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It was a real pleasure having the opportunity to speak to and hear from so many of you at my recent town hall meetings in Vista and San Juan Capistrano.
I wanted to reach out today with a few important updates on what's going on in Washington, D.C. and share an opportunity for you to weigh in, in case you couldn't attend our recent in-person meetings.
Weigh In: No Toll Road Through San Clemente
Issa: Let My Constituents Be Heard On San Onofre Nuclear Waste
Standing in Unity at the Congressional Baseball Game
After the horrifying attacks this week, my staff and colleagues stood in solidarity for Congressman Scalise, Capitol Police and others hurt at the Congressional Baseball game.
VA Reform Bill Headed To the President's Desk
This week, the House and Senate both passed legislation to ensure veterans get the care they deserve and increase accountability at the VA. It's expected to be signed into law quickly.
Stopping Policing for Profit
"Innocent until proven guilty? Not always," writes the Union-Tribune. Legislation I've introduced with my colleagues will ensure due process and curb unconstitutional abuses in civil forfeiture cases.
Ending Wall Street Bailouts
Good news! We just passed legislation that brings years of too-big-to-fail to an end. The bill we just passed permanently ends Wall Street bailouts and imposes the toughest penalties for financial fraud in history.
If you ever need anything, always feel free to send me an email or call one of my offices for help! We're always happy to hear your voice or provide service on other issues -- like help with VA benefits, Medicare, Social Security, flag requests, and more!Read More
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Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives approved and sent to the President’s desk for his final signature, the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017.
The bipartisan bill will increase accountability at the VA by allowing the Secretary to dismiss poorly-performing employees and those who engage in misconduct while strengthening protections for whistleblowers who expose wrongdoing.
“This is incredible news for veterans,” said Congressman Darrell Issa. “Step one for improving the experience at the VA is reforming its culture, but too often employees who aren’t living up to the standards we expect aren’t held accountable for their actions. This bill is an important measure that will help us crack down on bad employees who put veterans’ care at risk while protecting those who have the courage to speak up and cast light on wrongdoing. These are reforms we’ve been working to pass for years and I look forward to the President signing these long-overdue improvements."
From the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs: The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act increases the VA’s authority to remove employees at all levels of the department, shortens the removal process and ensures an individual removed from the VA is not kept on the VA’s payroll while appealing that decision.
It will also make it easier for the VA to remove poorly performing senior executives and replace them with qualified candidates. Additionally, any appeals by senior VA executives would no longer be brought before the Merit Systems Protection Board, but instead would be handled directly by the VA secretary under an expedited timeline.
The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act will establish in law the newly created Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection within the VA.
The legislation also includes a number of other provisions to hold employees accountable, including:
A one-page summary of the legislation can be found here.
Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista) is pressing the California Coastal Commission to move its upcoming August hearing on Southern California Edison’s plans to store the nuclear waste from the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station on site, from their currently scheduled meeting location in Malibu to a location closer to San Diego and Orange Counties.
The Commission recently announced it would be postponing its previously scheduled hearing on this topic until August and moving it from Monterey to Malibu, but the plan still leaves our community, who will be directly affected by plans to store the nuclear waste just off the beach in North County San Diego, potentially unable to attend or forced to drive more than 100 miles just to participate in this discussion.
In his letter, Congressman Issa writes to the Commission: “My Congressional district is home to SONGS. The Station’s position near the populous Orange and San Diego Counties makes the storage of approximately 3.6 million pounds of high-level nuclear waste at SONGS a personal concern to this region… I strongly urge this meeting be relocated so that all in my community may have the chance to be heard.”
So far, the California Coastal Commission has resisted efforts to move the meeting to a closer location claiming that, "moving the August meeting at this late date is not feasible," but given the level of public concern, there is still more than ample time to find a new location or to add a second hearing date in our area to give all the chance to weigh in.
BACKGROUND: Congressman Issa has been leading the fight to get the nuclear waste at San Onofre removed from our community. Earlier this year he introduced the “Interim Consolidated Storage Act of 2017” which would allow the Department of Energy to move the nuclear waste away from San Onofre and into safe, interim consolidated nuclear storage facility outside of our community until the permanent repository at Yucca Mountain is completed.
Congressman Issa’s bill is supported by the City of Encinitas, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Mayors of Oceanside, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, San Clemente and Seal Beach through the Concerned Coastal Communities Coalition and the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club.
In May, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the California Coastal Commission would be postponing its hearing on this topic from July to August and moving it from Monterey to Malibu.
The drive from San Onofre to Malibu is roughly 100 miles long.
Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), former Chairman of the House Committee for Oversight and Government Reform, released the following statement after Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) was selected to succeed Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) as Chairman.
“Trey has my absolute faith and confidence,” said Congressman Darrell Issa. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with him closely since he first arrived in Congress and time and time again he’s shown a tenacious, unyielding passion for truth, accountability and following the facts where they lead. He’s a capable leader, a trusted colleague, and I know that under his direction, the Committee will be in good hands to ensure accountability, promote transparency, and continue holding our government leaders to a higher standard.”
NOTE: "Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, deserves applause for his push to limit this police “treasure hunting.” A bipartisan bill co-sponsored by Issa and many others would significantly shift the burden of proof in forfeiture cases from the property owner to the government and increase the standard of proof from 'a preponderance of the evidence' to 'clear and convincing.' In forfeiture cases, due process is overdue. "
Policing for profit has to stop, in San Diego and across the U.S.
San Diego Union-Tribune
By: The Editorial Board
June 7, 2017
Innocent until proven guilty? Not always.
U.S. law enforcement agencies are increasingly seizing assets from those they believe are involved in criminal activities — often padding their own budgets without charging anyone with a crime.
A Sunday U-T Watchdog report found that San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has dramatically increased her office’s asset seizures, going from 11 cases targeting about $13,000 five years ago to 76 cases targeting nearly $2.7 million in 2016, which was itself a sharp spike from the previous year. The rate of that increase is far greater than what the rest of California experienced. An aide to Dumanis says the increase is driven by a change in federal policy that forbade federal agencies from taking over state and local asset-seizure cases.
Whatever the rationale, this trend is troubling and getting worse; the U-T Watchdog reported that the forfeiture caseload in Superior Court is on pace to double in both volume and value this year.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, deserves applause for his push to limit this police “treasure hunting.” A bipartisan bill co-sponsored by Issa and many others would significantly shift the burden of proof in forfeiture cases from the property owner to the government and increase the standard of proof from “a preponderance of” evidence to “clear and convincing.” In forfeiture cases, due process is overdue.
Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10) which repeals many of the most onerous provisions of the Obama Administration’s Dodd-Frank Act:
“Years of too-big-to-fail and taxpayer-funded bailouts are coming to an end,” said Congressman Darrell Issa. “The Financial CHOICE Act will restore sanity to our financial sector and curbs Dodd-Frank regulatory overreach which has become an enormous barrier to economic recovery. Dodd-Frank has allowed big banks to grow bigger, small banks to become fewer and failed to make our financial sector any safer. The Financial CHOICE Act will help small businesses better access the capital they need to grow and create jobs, increase accountability in both Washington and Wall Street, and I applaud its passage today in the House of Representatives.”
Key Provisions of the Financial CHOICE Act:
A detailed summary from the House Financial Services Committee is available here.
2347 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Darrell Issa represents the people of California’s 49th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives, a seat he has held since 2001. The 49th District includes Camp Pendleton, the largest Marine Corps training facility in the United States, and the northern portions of San Diego County and southern Orange County. Congressman Issa and his wife Kathy live in Vista, CA. They have one son, William, and celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in 2010.
As a senior in high school, Issa enlisted in the United States Army. Through his Army service, he received an ROTC scholarship and graduated with a degree in business from Sienna Heights University in Adrian, Michigan. Upon graduation, Issa was commissioned as an Army officer, and ultimately obtained the rank of captain. He completed his active-duty military service in 1980 and turned his interests to the private sector.
At the height of his career in business, Issa served as CEO of California-based Directed Electronics, a company that Issa founded and built in the mid-1990s to become the nation’s largest manufacturer of vehicle anti-theft devices, including the highly-successful Viper system. In 1994, Issa was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Inc. Magazine, Ernst & Young and The San Diego Union Tribune. During his leadership of Directed Electronics, Issa served as chairman of the Consumer Electronics Association, an organization of 2000 companies within the consumer technology industry that hosts the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. When he stepped down as CEO to serve as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Directed Electronics employed nearly 200 people.
As a Congressman and leader in California grassroots politics, Issa has championed the cause of smart, efficient government, and has pushed legislation to balance the federal budget and promote transparency across the federal bureaucracy. In 2003, Issa was the architect behind the successful popular uprising to recall former Democratic California Governor Gray Davis.
Issa currently is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where he serves as the Chairman. Previously, Issa served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Energy & Commerce Committee, and the Small Business Committee. As the holder of 37 patents himself, Issa has been vigilant about protecting the intellectual property rights of artists and other entrepreneurs to help protect America’s position at the forefront of innovation and creativity in the entertainment and technology industries. His successful efforts to fight human trafficking along the United States border has resulted in tougher laws, stiffer penalties, and more consistent enforcement. His watchful concern to guarantee that U.S. taxpayers receive the royalties they are owed from mineral interests on federal lands exposed fraud and mismanagement at the Mineral Management Service (MMS) in 2006.
In 2008, when Congress was asked to pass the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in the wake of an historic financial crisis, Issa stood by his instincts as a businessman and opposed giving a blank-check bailout to Wall Street – he voted against all bailouts during the financial crisis. Refusing to give up and concede to those who favored a bailout-centered response to this and future financial failures, Issa put forward a proposal to create a bipartisan commission to uncover the root causes of the financial crisis. This idea was passed into law in early 2009 and the investigation commenced in January 2010. Issa expects the results will reveal government mistakes and protect U.S. taxpayers from future runaway government intervention in the financial and housing markets.
Recognizing his success as a Congressional watchdog of taxpayer dollars, at the beginning of the 111th Congress House Republicans tapped Issa to serve as the top Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is the main investigative committee of the United States House of Representatives charged with the protecting the interests of U.S. taxpayers and eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in the federal bureaucracy. In the first year of his leadership, the committee has undertaken numerous detailed investigations of the Countrywide Financial VIP Program that benefited government officials with special reduced-rate mortgage loans, the illegal use of taxpayer dollars by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), the decades-old misplaced government agenda to manipulate the U.S. housing market through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that created the housing crisis, the politicization of science at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and a broad investigation into the financial crisis of 2008-2009.
As a fiscal conservative committed firmly to low taxes and free markets, Issa has opposed the rise of out-of-control government spending and fought tirelessly for the responsible, transparent use of taxpayer dollars. He’s pushed to achieve more whistleblower protections for those who report waste, fraud and abuse in the federal bureaucracy. And he’s offered substantive reform initiatives to open up government so that Americans know what’s happening in Washington and can become more democratically engaged in the day-to-day oversight of their government.
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