Darrell Issa

Darrell Issa


23 Members of Congress Urge Secretary Carson to Change Federal Policy Straining Local Homelessness Programs


Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista) led a group of lawmakers in a letter to Secretary Ben Carson, expressing concern over the agency's housing policies that are putting a tough strain on homeless shelters here in California and across the nation.

In the letter, Congressman Issa is joined by fellow California Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Chairman of the Republican Study Committee Mark Walker (R-NC), Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC), and 20 other members from across the nation.

Under the Obama-era policy known as "Housing First," some of the nation's most successful programs for alleviating homelessness are being forced to choose between walking away from as much as $95,000 in federal funding or abandoning the models they've developed -- and had real success using -- to help get homeless Americans back on their feet.

"This is one of the worst examples of Washington's we-know-better-than-you mentality and is just the kind of top-down mandates we need to be rid of," said Congressman Darrell Issa. "The Housing First approach may work for some, but it isn't - and can't be - the answer for all. This misguided policy has caused some of the most effective homeless assistance programs in our district to walk away from the funding they need to help families get back on their feet. At a time when homelessness in San Diego is among the highest in the nation and homeless rates here are still increasing, we should be doing all we can to empower more facilities, not less, to come together on this critical issue."

“I’ve seen, firsthand, successful shelters in my district lose funding as a result of the Housing First approach, severely hindering their ability to house hard-working families who truly want to escape the cycle of homelessness," said Congressman Doug LaMalfa. "This model hurts independent housing programs who operate on a basis of sobriety, work, and education – which should be common sense. I hope Secretary Carson will review these flawed procedures and help promote programs that will encourage accountability and long-term benefits for families in need.” 

Text of the letter is included below. A signed copy is available here.
June 13, 2017
The Honorable Ben Carson
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th Street S.W.
Washington, DC 20410
Dear Secretary Carson:
We are writing to you to express our concerns about current U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) policies and priorities regarding homelessness assistance.  It has come to our attention that HUD’s current procedures in administering such assistance have put homeless families, youth, and children at risk, in addition to jeopardizing holistic-based programs that work to alleviate the effects of poverty by supporting sobriety, work, and accountability.
As you know, in recent competitions for the Continuum of Care program, one of the program priorities articulated by HUD has been the “Housing First” approach, which focuses on providing immediate access to housing, prioritizing providers that offer services to clients on a voluntary basis, rather than those programs that require sobriety or participation in education, work, training, or service programs.  Under this policy, HUD now gives considerable preference based on a program’s commitment to using the Housing First model, placing programs that do not use that model at a severe disadvantage in receiving financial assistance. 
By implementing its preference for the Housing First model, HUD has removed any incentive for independent housing programs to operate under a model that includes mandatory services, accountability, or sobriety.  In doing this, the Department has effectively used its administrative and regulatory power to impose national priorities on communities, forcing communities and providers to maximize services for certain populations – chronically homeless adults – at the expense of other equally worthy populations – families, youth, and children – and particular program models, regardless of local circumstances, needs, or a program’s effectiveness to lift participants out of poverty. Communities as a whole, which benefit from having these programs, are now unfortunately and unfairly penalized by the elimination or decline of such programs.
We strongly urge you to thoroughly review the Department’s procedures with respect to providing assistance to programs combatting homelessness and to appropriately exercise your authority in providing support for these types of programs that include families, youth, and children and the community-based program models that serve them well by enabling them to increase their incomes and educational attainment, maintain sobriety, and acquire permanent life skills that will help prevent them from returning to a life of homelessness. 
In order to support these families and their children, we also urge you to end the recommended scoring guidelines that currently punish programs that prioritize work, education, and sobriety.   We believe that families have the best opportunity to escape dependence on public assistance when they are supported in their recovery and given education, training and work opportunities. 
We look forward to working with you to break the intergenerational cycle of family homelessness by promoting programs that serve families and provide safe and drug free housing.  Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Robert Rische in Congressman Issa’s office at (202) 225-3906 or robert.rische@mail.house.gov.

Darrell Issa (CA-49)
Don Bacon (NE-02)
Andy Barr (KY-06)     
Mike Conaway (TX-11)
Scott DesJarlais (TN-04)    
Trent Franks (AZ-08)
Glenn Grothman (WI-06) 
Randy Hultgren (IL-14)
Mike Johnson (LA-04)
Doug LaMalfa (CA-01)
Roger Marshall (KS-01)
Mark Meadows (NC-11)
Luke Messer (IN-06)
Alex Mooney (WV-02)
Gary Palmer (AL-06)
Steve Pearce (NM-02)
Robert Pittenger (NC-09)
David Rouzer (NC-07)
Steve Stivers (OH-15)
Mark Walker (NC-06)
Joe Wilson (SC-02)
Ted Yoho (FL-03)       
Ted Budd (NC-13)


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Issa Blog Update: Mid-June


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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.

oll road sticker

Weigh In: No Toll Road Through San Clemente 

We must stand united against plans to divide San Clemente in two. I oppose the proposed plans to extend the 241 toll road, but I want to know what YOU think about it! 
 What do you think about the toll road path?


Issa: Let My Constituents Be Heard On San Onofre Nuclear Waste

I am demanding the California Coastal Commission move its scheduled hearing on nuclear waste storage from Malibu to San Diego or Orange County to allow us, who will be most directly impacted, the opportunity to weigh in.

Read more in the San Diego Union-Tribune.


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.

See more on Facebook.


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.

Read more from ABC News.


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.

See more in the UT's Editorial.


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.

Read more in USA Today.

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!

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San Clemente Toll Road Survey


* By participating in our survey, you'll be added to our e-newsletter to provide occasional updates on this topic.

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House Sends VA Reform Bill To President’s Desk


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:

  • Requires the VA to evaluate supervisors based on the protection of whistleblowers;
  • Incentivizes managers to address poor performance and misconduct among employees by requiring the VA secretary to include this as part of the annual performance plan;
  • Prohibits bonuses for employees who have been found guilty of wrongdoing; and
  • Prohibits relocation expenses to employees who abuse the system.

A one-page summary of the legislation can be found here


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Issa Presses CA Coastal Commission To Move SONGS Hearing to San Diego


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. 

His Full Letter Can Be Read Here

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 OceansideHuntington BeachLaguna BeachSan 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.

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House Approves 10 Bills on Energy Independence and Infrastructure


Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista), a member of the House Climate Solutions Caucus, released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives approved 10 bills aimed at improving the nation’s energy efficiency and energy infrastructure.

“Producing more of our energy from low-cost, domestically available, clean sources, is key to securing both America’s energy independence and meeting our goals on climate change,” said Congressman Darrell Issa. “The bills we approved today make great steps to create jobs and update America’s energy infrastructure while improving affordability, security, and safety for ratepayers.”
“Of particular note, I want to congratulate Congressman Scott Peters on House passage of his HYPE Act to cut red tape on hydroelectric projects. The efforts today represent great bipartisan work on these important issues and I encourage their quick passage by our colleagues in the Senate.”
The bills approved by the House today include:
H.R. 338, to promote a 21st century energy and manufacturing workforce
  • Authored by Energy Subcommittee Ranking Member Bobby Rush (D-IL) and committee member Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC), would improve education and training for energy and manufacturing-related jobs, with an emphasis on increasing opportunities for women, veterans, and minorities.

H.R. 446, to extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project and H.R. 447, to extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project

  • Authored by committee member Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA), H.R. 446 and 447 would extend the licenses for the Gathright and Flannagan Dams. Construction of the dams would create jobs and provide affordable, and reliable electricity to their respective communities.

H.R. 627, Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2017

  • Would make it easier for schools to take advantage of federal programs to help them cut down on energy use.

H.R. 951, to extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project

  • Would extend the license for the W. Kerr Scott Dam, creating jobs and providing affordable, reliable electricity to the respective community.

H.R. 1109, to amend section 203 of the Federal Power Act

  • Authored by committee member Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) would amend the Federal Power Act to expressly include a minimum monetary threshold of $10,000,000 for mergers and acquisitions of facilities subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). 

H.R. 2122, to reinstate and extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project involving the Jennings Randolph Dam

  •  Authored by Congressman David McKinley (R-WV), H.R. 2122 would authorize FERC to extend the time period during which the licensee is required to commence the construction of the Jennings Randolph Dam. Construction of the dam would create jobs and provide affordable, reliable electricity to the respective community.

H.R. 2274, HYdropower Permit Extension (HYPE) Act

  • Authored by committee member Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA), H.R. 2274 would allow FERC to extend permits for construction of hydroelectric projects 

H.R. 2292, to extend a project of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission involving the Cannonsville Dam

  • Would extend the license of the Cannonsville Dam. Construction of the dam would create jobs and provide affordable, reliable electricity to the respective community. 

H.R. 2457, J. Bennett Johnston Waterway Hydropower Extension Act of 2017

  • Would authorize FERC to extend the license of construction for the J. Bennett Johnston Waterway Dam. Construction of the dam would create jobs and provide affordable, reliable electricity to the respective community. 
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Issa Congratulates Gowdy on Selection for Oversight Chairman


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.”
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Union-Tribune: Policing for profit has to stop, in San Diego and across the U.S.


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.


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Congressman Issa Statement Dodd-Frank Repeal Passage


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:

  • Ends “Too Big To Fail” and bank bailouts
  • Imposes the “toughest penalties in history for financial fraud”
  • Holds both Washington regulators and Wall Street bankers accountable
  • Increases transparency for banks and financial sector
  • Restructures the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and other regulators to ensure they are best suited to serve their purpose and are accountable to both Congress and to the American people
  • Reduces federal deficits by $24 billion
  • Provides regulatory relief to small and community banks
  • Helps small business and job creators better obtain access to the capital they need to grow jobs

A detailed summary from the House Financial Services Committee is available here.


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Union-Tribune: Issa's Vote Was To Rescue America from Obamacare's Failings


Note: "Issa took the responsible path, to support legislation that could stabilize or even reduce premiums, allow states to make many of their own decisions regarding taxpayer-funded health care, and to subsidize insurance for those with pre-existing conditions.
Issa took great political risks to try to rescue a failing health law. He took the responsible path and his efforts should be applauded. Now let’s hope the Senate can make the proposal even better and we get our health care system healthy again." 
Issa's Vote Was To Rescue America from Obamacare's Failings
San Diego Union-Tribune
American health care is the best in the world. We have premier institutions, research, and doctors who bring us the most advanced treatments — attracting people from around the world.
Fortunately, most Americans’ health care is covered through employer-provided health insurance. A smaller but ever-growing number have Medicare. Low-income individuals are eligible for taxpayer-funded coverage, leaving less than 10 percent with no coverage, or insurance directly through what is known as the “individual market.”
The Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka “Obamacare”) was intended to extend insurance to the uninsured group.
This goal gave rise to the promise that “you can keep your doctor” — a significant selling point because the doctor-patient relationship is very important to patients and key to good health care. Importantly, the law required extensive coverage and benefits typical of the most expensive plans.
However, despite billions spent to subsidize insurance companies and states, it has not been enough — insurers are increasing premiums and deductibles, and many insurers no longer participate after having suffered huge losses.
States received billions on the condition that they expand taxpayer-funded coverage to those with too much income to qualify for taxpayer-funded health care. Some states refused because once the federal funding ran out, states realized that they’d then be forced to cut important programs like education in order to continue funding health care.
Those federal subsides are now expiring and many insurers, who have been given more billions in subsidies to keep premiums low, have lost so much money that they are abandoning markets.
Additionally, individuals who do not secure coverage face financial penalties. Typically, that includes younger, healthier people who decided that it made more sense to pay the penalty than to pay for much more expensive insurance. That number is far larger than what was predicted by the Congressional Budget Office and further weakens ACA.
ACA isn’t just unsustainable, it is imploding. Insurers are leaving the markets in droves because they are losing tens, in some cases hundreds, of millions of dollars. States that took the federal subsidies to expand taxpayer-funded insurance, knowing that the subsidies were going to expire, are now screaming for more taxpayer money.
In markets across the country, there are now only one or two insurers still participating. For those who want to continue to buy insurance, premiums and deductibles have skyrocketed and are simply not usable short of catastrophic coverage, leaving individuals to pay most health costs directly — in addition to the high premiums. This “adverse selection,” which means the younger and healthier opt not to participate, further undermines ACA because those healthier participants effectively subsidize those older and less healthy or with chronic conditions. All of these pressures amount to a death spiral for ACA despite the intention to expand coverage, it is increasingly unaffordable.
This meltdown is what faced Republicans, including North County’s own congressman, Darrell Issa. Knowing that any attempt to fix this problem would be very controversial, many politicians would have taken no action, while the situation worsened. Issa could have chosen to leave the program as it was, in self-destruction mode. He could have allowed that to happen, and said simply, “We told you so.” Instead, he took responsibility to attempt to repair what was already failing rapidly.
Is the House plan perfect? Of course not. And it may very well be improved in the Senate. But Issa took the responsible path, to support legislation that could stabilize or even reduce premiums, allow states to make many of their own decisions regarding taxpayer-funded health care, and to subsidize insurance for those with pre-existing conditions.
Issa took great political risks to try to rescue a failing health law. He took the responsible path and his efforts should be applauded. Now let’s hope the Senate can make the proposal even better and we get our health care system healthy again.


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Issa and Vargas Cross Party Lines to Help Solve Tijuana River Sewage Spill

2017-04-17 21:57:32

60 Minutes Looks at H1-B Visa Abuse

2017-03-20 20:16:34

Morning Joe on MSNBC: Issa Spends 90 Minutes Answering Questions At Town Hall

2017-02-23 00:14:14

Darrell Issa Talks H1-B Reform To Protect Jobs for Best and Brightest

2017-02-09 02:18:10

Issa Asks GAO About Giving All Americans Access To Same Healthcare as Federal Employees

2017-02-01 00:20:24

Outside the Capitol! Just about to introduce my legislative priorities for the new year

2017-01-13 16:49:27

Congressman Issa Discusses His Bill To Stop Outsourcing of American Jobs

2017-01-05 15:39:25

Veterans Help Make San Diego a Hub for Start-Ups

2017-01-04 22:03:33

Obamacare is broken. Next year, we’re going to fix it.

2016-12-20 20:45:20

Issa Holds Public Forum on Sober Living Homes Reform

2016-10-06 02:59:59

NBC 7 Talks Armed Services Visit to Pendleton and Miramar

2016-09-02 16:11:04

Congressional Delegation to Miramar and Pendleton on Military Readiness

2016-09-01 16:11:13

22 Push Up Challenge

2016-08-19 23:23:10

Congressman Issa Tours San Diego Startup Companies for "Startup Day Across America"

2016-08-05 17:47:22

Darrell Issa Talks with Fox 5 San Diego About His Plan To Stop The Outsourcing of American Jobs

2016-07-28 21:35:03

Congressman Issa Talks with ABC San Diego About His Bill To Fix the Veterans Administration

2016-07-13 14:32:38

Rep. Issa Talks With Fox News About The FBI's Decision Not To Prosecute Hillary Clinton

2016-07-12 21:52:53

Rep. Issa Questions Loretta Lynch At Hearing Over Hillary's Email Investigation

2016-07-12 17:42:08

Rep. Issa Sponsored Sexual Assault Reforms Pass House Panel

2016-07-08 13:57:24

Rep. Issa Talks with Your World on Fox News about the Stunning FBI Announcement on Hillary's Emails

2016-07-06 22:54:04

Contact Information

2347 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-3906
Fax 202-225-3303

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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