Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) reintroduced legislation, H.R. 925, that will ensure military reservists will receive Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits as intended by correcting an unintended issue that has negatively affected reservists when reporting for active duty.
“Our veterans and reservists deserve to receive the benefits they have earned without unnecessary complications,” said Rep. Calvert. “Our reservists make themselves available on short notice to contribute to our national security. Now it’s our turn to come to their aid by making this common sense fix to their Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits.”
Under current regulations, an individual who is released from active duty status may begin receiving the Post-9/11 GI Bill Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) on the first day of the month following the date the individual is discharged. In addition, an individual who is released from active duty status may begin receiving their tuition and fees benefit on the first day of the enrollment period following the date the individual is discharged and begin receiving their books and supplies stipend on the first day of the month following the date the individual is discharged.
However, there are cases in which a Guard or reservist’s required monthly active duty would disqualify those individuals for the MHA benefit. Many reservists are required to routinely perform their jobs in a Title 10 status due to their specific job requirements and functions. These commonly include aircrew, intelligence personnel, and UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) and Remote Piloted Aircraft operators. While not in a drill status, or if in a drill status under Title 38, an individual is entitled to their MHA and book allowance. When in a drill status under Title 10, the individual is entitled to the housing allowance, but only for the first portion of the month up to when they entered active duty under Title 10. Therefore, if an individual goes on active duty on the first day of the month for three days, the individual does not receive any housing, or book allowance payments for the rest of that entire month. Just one day of Title 10 service can result in forfeiture of MHA and book allowance for all or most of the month.
In order to maintain a Combat Mission Readiness state and proficiency at their job, some have to commit to a minimum of four training days a month in a Title 10 status. Many Guard and Reservists using their GI Bill benefits will be reluctant to volunteer for three to four day missions to ferry troops, equipment, and supplies into an Area of Responsibility knowing they will lose all or a portion of that month’s MHA. Many reservists are full-time students and rely on their MHA to pay rent, but as a result of the current rules they are denied their full MHA causing many members to incur thousands of dollars of debt. This is compounded by the fact that members of the reserve are used more frequently due to the increased tempo of operations around the world.
The legislation introduced by Rep. Calvert essentially prorates the MHA for the portion of the month the service member is not on active duty. The bill amends Title 38, United States Code, to clarify the eligibility for monthly stipends paid under the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program for certain members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces. By easing restrictions on volunteers, it will increase the number of volunteers and the frequency of volunteerism while limiting the potential for personnel financial issues to arise. Most importantly, this bill seeks to enhance reserve components’ military readiness during high tempo operations.
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) introduced the Federal Accountability in Chemical Testing (FACT) Act, H.R. 816. The FACT Act would improve reporting by EPA, FDA, NIH, USDA and other government agencies about their efforts to replace inefficient, multi-million-dollar animal tests with faster, less costly and more effective alternative methods for assessing the safety of chemicals, drugs, foods, cosmetics and other substances.
“For two decades, I have played a key role in the efforts to replace wasteful government animal tests with modern alternative tests that save significant time, taxpayers’ money and animals’ lives,” said Rep. Calvert. “The FACT Act will ensure that Congress has the information necessary to determine if federal agencies are meeting their mandates to replace expensive and unnecessary animal testing whenever possible, because evidence suggests they are not.”
The common-sense, bipartisan FACT Act amends the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM) Authorization Act of 2000, which was created thru legislation authored by Rep. Calvert. The FACT Act specifies that biennial progress reports already required under the Act include details on how many animals were used by each agency and for what tests, as well as those it required in regulatory submissions. Some individual animal tests can cost taxpayers $4 million, use thousands of animals and take more than five years to complete.
Federal laws – including last year’s widely-supported amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act – require agencies to minimize animal tests in favor of high-tech alternatives like cell-based tests and sophisticated computer models. However, federal agencies do not currently report how many animals they use in testing or what they’re used for, making it impossible for Congress to assess their compliance and progress to replace wasteful animal tests.
A recent review by the non-profit White Coat Waste Project – which is endorsing the FACT Act – found that government agencies are regularly conducting hundreds of animal tests on cosmetics ingredients, foods, natural supplements, tobacco products, industrial chemicals, and drugs using mice, rats, rabbits, dogs, monkeys, and other animals.
“We applaud Congressman Calvert for introducing the FACT Act and for his outstanding work to ensure that taxpayers are not funding ineffective and cruel animal experiments,” said Justin Goodman, Vice President at the White Coat Waste Project.
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court:
“I believe Neil Gorsuch is a strong choice to serve on our Supreme Court. Judge Gorsuch’s record indicates he will be a strong defender of the Constitution and American liberties. Judge Gorsuch is well qualified and was approved unanimously via voice vote for his current seat on the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. I applaud Senate Republicans for making sure that Justice Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court was not filled during a contentious election by a lame-duck president, and ensuring the new justice was chosen by the president elected by American voters in our recent election. I’m hopeful that the Senate will act quickly to consider and confirm the nomination of Neil Gorsuch.”
First and foremost, this is not a Muslim ban. There is no prohibition on the immigration of individuals based on religion. There is no prohibition of individuals who are Muslim from immigrating to the United States. Individuals from Muslim prominent countries such as Pakistan, Indonesia, Turkey, Egypt, etc are not subject to this Executive Order (EO).
The Executive Order places a temporary 90 day halt to the admission of immigrant and non-immigrant visas for nationals from seven countries that are terrorist conflict areas: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The list of seven countries was established between Congress and the Obama Administration through the Visa Waiver Improvement Act. Within the EO there is a provision that puts a halt on all refugees for 120 days and an indefinite halt on Syrian refugees until the process for vetting refugees is improved. The order is similar to President Obama’s halt to Syrian refugees from 2011 to 2014.
In these countries it is very difficult to ascertain the identity and background of an individual, either because their home government is not cooperative (Iran, Syria) and/or because the country lacks the technical capability to verify identification (Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen). The halt is similar to the Obama Administration’s stoppage of processing for Iraqi nationals after a terrorist plot by two Iraqi citizens was uncovered in Kentucky.
Every country in the world has a right to control their borders. For too long, the United States has allowed immigration into the U.S. without proper vetting procedures in place. As we saw with the attacks in San Bernardino, one of the attackers obtained a U.S. visa despite online posts that indicated she was a threat. This is just one example of many that highlight the need for a better vetting process.
It is important to note that the Secretary of Homeland Security has the authority to admit individuals on a case-by-case basis.
As a Member of Congress, I have been proactively working on a way to improve the vetting process for Iraqi and Syrian refugees. However, the process could be implemented for any country identified as a possible national security threat. My bill, the SAFER Act (H.R. 441) would require:
Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) has joined Congressman Ted Poe (TX-2) to introduce legislation, H.R. 620, designed to help small businesses comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
"The goal of the Americans with Disabilities Act is to provide access for the disabled – it’s not to give unscrupulous trial lawyers the opportunity to abuse small businesses,” said Rep. Calvert. “California has become ground zero for abusive ADA lawsuits and I have heard from many of our job creators who have fallen victim to abusive ADA lawsuits that are not aimed at improving access for the disabled. Protecting small businesses from abusive lawsuits and ensuring disabled Americans have adequate access are not mutually exclusive goals.”
The bill would alleviate the financial burden small businesses are facing, while still fulfilling the purpose of the ADA. Any person aggrieved by a violation of the ADA would provide the owner or operator with a written notice of the violation, specific enough to allow such owner or operator to identify the barrier to their access. Within 60 days the owner or operator would be required to provide the aggrieved person with a description outlining improvements that would be made to address the barrier. The owner or operator would then have 120 days to remove the infraction. The failure to meet any of these conditions would allow the suit to go forward.
Rep. Calvert continued, “I appreciate Mr. Poe’s leadership on this issue and I know his expertise and service on the House Committee on the Judiciary will help ensure that H.R. 620 makes it across the finish line. I look forward to working with him to ensure that serial litigants are no longer rewarded for taking advantage of an important and meaningful law.”
As a former small business owner, Rep. Calvert experienced firsthand the devastating effects of frivolous ADA lawsuits. As such, Rep. Calvert has been a long-serving leader on ADA reform issues in Congress and looks forward to continuing the fight on these important issues.
Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52), Congressman Ami Bera (CA-7), Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14) and Congressman Mike Conaway (TX-11) also cosponsored the legislation.
The following organizations have endorsed the bill:
American Hotel and Lodging Association, American Resort Development Association, Asian American Hotel Owners Association, Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International, CCIM Institute, Institute of Real Estate Management, International Council of Shopping Centers, International Franchise Association, NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, National Apartment Association, National Association of REALTORS®, National Association of Theatre Owners, National Council of Chain Restaurants, National Federation of Independent Business, National Multifamily Housing Council, National Restaurant Association, NATSO, Representing America's Travel Plazas and Truck Stops, Retail Industry Leaders Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) introduced legislation, H.R. 638, to name the Murrieta postal facility located at 24930 Washington Avenue in honor of the Riverside County veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. This bill would designate the post office as the “Riverside County Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Memorial Post Office.”
“Veterans from Riverside County made significant contributions and sacrifices while taking part in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars,” said Rep. Calvert. “Naming this facility in honor of our veterans is a small token of appreciation from our community for their service. I’m hopeful the House will act on this bill in the very near future.”
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) introduced the Ensuring the Safety Our Mail Act, H.R. 603, which will double the maximum jail sentence for anyone convicted of mail theft.
“The high rate of mail theft in our region, particularly the theft of cluster box units, is a serious concern that must be addressed,” said Rep. Calvert. “Clearly, the criminals breaking into these mailboxes are not afraid of the consequences. I believe we need to send a strong message that if you get caught stealing mail, you are going to do serious jail time. Families should have confidence that sensitive documents in their mailbox are safe.”
Currently, the maximum jail sentence for anyone convicted of mail theft is five years under Section 1708 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code. The Ensuring the Safety Our Mail Act increases the maximum jail sentence to ten years.
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) issued the following statement on the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump:
“I want to congratulate President Trump on being sworn into office and welcome the entire Trump family to the White House. The coming weeks, months and years ahead will be filled with tremendous opportunities and challenges for President Trump. I pray he finds the guidance, strength and conviction necessary to do what’s best for our country.
By electing President Trump, American voters chose to take our country in a different direction. Now, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and fulfill the promises that were made on the campaign trail. I am eager to make a meaningful contribution in the next chapter of our American democracy along with President Trump and help form a more perfect union.”
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) voted along with a majority (268 to 151) to approve legislation, S. 84, that provides a legal exemption for General James Mattis to serve as Secretary of Defense. The exception is necessary due to existing law that otherwise prohibits a member of the military from serving as Secretary of Defense within seven years of their military service.
“General Mattis is overwhelmingly qualified to serve as our next Secretary of Defense and has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities on and off the battlefield,” said Rep. Calvert. “There was no question in my mind that Congress should provide General Mattis with an exemption to serve as Secretary of Defense. While I strongly believe in the tenet of civilian control of the military, I believe that General Mattis is the right person at the right time. He has the experience, knowledge and appreciation for our troops necessary to tackle the many challenges facing our Defense Department and our military around the world.”
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) reintroduced legislation aimed at preventing criminal illegal immigrants from being released from custody. The Help Ensure Legal Detainers (HELD) Act, H.R. 514, would require localities to adhere to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers.
“Keeping American families safe is my top priority in Congress, which is why I believe deporting criminal illegal immigrants is so important,” said Rep. Calvert. “There are a lot of complicated issues involved in fixing our broken immigration system, but deporting illegal immigrants who have committed serious crimes should not be controversial. Congress should enact the HELD Act because we need local law enforcement to work hand-in-hand with our immigration agencies to better protect our communities.”
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 alien pursuant to an ICE detainer. Specifically the bill:
· Would require local municipalities to promptly respond to an ICE Detainer notice issued by the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) that requests information about alien in custody in order for the Secretary to arrange for custody of the alien.
· Would require local municipalities to maintain custody of an alien for up to 48 hours pursuant to an immigration Detainer so that the alien can be transferred to the custody of DHS.
The HELD Act includes 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.
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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Just finished a good meeting speaking w/ the Menifee City Council about their federal priorities & hearing from a n… https://t.co/VhXPnHNAz8
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Working w/ my CA GOP House colleagues to stop any federal $$$ from going towards the CA high speed rail boondoggle. https://t.co/kN199zs28I
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Thanks for the great discussion about the issues facing Eastvale. I look forward to our continued work together. https://t.co/BZOt88O8XV
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Just met with our Riv. Co. officials discussing health care reform, local/federal immigration enforcement coordinat… https://t.co/udCIkqnKIx