U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and U.S. Representative Rubén Hinojosa (D-Texas) recently introduced H.R. 5446, the Facilitating Access to Credit Act of 2014. The bill amends the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) to better allow national credit bureaus the ability to assist consumers trying to improve their credit score, while keeping in place CROA's consumer protections against firms' false claims of credit score manipulation:
“The benefits of a good credit score cannot be understated, as anyone who has taken out a mortgage, purchased a car, or signed up for student loans will tell you. The Facilitating Access to Credit Act will ensure that reputable national credit bureaus can help people who want to turn their credit score around but simply don't know how,” said Rep. Royce. “A more financially literate and creditworthy consumer base is good for American businesses, the American economy, and hardworking American families saving up for that big purchase.”
"Having a good credit score can mean the difference between buying a home, a car, or neither," said Rep. Hinojosa. "Credit scores also play an important role in today's economy, but the average consumer sometimes has a difficult time obtaining the information that could help them improve their credit scores. It is my opinion that the national credit reporting agencies are unnecessarily being prevented from providing credit advice to consumers in a timely manner. As a leading advocate for financial literacy on Capitol Hill, I believe that Congress should remove those barriers that hinder consumers from obtaining valuable financial information."CROA has been interpreted broadly by courts to apply to national credit bureaus, even though these organizations were never intended to be included within the statute’s jurisdiction. Signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996, CROA was intended to stop entities who make false claims that they can “fix your credit” by removing negative information from a consumer’s credit history. Credit history information, whether positive or negative, cannot be removed from a consumer’s record so long as it is accurate, therefore making such claims is misleading and dishonest.
Los Angeles - There may be relief in sight for drivers and truckers facing one of Southern California’s worst bottlenecks.
Federal officials Tuesday approved a $10-million grant for a series of fixes to the congested interchange between the 60 Freeway and the 57 Freeway in eastern Los Angeles County.
For two perilous miles in Diamond Bar, the Pomona Freeway and the Orange Freeway combine into one, reducing 17 lanes to 14, while more traffic merges on and off from a local intersection. Cars and trucks frequently veer across up to five lanes to reach the correct exit. Officials say the area has more than 600 accidents a year.
The $10-million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation will partially fund on- and off-ramps to the eastbound 60, officials said. The first stage of construction is expected to cost about $53 million and will probably start next summer.
"We’re trying to separate the movements, so that you don’t have to cross over so many lanes to go in the direction you want," said John Ballas, the city engineer for the City of Industry.
The 57 runs north from Orange to the San Gabriel Valley. The 60 links East Los Angeles to Riverside County and carries an estimated 26,000 trucks a day, most of them leaving the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. As port traffic continues to grow, officials say the 60 could see 44,000 trucks a day by 2035.
Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton), whose district includes the bottleneck, told The Times the congestion poses problems for the goods movement industry and causes air pollution and quality of life problems for people who live in nearby cities.
Intersecting freeways are typically built at 90-degree angles. But in the early 1970s, engineers built the 57 alongside the 60 because the curve of the hillside was too steep to accomodate another configuration, Ballas said.
"The worst place to put a local street with ramps on it is in the middle of this whole blender, but this is our reality," Ballas said.
The total project is expected to cost at least $258 million. City of Industry and Diamond Bar officials hope to eventually build a new interchange that will completely separate local traffic merging from Grand Avenue from the two freeways below.
The project also has funding from other federal sources, the City of Industry and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Multiple officials from Washington have visited the site, including Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), who chairs the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
When Shuster came to tour the site, the event organizers asked him to drive to the event. Then they fudged the start time, giving him an extra hour to arrive.
"Turns out, he needed it," Royce said, laughing. "That baptism by fire was enough to convince him."
Drivers frequently complain it takes more than half an hour to drive two miles during rush hour. Traffic on the eastbound 60 frequently backs up to Hacienda Heights, and cars and trucks on the northbound 57 often encounter congestion as far south as Brea.Read More
For more information, contact Saat Alety at Saat.Alety@mail.house.gov or (202) 225-4111.
U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) visited the headquarters of X-ray inspection systems manufacturer Astrophysics, Inc., today. Astrophysics is headquartered in the City of Industry, California, where all of its products are assembled exclusively. Rep. Royce toured the company's headquarters, met with Astrophysics' executives and employees, and viewed a live demonstration of the company’s next generation counter-terrorism technology.
“Astrophysics is a company making products that keep us all safe, and it's doing it right here in our backyard – growing the economy and creating high paying jobs in Southern California,” said Rep. Royce. “While our country has the best educated and most productive workforce in the world, policies that promote STEM education at our schools and lessen regulatory burdens for American businesses will ensure that success stories like Astrophysics are far more common.”
Astrophysics employs over 200 workers in the United States and the company’s systems are used in more than 100 countries at airport checkpoints, courthouses, sporting events and sea ports, making it one of the largest exporters of X-ray technology globally.
For more information, contact Saat Alety at Saat.Alety@mail.house.gov or (202) 225-4111.Read More
FULLERTON – The city gave its support Tuesday night to a House of Representatives resolution that asks Japan to acknowledge and apologize for forcing Korean women into sexual slavery during World War II.
A bill co-authored by 39th District Rep. Ed Royce and passed unanimously in 2007, recognizes the plight of so-called “comfort women,” sex slaves used by the Japanese army in World War II.
Acting on a recommendation of the Korean American Forum of California, a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness about comfort women, the City Council, by a 3-2 vote Tuesday, supported the resolution.
Council members Doug Chaffee, Greg Sebourn and Jennifer Fitzgerald voted to support the resolution.
“I see this as a statement on human trafficking and the damage it causes,” Sebourn said. “It’s not about the Japanese government or the Korean government. ... It’s about humanity.”
Bruce Whitaker and Jan Flory turned in the dissenting votes.
“While I certainly condemn the acts that led to comfort women being exploited during World War II ... I think it’s inappropriate for a city council to weigh in on it,” Whitaker said.
Dozens of Korean and Japanese citizens filled the Council Chambers. Comments, were split among the dozen or so who addressed the council.
“It’s only to acknowledge so it is not repeated,” said Phyllis Kim of the Korean American Forum.
Those opposed said facts regarding comfort women are distorted.
“It creates prejudice and wrong ideas about certain populations,” said Amy Watanabe, a social worker from Chino Hills.
In the coming months, the Fullerton Museum Foundation will vote on whether to display a monument honoring comfort women as part of an exhibit on the issue scheduled for 2015.Read More
New Rotary International President Gary Huang promises to “light up” the worldwide service club. Only a month into his term, Huang lit up the banquet room of the Diamond Bar Golf Course on Friday.
The Rotary Club of Walnut Valley hosted the reception for the new president from Taiwan. Huang noted he was the first Chinese president in the Rotary’s 109 year history.
The service club is one of the oldest and largest organizations in the world, with more than 1.2 million members. Rotary International has led the way on important global issues like polio.
“With the help of the United States government, Rotary International has reduced polio by 90 percent,” Huang said. “And with their continued support, we will eradicate this disease.”
The club has saved millions of children since its first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979. In fact, Rotarians have helped immunize more than 2 billion children against polio in 122 countries. Now it wants to eradicate the disease forever.
“The people we are helping are my grandchildren and your children all over the world,” Huang explained. “Because we decided we are going to keep them safe.”
Working with the World Health Organization, Rotary International hopes to announce a polio free world by the end of 2018. Huang pointed out there were more than 450,000 cases of polio in 125 countries only 30 years ago. But now only three countries reported less than 400 cases this year.
“We are this close to ending polio,” Huang said, “and many of you have contribute to this incredible job.”
The new Rotary president lauded people like Rep. Ed Royce (R-Rowland Heights) for being a champion in the fight against polio. Royce later received an award for his hard work from Huang.
“I recently met with Bill and Melinda Gates,” Royce said. “And we when we looked at the work, 98 percent of the work on polio has already been done by 1.2 million members of Rotary from countries all around the world.”
“And they literally eliminated, eradicated, polio in 122 countries,” Royce continued. “Now that is a service organization like no other and I think we need we need a round of applause to the rank and file, the members of Rotary, who have done so much for humanity.”
The congressman felt Huang was just the man to “light up” Rotary International. The Taiwanese industrialist has dedicated his efforts to developing membership throughout Asia.
And to think it almost never happened. Huang tried to join the Taipei Rotary Club three times. The Taiwanese businessman never gave up, finally becoming a member in 1976.
Huang rose through the leadership, becoming the first Rotary International vice-president from a non-English speaking country in Asia. He was named president last month.
Now, Huang is on a whirlwind tour of the U.S.
“I flew in from Philadelphia this morning,” he said. “While in Philadelphia, they let me throw out the first pitch in the baseball game between the Phillies and Houston.”
The Rotary International president even got Royce to join the Walnut Valley Rotary, where he will join State Sen. Bob Huff.Read More
Today, U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) and U.S. Representative Janice Hahn (D-Carson) introduced the Veterans Dignified Burial Act, legislation spurred by recent reports of improperly handled veterans’ remains at the Los Angeles County Mortuary.
“Stories of unburied veterans’ bodies at the Los Angeles County Mortuary are deeply unsettling, and the result of loopholes in burial procedures at the VA. This bipartisan bill ensures the VA follows up on pending burials 30 days after the deceased has been confirmed as a veteran, so that we know he or she is treated with both dignity and respect," said Rep. Royce. "While the quality of healthcare that veterans receive has been in the news lately, our veterans deserve the same attention when it comes to their burial.”
“Our commitment to our nation’s heroes does not end at the battlefield’s edge. Rather, we must honor our promise to ensure they have the finest care and respect long after they return home. Failing to meet this promise to our veterans by letting them languish unburied is unacceptable,” Rep. Hahn added. “The legislation I have introduced today with Representative Royce will ensure that we never again allow bureaucracy to stand in the way of the dignity these men and women are owed.”
The bill calls for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to follow up on pending burials 30 days after a body has been identified as a veteran, which prevents the extended burial waiting times that have plagued the LA County mortuary. It also requires the VA to submit an annual report to Congress on deceased veterans who were interred after the 30 day reporting period, in an effort to provide lawmakers with a better understanding of the scope of this problem at mortuaries across the country.
Last month, Rep. Royce wrote VA Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Steve Muro in regards to the improperly handled bodies, seeking a comprehensive review of the process the VA’s National Cemetery Administration (NCA) implements when it comes to veteran burials. Acting Under Secretary Ronald Walters responded this week confirming that he will institute a 30-day follow up period, though this is not a permanent procedure or codified rule as this legislation would make it.Read More
"Like many across the country, I was sickened by news of abuses at the VA that have been directly linked to the deaths of veterans. Today's bill allows veterans to see non-VA doctors if they are unable to make an appointment at a VA facility, and gives the VA Secretary the power to fire entrenched senior VA officials for negligence and poor performance. The President should sign this bipartisan bill into law immediately, and Congress needs to explore further VA reforms to ensure veterans get the care they deserve."The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to allow veterans who are enrolled in the VA health care system as of August 2014, or who are newly discharged combat veterans, to receive non-VA care if they are unable to secure an appointment at a VA medical facility within 30 days or resides more than 40 miles from the nearest VA medical facility. The bill would also authorize the Secretary of the VA to fire or demote currently difficult to remove senior employees for poor performance and misconduct.
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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Thank you to the Anti-Defamation League of Southern California for hosting me at one of its recent board meetings. We discussed my recent trip
#TBT in honor of Constitution Day, which was yesterday. This was at the Nixon Library's exhibit featuring President George Washington's Constitution.
My hearing on the President's #ISIL strategy featuring testimony from Secretary of State John Kerry is starting now. Watch live: 1.usa.gov/1rfntfx
I met with reps from California's credit unions as our country's credit unions reached 100 million members recently. I'm proud to be a strong
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