waste, specifically my investigation into the L.A. Courthouse project.  My bill, H.R. 1734, the Civilian Property Realignment Act (CPRA), will consolidate our federal footprint and streamline processes to sell underutilized or vacant government properties in order to eliminate the type of waste highlighted in ABC's report.  Last week, CPRA passed out of the House of Representatives by a bi-partisan vote of 259-164, and it is now headed to the Senate for consideration.  In this time of economic hardship, it is crucial that my colleagues in the House and the Senate work together to pass common-sense legislation that will tackle our federal deficit and encourage economic growth without adding additional burdens to the taxpayer.

It was another busy week in Washington, D.C.  We worked hard to find bi-partisan solutions to the problems facing our country.  Today, I voted in bi-partisan fashion to pass H.R. 3630, theMiddle Class Tax Relief and Jobs Creation Act of 2012.  The bill extends a payroll tax rebate for workers, begins to reign in excess unemployment payments, repeals some funding for Obamacare, and starts the process of leveling the playing field between public and private sector workers.

On Monday, the President introduced his budget for fiscal year 2013. It is another bloated budget that, among other things, would impose more than $1.9 trillion in tax increases on job creators and high-income earners.  Three years ago, the Administration promised 6% unemployment if we continued to spend.  Now, on the third anniversary of the "stimulus," unemployment remains above 8% and double that in our area.  The Administration has yet to realize that our government does not have a revenue problem, but a spending problem; and we cannot continue to spend when we face a $15 trillion debt here at home. 

Runaway government spending is why I continue to question California's High-Speed Rail Project. The project is a prime example of the Administration's willingness to spend lavishly without creating a disciplined business plan.  The cost of high-speed rail has ballooned to over $98 billion, and the people of California are still waiting for a plan to demonstrate exactly how this system will be run and paid for.  A majority of Californians, along with members of the Valley delegation, realize this project has spiraled out of control. Right now, we need to focus on reducing the burdens and obstacles that challenge job creators and support shovel-ready projects that will put more of our friends and family back to work.

While the Administration continues to push for the project, the President has not visited the Central Valley in the last nine times he's been in California.  He has not seen the affects that high speed rail would have on farmers and their employees, or the devastation his policies have caused by shutting off our water supply. The Administration's policies may change if the President saw first-hand what double-digit unemployment means for our family and friends and witnessed the seriousness of the water crisis that we've faced for so long.

Yesterday, the House Natural Resources Committee held a legislative markup on H.R. 1837, the San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act, introduced by Representative Devin Nunes and cosponsored by Representative Kevin McCarthy and myself. It's about time we turn empty rhetoric into action when it comes to California's water crisis.  This legislation will ensure Valley families, farmers, and communities will have a reliable and sustainable water supply. 

Next week, I'll be back in the Valley and I'm excited about the events I have planned. I will be in Turlock and Modesto on Tuesday, and you can find further information about my events on my website.  I look forward to seeing many of you and your family and friends at the events. Please continue to spread the word about our weekly newsletter, and stay up to date by visiting my website or facebo ok and twitter pages.

Have a great weekend.

Sincerely, 

JEFF DENHAM