Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) voted along with a majority of his House colleagues to support H.R. 5230, which includes policy changes and provides funding to address the ongoing immigration crisis at the border. The $659 million in funding is significantly below the President’s $3.7 billion request, focuses on immediate border security, and is fully offset through cuts and recessions of existing funds within various federal agencies.
“Today, the House took an overdue step to enact policy changes and ensure our immigration enforcement agencies have the resources they need to stem the tide of immigrants illegally crossing our border,” said Rep. Calvert. “My constituents have been calling for Congress and the President to take action in response to this crisis. The House has now taken an important step and it is time for the President and Senate Democrats to follow suit. It is critical that we send a strong signal to anyone thinking of entering our country illegally that they will be caught and returned back to their country of origin.”
H.R. 5230 Highlights
(Courtesy of the House Appropriations Committee)
The legislation includes several policy provisions:
(NOTE: This provision closes the same immigration loophole that Rep. Calvert’s legislation, H.R.5079, sought to address.)
Protecting our Southwest Border and Enforcing our Laws:
Providing Humanitarian Assistance
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) voted along with a majority of his House colleagues (225-201) for House Resolution 676, which authorizes litigation to challenge the constitutionality of Executive Orders issued by President Obama.
“Our imperial president continues to turn the Constitution on its head by regularly overstepping the powers granted to the Executive Branch,” said Rep. Calvert. “I took an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution, which is exactly why I support the action taken by the House today to challenge President Obama’s misuse of executive orders. If the President is not happy with the laws on the books or the steps being taken by Congress, he needs to come to the table and work with the duly elected members of the legislative branch to craft new laws. That’s simply how our democracy works – and something I would have hoped the President would have already learned after being in office for more than five and a half years.”
House Resolution 676 authorizes the Speaker of the House to initiate or intervene in one or more civil actions on behalf of the House of Representatives in federal court. The resolution authorizes the Speaker to seek the appropriate relief regarding the failure of the President to act in a manner consistent with that official’s duties under the Constitution and U.S. laws with respect to implementation title 1 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or subtitle B of title II of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, including amendment(s) made by such provision or any other related provision of law, including failure to implement. The resolution also directs the Office of the General Counsel of the House of Representatives to represent the House in any civil action initiated or in which the House.
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) voted along with a bipartisan majority of his House colleagues (420 - 5) in support of H.R. 3230, the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act.
“Our veterans deserve nothing less than timely, high quality health care and the bill approved by the House today will help achieve that goal,” said Rep. Calvert. “There is simply no excuse for the delays and incidents of poor treatment of our veterans in VA medical centers. We need to provide a consistent, world class health care treatment and benefits for all veterans across the country. The bipartisan nature of the bill passed today signals the unwavering support our veterans have in Congress. This bill provides important health care options, outside the VA, while also investing to improve our current VA system.”
Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act Highlights:
(Courtesy of the House Veterans Affairs Committee)
To improve access to and quality of care for veterans, the bill would:
To provide real accountability for incompetent or corrupt senior managers, the bill would:
To improve education benefits for veterans and dependents, the bill would:
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) voted along with a majority of his House colleagues in supporting H.R. 4315, the Endangered Species Transparency and Reasonableness Act. H.R. 4315 improves Endangered Species Act (ESA) transparency, enhances the role of states, and discourages harmful, frivolous litigation
“Riverside County continues to suffer economic harm because of the unintended consequences of the ESA and regular lawsuits by environmental extremists,” said Rep. Calvert. “When the ESA was first approved the goal was to protect species, not to line the pockets of radical special interest groups and their lawyers. Legislation, like H.R. 4315, that restores some common sense to the application of our ESA law is long overdue. Protecting our environment and growing our economy are not mutually exclusive goals.”
H.R. 4315’s provisions include:
(Provided by the House Western Caucus)
“My constituents and all Americans expect our federal government to respond to the crisis at the border with clear and immediate solutions. Those solutions include sending the National Guard to the border, closing the unaccompanied children immigration loophole that was created by a 2008 law -- combined with a 2011 Executive Order, and humanely detaining those caught illegally crossing our borders until they can receive a deportation hearing in days, not weeks.
“Initially, it appeared as though Democrats in Washington supported many of these solutions. However, it has become increasingly clear that Democrats have changed their minds and are now attempting to use the ongoing crisis to try to advance their own political goals. Now our President is asking Congress for $3.7 billion yet refuses to enforce the laws passed by Congress, the representative body of our government.
“The bottom line is that we have immigration laws on the books; the President must enforce those laws. Putting a stop to the flow of immigrants illegally crossing our border does not require the passage of significant immigration reform legislation. Until we gain operational control of the border, there should be absolutely no discussion of broader immigration reform.
“The President created this crisis and now he must correct it by deporting those apprehended crossing our borders illegally. He must enforce the law and end the practice of choosing who gets deported and choosing who gets released into our communities only to disappear. He must rigorously ensure that only legal workers are able to get jobs. He must ensure that public benefits only go to those who are legally present in our country. He must end the deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA), a policy decision that should be left to Congress. He must not relax refugee status definitions that would further exacerbate the problem.
“We in the U.S. House of Representatives will fulfill our Constitutional duties. It is time the President does the same and stop the erosion of American sovereignty.”
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42), who serves as Chairman of the Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, issued the following statement in response to the EPA’s announcement that it would be dropping its proposed final regulations allowing the agency to garnish wages:
“Thanks to the outcry and concern voiced by the Appropriations Committee earlier this week, the EPA has backed away from yet another overstep of its authority. The Interior Appropriations bill that I crafted along with my colleagues on the Committee sends a strong signal to the EPA that we will not tolerate its expansive regulatory reach into the pocketbooks of Americans. My constituents continue to be frustrated by the slow pace of our economic recovery, which is why I am committed to protecting them from further economic harm at the hands of the EPA.”
Today, the House Appropriations Committee approved the Fiscal Year 2015 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill authored by Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42), who serves as Chairman of the Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee. The bill provides annual funding for the Interior Department, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and other agencies and commissions. The bill was approved by the Appropriations Committee by a vote of 29-19.
“Moving the Interior Appropriations bill through the full Appropriations Committee is an important step towards providing the Interior Department, EPA, and other agencies with a fiscally responsible budget for the upcoming year,”said Rep. Calvert.“It is critical that the House and Senate act on the Interior bill and put the brakes on the EPA’s regulatory approach that is intent on expanding the federal government’s reach and harming our economy. I am hopeful that the Interior bill will be considered on the House floor in the near future.”
Highlights of the Fiscal Year 2015 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill:
(Provided by the Appropriations Committee)
Wildland Firefighting and Prevention–In total, the bill funds wildland firefighting and prevention programs at $4.1 billion, $149 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. The bill fully funds the 10-year average for wildland fire suppression costs for both the Department of the Interior and the Forest Service, includes an additional $470 million for the Forest Service to help fill the expected shortfall in fire suppression funding this year, and provides an increase of $90 million above the current level for hazardous fuels management. In addition, the bill includes funding for two next-generation aircraft to replace decades-old planes used for large-scale fire suppression.
Federal Payments to Local Communities–The bill provides $442 million for the“Payments In Lieu of Taxes”(PILT) program through a one-year extension of this mandatory program. PILT provides funds for local governments to help offset losses in property taxes due to nontaxable federal lands within their areas. The authorization for PILT is set to expire on September 30, 2014, and without congressional action, many rural communities could face huge budget shortfalls impacting public safety, education, and other local government responsibilities.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)–The bill funds the EPA at $7.5 billion, a reduction of $717 million–or 9 percent–below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. Administrative funding for the agency is cut by $24 million, including a 50 percent reduction to the Office of the Administrator, the Office of Congressional Affairs, and the Office of the Chief Financial Officer. In addition, staffing levels at the EPA are held to 15,000, the lowest level since 1989. These reductions will help the agency streamline operations, and focus its activities on core duties, rather than unnecessary regulatory expansion.
The legislation also includes provisions to stop various harmful, costly, and potentially job-killing regulations by the EPA. For example, the bill prohibits the EPA from implementing new greenhouse gas regulations for new and existing power plants, changes to the definition of“navigable waters”under the Clean Water Act, and changes to the definition of“fill material.”The bill also includes policy provisions to protect the privacy of dairy and livestock farmers’personal information, and to prevent the EPA from regulating the lead content of ammunition and fishing tackle.
Indian Health Service–Funding in the bill is prioritized to meet the nation’s obligations to American Indians and Alaska Natives. The bill includes $4.6 billion for the Indian Health Service, an increase of $208 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. This funding will help provide increased access to and improved healthcare for Native Americans, and includes targeted funding for problematic health care issues, including those related to domestic violence, dental health, alcohol and substance abuse, cardiovascular health, diabetes, and infant mortality.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM)–The bill contains $1.1 billion for the BLM, a decrease of $13 million from the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. Within this funding, the bill increases oil and gas programs by $20 million from the fiscal year 2014 enacted level to speed permitting and to increase inspections. The bill also rejects a proposal by the President to increase oil and gas fees by $48 million–which could hinder the exploration and use of domestic energy resources–and denies a proposal to increase federal land grazing fees by $6.5 million.
National Park Service (NPS)–The legislation contains $2.6 billion for the NPS, an increase of $3 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. This funding will ensure that every National Park will remain open and fully operational next year.
U.S. Forest Service–The bill includes $5.6 billion for the Forest Service, which is $85.7 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. Much of this funding is related to wildland fire prevention and suppression (as described above). The bill also includes a provision prohibiting the Forest Service or BLM from issuing new closures of public lands to hunting and recreational shooting, except in the case of public safety or extreme weather, and does not include any of the Administration’s proposed increases in livestock grazing fees.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)–The FWS is funded at $1.4 billion in the bill, a cut of $4 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. Within this amount, the legislation prioritizes funding for programs such as those to fight invasive species, to prevent illegal wildlife trafficking, and to prevent the closure of fish hatcheries. The bill includes a one-year delay on any further Endangered Species Act rulemaking for the“greater sage-grouse”and“Gunnison sage-grouse,”and prohibits the FWS from administratively establishing new or expanding existing wildlife refuges.
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)–The bill includes $1 billion for the USGS, a $4 million increase above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. Within this amount, the bill prioritizes funding for programs dealing with natural hazards, stream gages, the groundwater monitoring network, mapping activities, and the earthquake early warning system.
Smithsonian Institution–The Smithsonian Institution is funded at $813 million in the bill–an increase of $8 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. This includes funding to complete construction of the new National Museum of African American History and Culture.
National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities–The bill includes $138 million for each of the endowments, a reduction of $16 million compared to the fiscal year 2014 enacted level.
Program Eliminations–The bill does not include funding for several programs, such as: the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, EPA’s U.S.-Mexico Border grant program, and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission.
For the text of the legislation, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/BILLS-113HR-SC-AP-FY2015-Interior-SubcommitteeDraft.pdf
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42), along with 18 cosponsors, introduced legislation, H.R. 5079, that would close an immigration loophole that is contributing to the crisis along the border in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. The legislation would amend a 2008 law that unintentionally created a loophole for unaccompanied children from Central America that are detained illegally crossing the border.
“It has become increasingly clear that Congress must take action and close an unintended loophole that is a significant cause of the crisis at our border in Texas,” said Rep. Calvert. “Solving our immigration crisis requires getting at the root of the problem, and if we fail to take steps like closing this loophole the significant challenges we are experiencing now will only continue and grow. The long and dangerous journey from Central America to the Texas border, especially one aided by a smuggler, is something that no one, especially an unaccompanied child, should endure. The humane and responsible step for these children and for our immigration policy is to close this loophole and the incentive it provides. Americans expect the federal government to respond and quickly address the crisis at the border, which is why both Republicans and Democrats have voiced support for taking this step.”
“The President’s unilateral actions have sent a misleading message that resulted in tens of thousands of children making a perilous journey to our country with the belief they would be allowed to stay," said Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-49). "The best resolution to this humanitarian crisis is the safe return of these children to their families and country of origin. By promptly returning them home to their loved ones it sends a clear message that will discourage other children from making this dangerous trip.”
“This bill is one step of many to rectify the situation,” said Rep. Calvert. “I was also pleased by the recent announcement by Customs and Border Protection that they will not be transferring any more illegal immigrant families or children to the San Diego sector, which includes the Murrieta facility in my congressional district. CBP will process them in Texas, which is exactly what should happen. This bill would then enable CBP to process unaccompanied children at the point of entry and immediately repatriate them.”
Under current law, unaccompanied children from Mexico or Canada can be screened within 48 hours and quickly repatriated back across the border if they are not a trafficking victim or have aclaim for asylum. However, children from other countries that are not contiguous with the U.S. must go through a more formal and time consuming legal proceeding. In fact, unaccompanied children from countries other than Mexico (so-called OTM policy) are currently waiting 578 days on average for a hearing. Rep. Calvert’s bill would close the loophole by screening and repatriating all unaccompanied children, regardless of their country-of-origin, in the same process that has worked for unaccompanied children from Mexico and Canada.
Click HERE to read the legislative text of H.R. 5079.
The following members cosponsored H.R. 5079:
1. Duncan Hunter (CA-50)
2. Paul Cook (CA-8)
3. Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48)
4. Ed Royce (CA-39)
5. Tom McClintock (CA-4)
6. Gary Miller (CA-31)
7. Darrell Issa (CA-49)
8. Devin Nunes (CA-22)
9. John Campbell (CA-45)
10. Doug LaMalfa (CA-1)
11. Buck McKeon (CA-25)
12. Don Young (AK)
13. Steve Stivers (OH-15)
14. Joe Heck (NV-3)
15. Scott Rigell (VA-2)
16. David Joyce (OH-14)
17. Blake Farenthold (TX-27)
18. Tom Cole (OK-4)
According to a recent report:
Source: Bipartisan Policy Center: Child Migration by the Numbers (http://bit.ly/1oorw38)
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) praised the Senate for passing his legislation, H.R. 330, the Distinguished Flying Cross National Memorial Act.
“I am delighted to hear that the Senate has approved the Distinguished Flying Cross National Memorial Act,” said. Rep. Calvert. “For many years now I have been working with Riverside County veterans and the Distinguished Flying Cross Society to establish a memorial for recipients of the Distinguished Flying Cross, so it is exciting to be on the doorstep of making that happen. The memorial at the March Field Air Museum will serve as a place to pay tribute to the heroism and bravery of Distinguished Flying Cross recipients for all Americans.”
Rep. Calvert and Senator Boxer (D-CA) introduced their respective bills, the Distinguished Flying Cross National Memorial Act, on January 22, 2013. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives on October 29, 2013 by voice vote. The bill now goes to the White House for the President’s signature.
The city of Murrieta recently had the national spotlight cast upon it. The attention it received was not something the community sought. After all, Murrieta is a thriving community of more than 100,000 people—25 percent of them Latino—where parents are commuting to a job they wish was a little closer to home and planning weekend activities with family and friends.
The cause for the attention is rooted many miles away. Immigrants are crossing our border illegally in droves through the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, overwhelming those responsible for securing the border. Instead of taking bold, effective action, the Obama administration is spreading the problem across the country, including communities here in Riverside County.
President Barack Obama continues to advocate for an amnesty policy that has been interpreted throughout much of the world as an open invitation to cross our borders without repercussion. Smugglers have developed a sophisticated system for moving illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America into the U.S. Meanwhile, poverty, crime and corruption in Central American countries have motivated many to flee.
I am convinced that so many immigrants are crossing into Texas illegally because they believe the Obama administration will not deport them once they are here. How else can you explain the news stories of immigrants walking up to Border Patrol agents seeking to be taken into custody. Border Patrol agents even describe how smugglers have called and instructed them where to pick up the group of immigrants they just transported.
Our immigration enforcement agencies detain and quickly repatriate any Mexican national caught illegally crossing the border. However, most immigrants illegally crossing from a Central American country are detained, processed and released after receiving a notice to appear before an immigration judge. Border Patrol agents informally call the paper a“notice to disappear,”knowing that an estimated 90 percent of illegal immigrants never appear before a judge. We must find the means to detain, adjudicate and repatriate Central Americans, unless severe circumstances warrant asylum.
I am working with my colleagues in the House of Representatives to provide the resources for an effective strategy in the Rio Grande Valley. If we need more immigration judges, let’s send more judges or appoint new ones. We all believe that while these people are in our custody they must be treated with dignity and respect. The short-term costs to put the brakes on our crisis at the border are far cheaper than the long-term costs of an open borders policy.
The border fence we have built in California and beyond has generally been effective, which is why today’s problem is concentrated in an unfenced region of Texas. We need to improve our physical border, including installation of a double-layer fence where possible, but enforcement does not end there. I wrote the bill that created E-Verify, the employment verification system that informs employers whether newly hired workers are eligible for work in our country. It is long past time for the federal government to make the use of E-Verify mandatory for every business.
I cannot, and will not, support any broader effort to reform our immigration laws until we establish strong enforcement policies. This current crisis is not because Congress has failed to pass amnesty legislation, it exists because of the failures of multiple administrations to enforce current laws and protect our borders.
My constituents are frustrated by the president’s willful disregard for the democratic institutions that are supposed to give them a voice. It is under this context that our community was told that hundreds of illegal immigrants would be transported and released in our region. I believe the biggest concern of my constituents is not that these immigrants want to live in our country, but that if we fail to uphold the Rule of Law, our country will erode into one that resembles the failed governments in the countries that the immigrants are fleeing.
America has a proud tradition of legal immigration, allowing 1 million legal residents in annually. However, if we undermine that system, we risk the very foundation of our country—that we are governed by laws, not by men.Read More
2269 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Ken Calvert, a lifelong resident of Riverside County and 17-year small business owner in the restaurant and real estate industries, represents the 42nd Congressional District of southern California. Calvert was born on June 8, 1953 and attended neighborhood public schools, graduating from Corona High School in 1971. He attended two years at Chaffey College, in Alta Loma, and then enrolled at San Diego State University, where he graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. Ken is a Protestant and is involved in several local community volunteer organizations.
The 42nd District encompasses the western edge of Riverside County including the cities of Eastvale, Norco, Corona, Lake Elsinore, Wildomar, Canyon Lake, Menifee, Murrieta and a portion of Temecula. Rep. Calvert was first elected to the House in 1992 and was part of the historic “Contract with America” class in 1994 that swept the House to Republican control for the first time in 40 years.
In the 113th Congress, Rep. Calvert continues to serve on the House Appropriations Committee where he is the Chairman of the Interior and the Environment Subcommittee. Rep. Calvert is also a member of the Defense Subcommittee and the Energy and Water Subcommittee. He also serves on the House Budget Committee. Rep. Calvert was also selected to serve as the Chairman of the California Republican Delegation.
Rep. Calvert has been the California Republican Delegation’s voice on the House Steering Committee, which determines House Republican committee assignments, since 2003.
In the 113th Congress, Rep. Calvert’s legislative priorities includes: enacting pro-growth policies that will help our struggling economy; reducing our national debt; reforming our tax code; supporting our military around the world and supporting the mission in Afghanistan; strengthening our borders and making the use of E-Verify mandatory for all employers in the U.S.; creating long-term solutions to California’s energy and water problems; working towards the implementation and funding of new transportation corridors vital to Riverside County’s future; reducing the time it takes to build infrastructure projects by making common sense, bi-partisan reforms to our environmental laws; and, much more.
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My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Steven Sotloff. His murder is an evil and senseless act of terror.