Response to Passage of Regional Measure 3 & “Minibus” Appropriations Bill

June 11, 2018
DeSaulnier Digest

Dear Contra Costa County Residents:

I am pleased to be hosting a town hall tonight at the Danville Community Center at 6:30 p.m. This will be our 65th town hall and mobile district office hour since coming to Congress in 2015. At the town hall, you will have the opportunity to hear a legislative update, ask questions, and share your thoughts. Follow along live on Facebook or check out our Instagram story for a recap. 

RSVP by clicking the image below.


RECENT KEY VOTES

"Minibus" Appropriations Bill (H.R. 5895)
As part of Congress's responsibility to give funding to federal agencies and programs, House Republicans put together a package of funding bills for energy, the environment, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The bill prioritized cutting beneficial environmental programs instead of supporting them and spending our money irresponsibly instead. I opposed this bill, though it passed by a vote of 235-to-179.

Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) (H.R. 8)
This biannual legislation supports improvements to our nation's ports, inland waterways, dams, flood protection, ecosystem restoration, and other water resources infrastructure that are essential to economic growth and American competitiveness. I supported this bill, which the House overwhelmingly passed by a vote of 408-to-2.


MARK'S LEGISLATIVE ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Introduces Bill and Secures Funding to Upgrade Contra Costa's Water Infrastructure

  • Congressman DeSaulnier introduced the Contra Costa Canal Transfer Act, H.R. 6040, to transfer the title of the canal from the federal government to the Contra Costa Water District, so that the water district can make needed investments in upgrading the canal and improving safety.
  • Congressman DeSaulnier passed an amendment to the "Minibus" (H.R. 5895) to secure funding for the maintenance and repair of fish screens in the Sacramento - San Joaquin watershed.

To learn more about our work, click here.


MARK AROUND TOWN

Questioning the Secretary of Health and Human Services
There is still one facility in the country that uses shock therapy on patients with disabilities despite all the evidence that it is a cruel and ineffective punishment. I urged U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to simply add his signature to a proposed rule researched and drafted by the Obama Administration to ban the inhumane use of shock therapy on individuals with disabilities.

Discussing Mental Health Care for Refugees
Since 2016, Partnerships for Trauma Recovery has provided culturally aware, trauma-informed, and linguistically accessible mental health care to refugees and asylum seekers at the Mosaic Healing Center in Berkeley. During a visit to the center, we discussed the importance of continued support for refugees fleeing human rights abuses, especially given the Trump Administration's repeated attacks on those in need of safety and protection.


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.

Below are some of the top issues you shared with me over the last week:

  • 191 constituents expressed support for a federal investigation into allegations that the National Rifle Association (NRA) illegally helped Russians interfere in our elections on behalf of the Trump Campaign.
  • 54 residents called for the resignation of Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency based on his efforts to roll back environmental protections and his numerous ethics violations.

LEGISLATION MARK RECENTLY SUPPORTED

Stop Sexual Assault and Harassment in Transportation Act (H.R. 5857) - increases penalties for, and oversight of, sexual assault and harassment that happens in and around our nation's transportation systems

Cancer Drug Parity Act (H.R. 1409) - requires that health care providers cannot charge patients more for taking pills to treat cancer than other methods

Protecting Our Workers from Exploitation and Retaliation (POWER) Act (H.R. 5908) - provides visa eligibility for immigrant workers who report unsafe or unfair labor practices, strengthen labor agencies' investigative power and allow a stay of removal and work authorization for workers who file a workplace claim

International Human Rights Defense Act (H.R. 6033) - calls on the State Department to continues its efforts to defend the human rights of LGBTQ+ people internationally


LETTERS MARK RECENTLY SENT

Letter to the committee responsible for crafting spending bills asking that they stop DHS from separating parents from their children

Letter to Secretary DeVos calling for swift and decisive action to correct her testimony at the Education and Workforce Committee and further clarify state and school district obligations to serve all children, regardless of immigration status, to ensure all students can learn in a safe environment, free from fear and discrimination

Letter to House Leadership asking that no federal funds be used to deport Dreamers

Letter to Secretary DeVos asking her to clarify her recent outrageous statement that the Trump Administration's Federal Commission on School Safety will not look at guns

Letter to EPA Administrator Pruitt opposing the Administration's moves to prop up coal-fired power plants

Letter to EPA Administrator Pruitt opposing move to limit the consideration of scientific studies in policy decision-making

Letter to Speaker Ryan and Leader Pelosi urging bipartisan legislation to address our nation's infrastructure needs


MARK'S RECENT STATEMENTS

Congressman DeSaulnier's Statement on Regional Measure 3
"Bay Area traffic is a serious challenge to our economy and quality of life, and the passage of Regional Measure 3 shows just how desperate commuters are for solutions. RM3 is a missed opportunity to provide significant, timely relief to toll-payers who will now be paying hundreds of dollars more per year in bridge tolls. The commuters who pay the tolls on the most congested corridors in the region, such as I-80, need immediate relief in the form of a new transit and vehicle Bay crossing.

While I am skeptical about what RM3 will deliver, my hope now is that our local and regional officials adhere to high standards of accountability and transparency. If the 35 projects included in RM3 are not completed on time and on budget the public deserves timely and honest information about delays and cost overruns, something I have worked to promote throughout my career and in Congress," said Congressman DeSaulnier.

KTVU: What to expect with Regional Measure 3

ABC7: East Bay Congressman Mark DeSaulnier offers his take on regional transit measure