Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) voted along with a bipartisan majority (360 to 61) of the House in support of the Water Infrastructure Improvements Act for the Nation (WIIN) Act, a comprehensive water resources bill.
“Even before California began to suffer from drought conditions, I have worked with my colleagues to enact solutions that improve our state’s aging water infrastructure and update the policies that have led to its inefficient operation,” said Rep. Calvert. “Today, we have passed a bipartisan bill that is an important first step towards capturing, storing and using more water when it rains, rather than allowing that water to flow out to the ocean. The future of our state depends on a reliable water supply and I will continue to advocate for policies that ensure California has the water it needs.”
The California drought provisions in the bill allow more water to be put to beneficial use. Specifically, the bill allows for Delta pumps to operate at higher levels while protecting fish through daily monitoring. The legislation also requires federal agencies to maximize water supplies consistent with applicable laws and biological opinions. Finally, the bill authorizes funding for critical California water storage projects, as well as desalination, water recycling, reuse and conservation projects.
The WIIN Act also contained the legislative text of Rep. Calvert’s bill, the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians Water Rights Settlement Act, H.R. 5984. The bill quantifies the Band’s reserved water rights in the Santa Margarita River Watershed. The legislation also authorizes necessary infrastructure to guarantee a permanent supply of water to the Band through cooperative agreements with the local water purveyors, including Rancho California Water District, Eastern Municipal Water District and Metropolitan Water District. Importantly, the legislation will provide a coordinated effort by the parties to manage the water within the basin that will bring all residents of the Pechanga Reservation a safe and dependable water supply for the future.
“The Pechanga Band of Indians, as well as all of the parties to this settlement, deserve to have some certainty on the future of their water supply. I’m grateful we have been able to enact the settlement and ensure all of the stakeholders in the Santa Margarita River Watershed can better shape their future.”
The WIIN Act also included a provision supported by Rep. Calvert to allow projects that would reduce drought to compete for Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans and loan guarantees. Specifically, the language expands the list of eligible WIFIA projects to include those that prevent, reduce, or mitigate the effects of drought, including projects that enhance the resilience of drought-stricken watersheds.
“Facing a drought of historic proportions, it is important we use every tool at our disposal to find new local water supplies, including through conservation. This language will let the best drought-reduction projects pursue loans and loan guarantees so we can move towards a more reliable, innovative water system throughout California and the west.”
Today, the House passed H.R. 6416, which contained legislation introduced by Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) to streamline veteran education benefits at community colleges.
“Our veterans should be able to receive their education benefits without any unnecessary delays,” said Rep. Calvert. “Community colleges provide incredible educational opportunities for our veterans, so I am pleased Congress is taking action to make it easier for veterans to use their education benefits at these institutions.”
H.R. 6416 contained the legislative text of H.R. 182, introduced by Rep. Calvert on January 7, 2015, which streamlines the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) processes for community colleges that have multiple campuses. Currently, the VA requires community colleges to certify that their veteran students are enrolled for a specific number of classes before the VA will disperse student benefits. These rules must be updated to account for multi-college Community College Districts, such as Riverside Community College District (RCCD). Without such an update, veterans that take classes at a multi-college District see their benefits delayed while colleges and the VA complete and shuffle unnecessary paperwork. H.R. 182 would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to permit the centralized reporting of veteran enrollment by certain groups, districts, and consortiums of educational institutions.
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42), a member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, criticized the Defense Department for willfully ignoring the findings of a report issued by the Defense Business Board on the unsustainable growth in the civilian bureaucracy at the Pentagon. An investigation by The Washington Post found that Defense Department officials took a series of actions to keep the report and its findings out of public view.
“I introduced the REDUCE Act because there’s an undeniable reality that the civilian workforce at the Pentagon has become too large and too costly,” said Rep. Calvert. “The dollars being wasted on the Defense Department’s oversized bureaucracy hurts taxpayers and it hurts our troops because those funds would be better spent on new equipment, training and readiness. The status quo at the Pentagon must stop. As The Post’s investigation found, Pentagon officials prefer to bury their heads in the sand on this critical issue, which is why Congress must pass the REDUCE Act and mandate that civilian workforce reductions take place.”
The Rebalance for an Effective Defense Uniform and Civilian Employees (REDUCE) Act (H.R. 340) would require the DOD to make civilian workforce reductions in a systematic manner without compromising our ability to maintain a strong national defense over the long term. Rep. Calvert introduced the bill on January 14, 2015.
The requirements of the REDUCE Act will accomplish the following:
Rep. Calvert will be reintroducing the REDUCE Act in the 115th Congress and continuing his call to reduce the civilian workforce at the Department of Defense.
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) released the following statement in response to the inclusion of several California drought provisions in the FY17 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) which will be voted on later this week by both the House and Senate:
“For many years now, California families and businesses have been desperate for solutions to our state’s drought conditions and long-term water challenges. Now, as a result of bipartisan negotiations, we stand ready to move on important water legislation. The provisions included in this legislation are not a silver bullet to all of our state’s water woes, but they represent a meaningful step towards a water infrastructure that Californians can rely on. Like any negotiation, neither side got everything they wanted, but in the end Californians will benefit because a deal was reached and solutions will be put into action.”
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) voted along with a bipartisan majority of the House (375 to 34) to pass legislation that provides relief for California Guardsmen who were ordered to repay enlistment bonuses. The legislative fix was included in S. 2943, the conference report of the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act.
“Our servicemembers deserve the peace of mind that this legislation will provide them,” said Rep. Calvert. “The misguided effort to collect these bonus payments was wrong from the start, so I’m pleased Congress has been able to come together in a bipartisan way and find a solution.”
Language in The National Defense Authorization Act makes the following reforms:
Rep. Calvert also advocated for the inclusion of a $32 million authorization to restore the TRICARE autism reimbursement rates to levels not less than the rates that were in effect on March 31, 2016 for the Comprehensive Autism Care Demonstration program.
“California was disproportionately impacted by the change in TRICARE autism reimbursement rates so I am pleased that the Conference Report included this vital language and funding authorization. Military families that face the challenge of raising a child with autism deserve our full support. The Comprehensive Autism Care Demonstration program provides critical resources for families caring for a child with autism.”
Additional highlights of The National Defense Authorization Act include:
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) announced that he has cosponsored the Veterans Earned Their Bonus Act (VET Bonus Act), H.R. 6316. The legislation will legislatively correct the CA National Guard bonus claw back issue that has affected thousands of veterans.
“Like all Americans, I was outraged when I learned about the hardships our veterans were being forced to endure due to no fault of their own,” said Rep. Calvert. “While I was relieved by the Sec. of Defense’s decision to halt the collection of these bonuses, Congress should ultimately pass legislation to resolve the matter once and for all. The VET Bonus Act will provide our veterans with the peace of mind and financial relief that they deserve.”
Here is a summary of the VET Bonus Act:
· Presumption is with Veterans that their bonuses were received in good faith and that the Veteran met the criteria to receive their bonus.
· Receipt of bonus money from California National Guard between 2004 – 2010 shall not be subject to repayment to DoD unless the Vet committed fraud or did not satisfy service requirements in obtaining the bonus.
· If bonus money has been repaid by a Veteran in part or in full it shall be returned to the Veteran, plus interest in accordance with existing law.
· For Vets who are reimbursed by the Army, the Secretary must notify credit agencies that any debt previously reported was never valid.
· In addition, if a separate financial hardship has been incurred by a Vet who has been required to repay a bonus in part or in full, the Secretary of the Army shall provide financial assistance.
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) issued the following statement congratulating President-elect Donald J. Trump on winning the 2016 presidential election:
“I want to congratulate Donald Trump on winning an historic election last night. Throughout this campaign Donald Trump echoed the deep frustrations of many Americans about the lack of economic opportunities and the direction of our country. That is exactly why I endorsed and supported his campaign since he won our competitive primary process.
As President-elect Trump said last night, now the real work must begin to enact the policies that will put our nation on a different path. Republicans must work together to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a more competitive, patient-focused health care policy. We also have a tremendous task ahead of us unwinding the unprecedented amount of job-killing regulations that the Obama administration has jammed down the throats of our job creators. Finally, we must secure our border, require mandatory employment verification to ensure American jobs go to American workers, and reassert our sovereignty.
America is the greatest democracy in the history of the world because we entrust the true power of our government with our citizens. They have now exercised that power to shake up our government and sent a clear message to our media and cultural elites. Those of us who have been chosen to represent our fellow citizens in Washington owe them our full and complete effort to put America on a path of peace and prosperity.”
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) issued the following statement in response to the FBI reopening its investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email:
“Today’s announcement by the FBI is just another reminder that Secretary Clinton consistently finds herself under scrutiny for poor decisions and reckless behavior. Obviously, what’s most concerning is when those actions compromise our national security. The American people deserve a complete, unbiased investigation into Secretary Clinton’s conduct.”
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) applauded the decision by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter to suspend efforts to collect reimbursement from affected California National Guard members.
“I’m pleased to hear the Department of Defense has heeded the call from so many Americans to halt the unfair collection of bonuses paid to our soldiers many years ago,” said Rep. Calvert. “Now, it’s important that Congress fully investigate how this happened and what steps we must take to protect our soldiers – including reimbursing those who have inappropriately been forced to repay money. I am still deeply troubled that so many of our brave men and women in uniform have been put through a tremendous hardship due to no fault of their own. We must all work to prevent that from happening again in the future.”
“While I appreciate the Secretary’s concern for the taxpayer, I believe the majority of American taxpayers do not want the Department going after our U.S. service members for repayment of bonuses. Halting the collection of bonuses just to begin it again in earnest January 1, 2017 is not the relief that is necessary and Congress stands ready to provide a legislative fix.”
Earlier this week, Rep. Calvert joined a number of his House colleagues in sending a letter to the Secretary of Defense requesting that the Department of Defense stop all collection efforts on the bonuses in question.
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
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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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It’s time for the Senate to approve the California drought bill that was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the House yesterday.
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John Glenn was a pioneer and an American icon whose contributions to our country will long be remembered.