"As the threat of a major wildfire continues to grow across California, Congress needs to adjust the federal wildfire budget to better protect our citizens and their property. In peak activity years, fire agencies borrow from other non-fire agencies to pay their bills – clearly an unsustainable operating model. Funds to fight wildfires should instead be treated like those used during hurricanes and floods. Congress should pass the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act and make the resources available to local agencies so they can do their jobs safely and effectively."
The Wildfire Disaster Funding Act of 2014 would create a separate emergency funding account for fire response. This funding structure mirrors existing federal funding mechanisms for responses to other natural disasters, and would prevent borrowing from other agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service or U.S. Department of the Interior. Since 2000, these agencies have run out of money to fight emergency fires eight times. Under this bill, routine wild land firefighting costs, which make up about 70% of the cost of wildfire suppression, would continue to be funded through the normal appropriations process. Larger fires, which account for approximately 1% of all wild land fires, would be treated like similar natural disasters that are funded through emergency disaster funds.
Rep. Royce cosponsored the legislation on May 29, 2014, and is joined by over 120 of his colleagues from both parties.
For more information, contact Saat Alety at Saat.Alety@mail.house.gov or (202) 225-4111.
U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-Calif.) released the following statement on the passage of H.R. 4984, the Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act:
"As national student loan debt rises, it's imperative that borrowers know exactly what their financial obligation will total so they can make informed decisions about spending for college and paying off loans afterwards. A college education is often the cornerstone of the American Dream, and gaining one in a fiscally responsible manner better places young people on the path to success."
The Empowering Students Through Financial Counseling Act ensures borrowers, both students and parents, who are participating in federal student loan programs receive interactive counseling each year that provides awareness about the financial obligations students and parents are accumulating. Borrowers are required to consent each year before receiving federal student loans.
Additionally, it calls for informing low-income students about the terms and conditions of the Pell Grant program through annual counseling that will be provided to all grant recipients. And finally, the legislation directs the United States Department of Education to maintain a consumer-tested, online counseling tool that academic institutions can use to provide annual loan, exit, and Pell Grant counseling to students.
Rep. Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, served as a cosponsor of the legislation and spoke on the House floor to encourage his colleagues to lend their support for the bill. It passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 405-11, and joins multiple education reform bills passed by the House that await Senate action.
Watch Rep. Royce's floor speech on the Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act here or by clicking the image below:
(Reuters) - A U.S. lawmaker will pressure the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday to consider a raft of reforms, after William Ackman's aggressive efforts to take over Allergan Inc raised concerns about loose rules governing disclosure and shareholder voting.
Republican Representative Edward Royce of California plans to grill SEC Corporation Finance Director Keith Higgins at a House Financial Services hearing.
Among his top concerns is a rule that lets investors such as Ackman delay publicly reporting when they have amassed a large stake in a company for days.
"I am especially interested in the SEC's process when looking at novel or creative deals like the announced joint-bid by Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Pershing Square for Allergan," Royce said in a statement.
"Mr. Higgins' appearance before the committee is an opportunity to make sure that the Commission is making robust reviews of these sorts of deals to ensure strong investor protections and market transparency."
Saat Alety, Royce's spokesman, said that Royce is prepared to take legislative action if the SEC fails to fix the problem on its own.
In recent months, Royce has been writing letters to the SEC to express concerns about some unusual maneuvers that Ackman's company Pershing Square Capital Management has used in its joint effort with Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc to win a $53 billion hostile takeover of Allergan, which is headquartered near Royce's California district.
In one May letter, Royce said he was concerned about early efforts by Ackman to call a non-binding shareholder vote outside of Allergan's typical election procedures as a way to pressure Allergan to negotiate a deal.
Royce said he feared this "shadow" election would make it tough for shareholders to "truly understand what is going on."
Pershing Square dropped plans for a shareholder referendum in May and has since pursued a more traditional proxy battle.
In a July 2 letter to Royce, SEC Chair Mary Jo White said that the Corporation Financedivision will "continue to consider issues raised by the filing related to the abandoned shareholder referendum" and "issues raised by any future filings of a similar nature."
Ackman's tactics have raised a number of regulatory questions, both about his actions and about hostile takeover bids generally.
It has renewed calls to fix a SEC rule that affords large investors a 10-day delay before they must report when they have amassed more than a 5 percent stake in a company.
The 2010 Dodd-Frank law authorized the SEC to shorten the reporting period, but so far the SEC has not taken up the measure.
Higgins' division is in charge of reviewing financial statements of public companies and corporate governance matters.
In that role, his division would oversee a rule-writing on the reporting period and also review proxy filings and related regulatory matters.
Royce's questions on Thursday will touch on just one of what is expected to be a wide-ranging list of topics at the hearing.
Lawmakers also plan to ask Higgins about other matters, from rulemakings required by the Dodd Frank and JOBS Act laws, to how the SEC oversees proxy advisory firms.Read More
U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) released the following statement in light of the National Weather Service's declaration that the first six months of 2014 were the hottest on record in the state of California:
“As Californians suffer under extreme drought conditions, it's unfathomable that vital water supplies are routed to the ocean instead of farms and homes. Crops are dying, food prices are climbing, and the economic activity that California so desperately needs is being stunted, all the while bureaucrats attempt to protect smelt fish. More outrageous are stories of 'water cops' responsible for doling out fines to Californians as they go about their daily business. The House passed the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act earlier this year with my support, and it's a workable and comprehensive fix to California's water shortages. There's no end in sight for this record heat, and it's time for the Senate to pass this legislation for the good of all Californians."
Rep. Royce cosponsored the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act (H.R. 3964) alongside every GOP member of the California Congressional delegation. The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives with bipartisan support on February 5, 2014.
For more information, contact Saat Alety at Saat.Alety@mail.house.gov or (202) 225-4111.
Representative Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) will be appearing at The 2014 San Gabriel Valley Job Fair, an event being hosted by The Global Federation of Chinese Business Women. Details are as follows:
|What:||The 2014 San Gabriel Valley Job Fair
|Who:||Host - The Global Federation of Chinese Business Women
Guest speaker - U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-Fullerton)
|Where:||Pacific Palms Resort Hotel, Majestic Ballroom
1 Industry Hills Parkway
City of Industry, CA91744
|Date:||Saturday, August 2nd, 2014
|Time:||12:30 PM - 4:30 PM|
Media wishing to attend must RSVP to Saat Alety at email@example.com or (202) 225-4111.Read More
U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, released the following statement on the fourth anniversary of President Barack Obama's signing of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act:
“Upon signing the Dodd-Frank Act into law, President Obama remarked that ‘the American people would never again be asked to foot the bill for Wall Street’s mistakes.’ The Dodd-Frank Act not only failed to eliminate ‘Too Big To Fail’, but codified it, all the while ignoring the $10 trillion government mortgage monopolies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Adding to the calamity that is the Dodd-Frank Act are the restrictions on lending that it saddles the American economy with during a time of record low labor participation, anemic small business expansion, and shrinking GDP. The implementation of Dodd-Frank also has led to a lack of harmonized cross-border regulations, a consequence that places American financial institutions at a significant disadvantage when competing against European and Asian companies. Even simple bipartisan fixes to Dodd-Frank, like ensuring that credit-worthy borrowers can buy their first home, can't make it past Harry Reid’s desk. Dodd-Frank as is leaves taxpayers at risk of making future bailouts and severely hinders the American financial system from jump-starting our economy."
Rep. Royce served as one of the conferees assigned to reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions of the legislation. He voted against both the House version of the bill and the Joint Conference Committee report that passed the House on June 30, 2010. President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Act into law on July 21, 2010.
For more information, contact Saat Alety at Saat.Alety@mail.house.gov or (202) 225-4111.
"Despite the growth of industries reliant on workers proficient in STEM fields, our current educational infrastructure is not rising to meet the need. By 2020, there will be an estimated 1.4 million computing jobs, but only about 400,000 computer science graduates to fill those spots. Classifying computer science as a STEM field will better allow educators to address the shortage of talented computer programmers, individuals that are responsible for so much of the innovative technology and economic activity around us. American research universities spend too much time on administrative tasks instead of educating students and creating the next cutting edge technologies, and Congress needs to remove those burdens from the next generation of brilliant thinkers. An American workforce educated in STEM fields will ensure our nation remains the economic leader of the world, and these legislative initiatives are a step in the right direction."
The STEM Education Act of 2014, introduced by Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, strengthens ongoing STEM education efforts at our federal science agencies and ensures that the subject of computer science is included in these efforts. Rep. Royce’s support of the STEM Education Act is in addition to his cosponsorship of the Computer Science Education Act (H.R. 2536), legislation that would designate computer science as a "core academic subject.”
The Research and Development Efficiency Act establishes a working group to review federal regulations affecting research universities in order to eliminate redundant and duplicative federal regulation, in light of a recent survey from the National Science Board which found that on average, 42 percent of federal research grant awardees’ time is spent on administrative tasks alone.
Rep. Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, supported both bills as they passed the U.S. House by voice vote on July 14, 2014. He urges his colleagues in the U.S. Senate to advance these critical pieces of legislation in a timely manner.For more information, contact: Saat Alety at Saat.Alety@mail.house.gov or (202) 225-4111. Read More
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and U.S. Representative Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.) introduced H.R. 5037, the Office of Financial Research Accountability Act. The bill ensures improved transparency, more efficient interagency coordination, and bolstered cybersecurity protections at the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Financial Research (OFR):
“The OFR’s lack of collaboration with the regulatory bodies that govern the American financial system has resulted in the Office producing work of questionable accuracy and shoddy quality. If these reports are subsequently used as the foundation of rules that govern large parts of the American economy, the consequences for our country could be disastrous. This bill ensures that the OFR works in concert with regulatory bodies while preparing reports and discloses its planned activities ahead of time so the public knows exactly what to expect,” said Rep. Royce. “Cybersecurity breaches are a major threat to our economy, and an Office that holds as much sensitive material as the OFR should be protected against bad actors attempting to steal information. This bill addresses the need for robust cyber defenses at the OFR.”
"After devastating mismanagement of the financial services sector plunged the American middle class into the worst economic crisis of our time, the Office of Financial Research was created to function like the National Transportation Safety Board, finding out what went wrong and how to keep it from happening in the future," said Rep. Murphy. "Instead, the Office has come under heavy criticism after both quality of reporting and quantity of research remained lacking. This bill would restore much needed confidence to the OFR so the American people, their representatives in Congress, and the Financial Stability Oversight Council will have access to improved quality of financial data."
The bill requires the OFR to release an annual work plan outlining the Office’s priorities, mandates the OFR to consult federal regulatory agencies when preparing public reports, and tasks the OFR with developing and implementing a cybersecurity plan, that will be reviewed annually by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).
Rep. Royce, a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, introduced the Office of Financial Research Accountability Act on July 9, 2014, and urges swift action from his colleagues to advance this bipartisan legislation.
For more information, contact:
Saat Alety (Royce) at Saat.Alety@mail.house.gov or (202) 225-4111
Erin Moffet Hale (Murphy) at Erin.MoffetHale@mail.house.gov or (561) 253-8433
They couldn’t be more different: the stiletto who aims for targeted foreign policy legislation and the sledgehammer who pounds away at big domestic investigations.
Meet Southern California Reps. Ed Royce and Darrell Issa, among the most powerful people in Congress. Each steers an influential committee in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives – Royce at the helm of Foreign Affairs, Issa in charge of Oversight and Government Reform.
“They are oil and water personalities,” said Christopher Deering, professor of political science at George Washington University who specializes in Congress.
Royce’s work helps shape U.S. foreign policy legislation and keeps an eye on diplomatic endeavors, from foreign aid to international broadcasting to treaties. Royce takes on singular causes, too, such as the 275 schoolgirls kidnapped by terrorists Boko Haram in Nigeria and the Marine sergeant who has been sitting in a Mexico jail since March.
He pops up on CNN or Fox News and is known among the Washington press corps as very accessible, yet he is also called “the quiet one.”
Issa uses broad investigative powers to hold the federal government accountable for how it spends taxpayer money and has led the charge to investigate IRS practices regarding tax-exempt political committees and the Benghazi consular attack.
He frequently lands on the nightly news, and conservative media follow him closely.
“I think Ed Royce is a fairly reliable conservative, a pretty good watchdog internationally, and I know he exerts a lot of time and energy in the community,” said Ann Coil, a longtime politics watcher who coordinates Santa Ana’s Tea Party Patriots. “Darrell seems a little more moderate, but I think he’s doing a pretty good job in that IRS investigation.”
Ed Royce is known as “The Workhorse.” He’s a reflective detail man who cultivates camaraderie and common ground on his 45-member committee. His trips abroad, such as an April journey to Ukraine, are jammed with a meeting itinerary that rivals speed dating. He’s not exactly Mr. Excitement on television, observers concede, with expressions that range from serious to more serious.
But opposition Democrats praise the Fullerton representative. “First, Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for this meeting,” piped up Gregory Meeks, D.-N.Y., at a May hearing on the Boko Haram kidnappings. “I want to be clear – I concur with you and I think the research work your staff has done is excellent.”
‘The Show horse‘
Now for “Mr. Show Horse.” Lots of people become emotional about Issa, who represents southern Orange County and northern San Diego County. Supporters see him as fearless, relentless and pugnacious. He’s the guy waving his arms and shouting that towering government powers will not get away with cover-ups, stonewalling, profligate spending. Conservatives who believe the country is headed in the wrong direction cheer him.
To detractors on the left, however, he is bombastic, a showman, a headline-grabber who demeans those who come to testify before his committee. Sometimes his barbs fly at Democratic members of his own committee, and they shoot back.
“All this fanfare, all this showmanship,” griped Massachusetts Democrat Stephen Lynch at a recent rancorous hearing on the IRS email scandal. Lynch said he wouldn’t be surprised to see a 16-piece orchestra at the next morning’s IRS hearing. Issa’s motivation is political gain, not the truth, they say.
Yet as much as Royce’s committee seems to be a Kumbaya lovefest compared with Issa’s World Cup bite-a-thon, it is simplistic to write off one chairman as a climber and applaud the other as a miracle worker.
Both men are marked by the specific purposes of their committees, their personalities, the tug-of-war between presidential power and congressional power and, of course, the divided politics of America.
“I think that Darrell and I are very close on policy,” Royce said between meetings and votes on the House floor, in his usual unhurried way. “We have different styles (but) I think we match our different committees. Some committees, such as Foreign Affairs, Armed Services and Homeland Security, are historically less partisan (because the) differences among Democrats and Republicans pale in comparison to differences abroad.”
Oversight, on the other hand, exists to scrutinize government, taking on the entrenched interests of Washington and, in this case, the opposition party in power in the White House. White House defenders are at the ready – Democrats make up nearly half the Oversight Committee.
“Issa has to fight hard to do his job, and that means being loud,” Royce said. “When needed, (the Foreign Affairs) committee can be aggressive and I can be quite loud,” he added.
As committee chairmen, they are also expected to raise funds for the Republican Party, and headlines and TV appearances help loosen donor wallets. Issa has raised a total of $3.1 million in this election cycle. Royce has raised $2.4 million, according to OpenSecrets.org.
“I didn’t come to Congress angry at government,” Issa said, settling into an overstuffed leather chair in his office in the Rayburn House Office Building, steps from the Capitol. There’s a portrait of his Lebanese grandfather above his desk and a tribute to philanthropist and entertainer Danny Thomas, whose ancestry was Lebanese, on a nearby wall.
His outrage, he said, is cumulative. In his business life, as chief executive of a company that developed and made car alarms, he saw a lot of things that frustrated him. But, “I hadn’t seen the kind of abuses that go on all over the country that you get exposed to as a congressman,” he said. For instance, “I hadn’t seen the attempt to take ... from the Marines at Camp Pendleton their ability to do landing exercises at Trestles beach area, and yet I’m watching this happen.”
So, outrage built up, he concludes: “The greatest outrage is when the government doesn’t hold itself to the same level of accountability that we hold the public to.”
So, yes, Issa sometimes gets tough. He used a subpoena to compel a hesitant White House witness to show up at a hearing. Bare-knuckled? Perhaps. Effective? The witness showed up.
He counts among his committee’s “wins” shining a spotlight on extravagant conference spending by the General Services Administration ($822,000 on a four-day Las Vegas conference), the Internal Revenue Service ($49 million on 225 conferences between 2010 and 1012, including a $4.1 million event in Anaheim) and Veterans Affairs (two 2011 Florida events, $6.1 million).
“It changed how all entities view conferences,” Issa said.
But other projects have not found resolution. The Benghazi investigation is moving into a select committee.
Is he too combative with his colleagues? Does he go over the top? “No,” is Issa’s reply. “The chairman has certain things they have to do and one of them is to balance the time fairly,” he said, referring to limits for statements, questions and responses.
Issa later adds, slightly contrite: “Nobody’s perfect. ... The real challenge is you try to be even (with) the gavel.”
Despite two-party rancor, Royce and the ranking member of Foreign Affairs, Eliot Engel, a Democrat from New York, have found ways to walk in step.
Ed Royce “has worked hard to make this the most bipartisan committee in Congress,” Engel said from the dais at a May hearing.
In a recent interview, Engel elaborated: “I think Ed and I conduct ourselves in (a bipartisan) way and let our members know that from time to time we disagree but that we will disagree agreeably.”
The collaboration helps move bills not only through the House, but also slide into the Democratic-controlled Senate, where Engel and Royce have good relations with Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. A bill related to Taiwan became law last year.
Royce said his style comes from his political inspiration, Republican President Ronald Reagan. If Reagan, with his iron fist in a velvet glove, could work with hard-charging Democratic Speaker Tip O’Neill and push through landmark legislation, Royce figures he can, too.
Many people called the comparison of the two chairmen “apt,” and conservative radio host Erick Erickson, Fox News contributor and editor of Redstate.com, even suggested a merger of sorts:Erickson wrote the Register in an email: “It seems Issa’s staff goes for the headlines, but then abandons the issue once the headline is gotten. Royce, on the other hand, is quiet. He doesn’t seem to go for the headlines at all, but steers into the minutiae. If we could put them together as one person, we’d have one hell of a chairman of some committee.”
U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration's (FRA) Record of Decision for the 114-mile Fresno to Bakersfield Section of the California High-Speed Train System:
“The high-speed rail project is widely unpopular among Californians, a wasteful use of taxpayer resources, and an unnecessary undertaking that diverts resources from other critical infrastructure projects. Local, state, and federal transportation spending should be aimed at decreasing gridlock on our freeways, not a multi-billion dollar boondoggle dreamed up in Sacramento."
Earlier this year Rep. Royce cosponsored H.R. 3893, the Responsible Rail and Deterring Deficiency Act, a bill that would block federal funding of any projects related to California high-rail construction. The legislation, introduced by U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock), has unanimous support from Republican members of California's Congressional delegation.
For more information, contact Saat Alety at Saat.Alety@mail.house.gov or (202) 225-4111.Read More
2185 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R) is serving his eleventh term in Congress representing Southern California’s 39th District, based in Orange, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino Counties. He and his wife, Marie, are longtime residents of Fullerton, CA.
Royce’s priorities in Congress are: addressing our national debt, protecting our homeland, eliminating pork-barrel spending, fighting crime and supporting victims of crime, strengthening education for all students, spurring job creation and strengthening Social Security and Medicare.
Royce has a strong history of public service. In 1982, he was elected to the California State Senate where he began his fight for victims’ rights. He authored the nation’s first anti-stalker law and versions of his bill have been adopted in all 50 states. He was also the legislative author and campaign co-chairman of California’s Proposition 115, the Crime Victims/Speedy Trial Initiative, approved by the voters in 1990. In Congress, Royce continues his fight for victims’ rights. He wrote and passed the Interstate Stalking Punishment and Prevention Act in 1996. This law makes it a federal crime to pursue a victim across state lines and enables law enforcement to intervene before violence occurs. Royce was active in passing AMBER Alert legislation in 2003, and legislation in 2004 to enhance rights for victims of crime. He currently is a member of the Victim’s Rights Caucus.
For the 113th Congress, Royce was selected to be Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Royce has served on the Committee since entering Congress in 1993. Immediately prior to becoming Chairman of the Committee, Royce served as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade and a member of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.
As a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, Royce sits on two Subcommittees: Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises, and Insurance and Housing. Royce has served on the conference committees for some of the most significant legislation in the financial services arena. For more than a decade Royce has called for a stronger federal regulator to limit Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s excessive risk taking at the expense of taxpayers. In 2003, he was the first member of Congress to write legislation calling for a single regulator under the Treasury Department for the three housing government sponsored enterprises: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the twelve Federal Home Loan Banks.
Royce has consistently earned honors and awards from the National Taxpayers Union, Citizens Against Government Waste, National Federation of Independent Businesses, Watchdogs of the Treasury, Americans for Tax Reform, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, United Seniors Association, 60 Plus, American Share Holders Association, Citizens for a Sound Economy and the Small Business Survival Committee.
A California native, Royce is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton, School of Business Administration. Prior to entering public service, his professional background includes experience as a small business owner, a controller, a capital projects manager, and a corporate tax manager for a Southern California company. Royce and his wife, Marie, have been married for 28 years.
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