Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) voted along with a bipartisan majority (289 to 137) of the House in approving the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act, H.R. 4038, of which Rep. Calvert is a cosponsor.
“The most important responsibility that my constituents place on my shoulders is keeping them safe,” said Rep. Calvert. “Americans are sympathetic to innocent civilians who have been forced to flee their war-torn nations but we must take effective measures to ensure all refugees coming here have been screened. There is bipartisan concern, including from senior Obama administration officials (FBI, DHS and CIA), that the current security screening process in place is not sufficient. Halting the Syrian and Iraqi refugee programs is not a matter of compassion; it’s a matter of competency and confidence in our security screening process.”
To ensure that comprehensive background checks are conducted on every refugee from Syria and Iraq seeking admittance into the United State, this the SAFE Act will require two actions:
This bill constitutes an effective pause until we are certain that no refugee from Iraq and Syria who is a threat will be allowed in the country.
During a House Homeland Security hearing last month, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson spoke about his concerns with the Syria refugee program: “We know that organizations such as ISIL might like to try to exploit this program. It is true that we’re not going to know a whole lot about the Syrians that come forth in this process. That definitely is a challenge.”
At the same hearing, FBI Director James Comey also expressed his concerns about the Syria refugee program: “We do see a risk. We can query our databases until the cows come home but…you can only query what you have collected.”
Additionally, after the Thanksgiving District Work Period, Rep. Calvert will be introducing legislation that defines the “certification” requirements for refugee resettlement in the United States for Syrian and Iraqi refugees. The requirements will include: biometric data (fingerprint, photograph, retinal scan), a DNA sample and a polygraph.
“A polygraph will be essential in determining whether a refugee is truly coming to the United States to escape oppression or if they are coming here with possibly violent intentions,” said Rep. Calvert. “It is also necessary since for many refugees we only have their word to rely on as to who they are, where they are from and why they are coming here. There are no corresponding government databases to verify their claims nor is there the ability to conduct a sufficient background check due to the conflicts in the region and displacement of entire communities.”
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) issued the following statement in response to the attacks in Paris:
“My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the attacks in Paris, their families, and all of the French people. Tonight’s attacks are an attack on all people who want to live in a society where liberty is cherished. Those behind the cowardly and horrific acts in Paris, and all who embrace this type of violent extremism, must be brought to justice and their swift demise. While our hearts are heavy, no acts of evil will ever derail the continued pursuit of liberty, equality, and fraternity by the freedom-loving people of France and their allies around the world.”
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline:
“President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone pipeline is based on politics, not facts. Once again, President Obama has gone down the path of his extreme liberal agenda with no regard for American jobs, energy prices for families, and the relationship of one of our closest allies.”
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) offered an amendment to the highway bill that was approved by the House of Representatives via voice vote. The amendment would expand a pilot program that eliminates duplicative regulatory reviews of highway projects.
“We are all well aware that our need for highway infrastructure continues to outpace the resources we have available,” said Rep. Calvert. “Commuters are depending on Congress to come up with solutions, like my amendment, that can make more highway projects a reality by bringing their costs down and completing them more quickly.”
Section 1313 of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform (STRR) Act of 2015 (HR 3763) establishes a pilot program that would allow States to conduct environmental reviews and make approvals for projects under State environmental laws and regulations instead of Federal laws and regulations. It’s expected that this pilot program will save highway projects time and money, while maintaining the same environmental standards.
The bill permits the State to designate ten local governments to administer local projects under this new pilot program. Rep. Calvert’s amendment would increase the allowable number of localities to twenty-five in order to allow more communities to take advantage of bringing down the cost and shrinking the amount of time required to complete highway projects.
The amendment was supported by the California State Association of Counties, local transit authorities and CalTrans was not opposed.
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) issued the following statement following the election of Rep. Paul Ryan (WI-1) as Speaker of the House of Representatives:
“Paul Ryan is ready to lead House Republicans in our effort to enact the conservative policies that unite us and that we were sent to Washington to enact. I have witnessed Paul’s leadership firsthand, including serving with him on the Budget Committee while he was Chairman, and I have no doubt that he can and will be an effective Speaker. The immediate task at hand for Paul Ryan is to spearhead the charge to limit the executive overreach of President Obama and pass policies that get our federal government out of the way of more economic growth. I know that he is up to the task.”
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) introduced legislation aimed at preventing criminal illegal immigrants from being released from custody. The HELD Act – Help Ensure Legal Detainers Act – (H.R. 3816) would require localities to adhere to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers.
“We have a responsibility to protect Americans from illegal immigrants who have committed serious crimes in our country,” said Rep. Calvert. “After the brutal murder of Kate Steinle in San Francisco by an illegal immigrant with a long criminal record, my constituents and families around the country have raised questions about how the federal government can prevent such an event from occurring again. There are a number of complex and challenging immigration policy matters facing our country, however, facilitating the deportation of illegal immigrants with a serious criminal record is just common sense.“
The HELD Act would deny all federal funding – including transportation funding – if a locality has a law, policy or procedure in place that prevents local law enforcement from maintaining the custody of an illegal immigrant pursuant to an ICE detainer. Specifically the bill:
The HELD Act included an exception in the bill in cases where counties may have a policy in place that prevents local law enforcement from working with ICE while cities within that county may have no such policy. In these cases, the flow of federal funding that would normally go through the county would go directly to the city.
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) voted along with a bipartisan majority of the House (277 to 151) to fund federal government agencies through December 11, 2015.
“My constituents expect Congress to pay our troops, provide for our veterans, keep our national parks open, and fund our federal agencies,” said Rep. Calvert. “While I strongly prefer funding our government through a regular appropriations process, Senate Democrats have blocked spending bills from moving forward. The obstruction by Senate Democrats now requires Congress to enact a short-term spending bill to keep the government open. Our troops and our vital federal programs deserve better. Sadly we are learning it takes 60 votes in the Senate to do anything.”
The Fiscal Year 2016 short-term Continuing Resolution also contained an extension of the authorization for the E-Verify program. The E-Verify program’s authorization is set to expire at the end of September.
“Nearly twenty years ago I sponsored the law that established the E-Verify program and I have watched the program grow to become an excellent tool for employers looking to verify the legal status of the workers they hire. We must continue to authorize, fund and, hopefully, make E-Verify mandatory for all employers in the United States.”
Additionally, the House approved an enrollment correction directing the Clerk of the House of Representatives to make corrections in the enrollment by adding the Defund Planned Parenthood Act. The bill added by the enrollment correction provides for a one-year moratorium on all federal funding while the organization’s activities are investigated. The enrollment correction will now be sent to the Senate for its consideration. The continuing resolution will move forward to the President.
“I continue to believe that Planned Parenthood should not receive any federal taxpayer dollars for its disturbing practices. Surely Congress can and should provide funding for critical women’s health programs without having tax dollars go towards practices that many Americans find objectionable. Sadly, Senate Democrats and President Obama have placed a higher priority on protecting Planned Parenthood, than they have in protecting the unborn. Ultimately, I agree with National Right to Life that the long-term interests of those who value life and oppose Planned Parenthood are better served by avoiding a government shutdown and instead focusing on electing a pro-life President.”
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) voted along with a bipartisan majority (233 to 170) of the House of Representatives to approve H.R. 348, the Responsibly And Professionally Invigorating Development (RAPID) Act. The RAPID Act would streamline the permitting process for federally funded and permitted infrastructure, energy, and construction projects.
“Over-regulation continues to hold back economic growth and job creation in America,” said Rep. Calvert. “The RAPID Act is one of a number of steps Congress should take to cut unnecessary red tape and reduce the mounting burdens the federal government places on small businesses. I am hopeful that the House will also approve the REBUILD Act in the near future and continue to get the government out of the way of job creators.”
Rep. Calvert has introduced related legislation, the REBUILD Act (H.R. 211), that would allow any state to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with a designated federal agency, who has environmental review responsibilities under NEPA, and assume the review responsibilities of that agency. Under the REBUILD Act, states would still be required to uphold the same NEPA standards or greater, by assuming these responsibilities states could integrate NEPA compliance into their own state approval process thereby streamlining construction timelines and eliminating the need for redundant reviews at the federal level.
Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) issued the following response to Rep. John Boehner’s (R-OH) announcement that he would be resigning his seat and as Speaker of the House.
“Today I was saddened to hear that my good friend and our leader, Speaker Boehner, will be resigning. Speaker Boehner has led the House through difficult times but despite the challenges he instituted vital reforms, making the current U.S. House of Representatives the most accountable and transparent in history. John has served his district, the House of Representatives, and his nation proudly. On a personal note, I will particularly miss John’s friendship; he is truly a great American patriot whose absence will be deeply felt by many.
“His legacy as a lawmaker and as Speaker will continue on as we in the House fight for a smaller, less intrusive federal government; a strong national defense; and economic policies that free the American entrepreneurial spirit. I wish John nothing but the best as he embarks on the next stage of his life with his wonderful wife, Debbie, their children and their new grandchild. “
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) issued the following statement following His Holiness Pope Francis’s remarks at today’s historic joint meeting of Congress:
“It is truly an honor and a privilege to represent my constituents at the Pope’s historic visit to our Capitol and listen to his speech before Congress. The Pope’s visit to America is an understandably exciting and spiritual experience for the tens of thousands of Catholics I represent. Pope Francis’s message of faith and compassion continues to resonate with people throughout America and around the world. Personally, I appreciate the Pope’s words of encouragement for the many tough decisions we must make governing our nation.
Regardless of your religious or political viewpoints, I believe we can join together with Pope Francis’s call to defend religious liberties and freedom from any and all attacks upon them. We can also redouble our efforts and commitment to protect the vulnerable among us. I wholeheartedly agree with Pope Francis that the American spirit has and will continue to be a source of inspiration for people around the world.”
Rep. Calvert’s invited guest to the joint meeting of Congress was The Most Reverend Gerald R. Barnes, Bishop of the Diocese of San Bernardino. The Diocese of San Bernardino serves a Catholic population of one million, covering 27,293 square miles in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. It is the 5th largest Diocese in the United States.
In September of 2009 I attended the Foundation for Community and Family Health’s annual "Walk for Health" at Dos Lagos in Corona. The "Walk for Health" had over 500 plus walkers that ranged from all ages. Women, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, friends, husbands, and many others from throughout the community walked in honor of Breast Cancer survivors everywhere. All proceeds from the walk went right back into the community via The Foundation-which offers free mammogram tests to women of all ages. My office formed a team, and Team Calvert has been directly touched by the movement. One of my staff has a mother who is a Stage 3 Breast Cancer survivor! For women everywhere, I will continue to do my part to find a cure!Read More
Rep. Calvert visits local education professionals at Sherman Indian High School.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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Halting the Syrian refugee program is not a matter of compassion; it’s a matter of competency & confidence in our security screening process
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I just voted along w/ a bipartisan majority of the House to halt the Syria refugee program. Read my full statement: https://t.co/jsuGylkKBu