Weekly Update from Rep. Denham - July 20, 2012

Jul 23, 2012

Dear Friend,

This week I called on the President to take swift act and sign the Veteran Skills to Jobs Act, H.R. 4155, into law. We have a duty to make sure that every veteran, including our brave service men and women returning home from active duty every year, have jobs available to them, and they are actually certified to be able to accept those jobs. I introduced the Veteran Skills to Jobs Act to do just that, and the sooner we get it signed into law, the sooner our veterans can get back to work in fields that their military service and training has prepared them for. I was honored to have the broad bipartisan support from my colleagues in the House and Senate to move this important legislation forward so quickly, and while it was also an honor to join Speaker of the House John Boehner this week as he signed my House-passed bill, I again urge the President to do the same and help get our veterans back to work here at home. Watch my remarks on the House Floor here, or by clicking the video link below.

I’ve continued my work in Congress to ensure Valley residents have the employment opportunities they need, from the Veteran Skills to Jobs Act to the job fair I am hosting on August 22nd in Turlock with assistance from the Alliance. If you or someone you know would benefit from attending this free event, I encourage you to sign up to receive more information about my upcoming job fair here, and please spread the word about this upcoming opportunity for job seekers to meet face-to-face with employers looking for new hires in the Valley.

The House Transportation Subcommittee that I Chair continued its efforts to put an end to wasteful government spending this week by launching a new investigation into the General Services Administration (GSA)’s unacceptable waste, fraud and abuse of your taxpayer dollars. Just when it appeared GSA was taking a step in the right direction by issuing a temporary hiring freeze for the entire agency and a suspension senior executive bonuses, my Subcommittee was notified of another instance of outrageous waste by GSA on a $270,000, one-day award ceremony held in Washington DC. You can watch my interview with Greta Van Susteren on Fox News where we discussed GSA’s latest scandal here.

This type of blatant waste is unacceptable and cannot be overlooked. Yesterday, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee began conducting its thorough investigation into GSA’s wasteful spending on million dollar conferences and employee gift programs at taxpayers’ expense, and on August 1st, we will be holding a Congressional hearing on the latest General Services Administration scandal. The hearing will also explore potential GSA reforms, including examining whether the private sector would more efficiently perform GSA’s mission to manage federal property. Earlier this year, the House passed legislation I introduced, the Civilian Property Realignment Act (H.R. 1734), which will help eliminate government waste by streamlining the disposal of unneeded assets to sell off or lease vacant and underutilized federal properties and save billions of taxpayer dollars.

Also this week, Governor Jerry Brown authorized the initial construction of California’s $100 billion dollar high-speed rail line, despite the project’s lack of a structured business plan and private investment. In our fragile economy, do we really want billions of our hard-earned taxpayer dollars going towards a project that isn’t shovel-ready and whose cost estimate has more than tripled? I agree with the majority of Californians who see this project as a billion dollar waste and will keep fighting to ensure their hard-earned dollars aren’t thrown at a project that Californians don’t want, we can’t afford, and is not shovel ready to create the immediate jobs we need.

The House also passed the Defense Appropriations Act to ensure our men and women in the Armed Forces have the equipment and services they need to protect America from global threats while keeping us safe her at home.  As a 16-year veteran of the Air Force, I know firsthand how important it is to not play politics with the funding for our troops and I was glad to support this measure.  I hope the Senate will act accordingly and pass this bill quickly so our men and women in uniform can have the peace of mind of knowing Washington isn’t playing with their safety.

Please continue to stay in touch and continue to spread the word about our weekly newsletter. Feel free to write to me on my website, Facebook, and Twitter, and be sure to check back often for the latest information on my work for you in the Valley and in Washington.

Have a great weekend!

Sincerely,

JEFF DENHAM