Mark Tours West County Detention Facility Following Allegations of Abuse of ICE Detainees

December 5, 2017
DeSaulnier Digest

Dear Contra Costa Residents:

As the House of Representatives begins its legislative work this week, we wanted to provide you with a snapshot of recent news and issues before Congress over the past week.


RECENT KEY VOTES

Congressional Sexual Harassment Training Resolution (H.Res. 630)

The allegations of sexual assault that have been made in Congress and across the country are appalling. I am encouraged that survivors of these acts are feeling empowered to come forward, and hope that more will continue to do so. Last week, I voted for, and the House passed, a resolution that would require annual anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training for all Members of the House of Representatives, staff, and interns. This is an important first step toward ensuring the U.S. House of Representatives is a safe and respectful work environment. Staff and managers in our office already receive sexual harassment training, but I believe it should be mandatory for all House and Senate offices.

Brownfields Enhancement, Economic Redevelopment, and Reauthorization Act (H.R. 3017)

Across the United States, there are more than 450,000 “brownfields” properties, which have hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminant present. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields grants programs were set up to help encourage developers to clean up and repurpose these sites for productive use. I supported this bill, which is good both for the economy and public health.

Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act (H.R. 1699)

Manufactured home communities play a key role in providing affordable and accessible housing for families. This bill would make it easier for mortgage lenders to steer potential buyers of manufactured homes to high cost loans resulting in financial hardship for borrowers. I voted against this bill, as it will make banks richer and consumers less protected.

 


MARK'S LEGISLATIVE ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Congressman DeSaulnier argued against legislation that hurts federal employees

On Thursday, I argued on the House floor in opposition to H.R. 4182, which would unnecessarily increase the federal employee probationary period from one to two years. This is an arbitrary change to existing policy, and there is no evidence to suggest that extending the probationary period will lead to better employee performance. Extending the probationary period and thereby extending the time when employees have no due process rights leaves employees open to retaliation and workplace discrimination. I was proud to stand up for dedicated public servants and oppose this deceivingly titled bill.


MARK AROUND TOWN

Congressman DeSaulnier toured the West County Detention Facility and met with advocacy groups that represent ICE detainees

Following recent reports of ICE detainees being mistreated at the West County Detention Facility, I toured the jail and met with advocacy groups that represent detainees. Leaving with more questions than answers, I called on Attorney General Sessions to immediately investigate the claims and will be asking the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General to look into the allegations. While the Sheriff’s office’s internal investigation is an important first step, an independent, third party investigation is needed. To read the full story click here.

Congressman DeSaulnier questioned Department of the Interior Deputy Secretary Bernhardt on his conflicts of interest

During a House Oversight and Government Reform Intergovernmental Affairs Subcommittee hearing this week, I questioned Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt on his possible conflicts of interest from working on issues for Interior that affect his former clients. Prior to his current position, Deputy Secretary Bernhardt represented the Westlands Water District and Cadiz Inc., both of which have pursued policies and projects that are environmentally unsustainable and damaging to our water resources. I addressed several favorable rulings to Westlands and Cadiz since the Deputy Secretary's appointment to Interior, including a decision allowing Cadiz to pump ground water from the Southern California desert, a reversal of a ruling made during the Obama Administration. I will continue to pursue Mr. Bernhardt’s possible conflicts in the interest of ensuring transparency and accountability throughout the U.S. federal government and fair representation of Northern California.


OPINIONS FROM THE DISTRICT  

Hearing directly from you not only informs my work in Congress, but also is my favorite part of being your Representative. To share your opinions with me you can either email me or take our survey.