Ken Calvert, a lifelong resident of Riverside County and 17-year small business owner in the restaurant and real estate industries, represents the 44th 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.
The 44th District is one of the most diverse, encompassing western Riverside County including Riverside, Corona, Norco and Jurupa; and parts of Orange County including San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano.
Calvert was first elected to serve the 43rd District in 1992, however as a result of re-districting the 43rd District was renamed in 2002. Congressman Calvert now represents California's 44th Congressional District, while maintaining representation of some of the old 43rd's largest cities. During his freshman term, Calvert served as an active Member of the Resources Committee and Science Committee. The next two years in office Calvert's ability to work in a bipartisan fashion was rewarded with the Chairmanship of the Energy and Mineral Subcommittee on the Resources Committee. While unusual for a sophomore Member to be given a Chairmanship after only one term in Congress, Calvert served on two other Committees: maintaining his seat on the Science Committee and gaining a seat on the Agriculture Committee. Over the years his committee assignments enabled him to address issues critical to Riverside County, California and the nation, issues such as the Endangered Species Act, agriculture, energy, water and much more. In the 105th and 106th Congress, Rep. Calvert was Chairman of the Science Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment where he worked on alternative energy and clean air issues In 2001 (107th Congress) Calvert was selected to serve on the House Armed Services Committee.
In the 108th Congress (2003-2004), Calvert continued his service on the Armed Services Committee, Resources Committee and Science Committee. On the Resources Committee, Calvert was Chairman of the Water and Power Subcommittee overseeing federal water rights in the west, including hydro-power generated from federal water projects. As Chairman he introduced and helped pass H.R. 2828, The Water Supply, Reliability, and Environmental Improvement Act, which reauthorizes the CALFED Bay-Delta program.
In the 109th Congress (2005-2006) Calvert was Chairman of the House Science Committee Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics and passed the first NASA Authorization bill in five years He also served as a member of the Committee on Armed Services and the Resources Committee.
In the 110th Congress, (2007-Present) Calvert served for five months as the Ranking Member of the House Science Committee Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics and as a member of the Committee on Armed Services and the Resources Committee On May 9, 2007, Rep. Calvert was selected to serve on the House Appropriations Committee He is a member of the Energy and Water Subcommittee and the Interior and the Environment Subcommittee.
During his past seven terms, Calvert has focused on securing federal funds for critical projects in Riverside County including: C-17 operations at March Air Reserve Base; research into the grapevine killing Pierce's Disease scourging California's wine industry; expansion of the Janet Goeske Center for Senior and Disabled Citizens; improving cutting edge clean air technology at the University of California at Riverside; and, supporting various environmental restoration and flood control efforts critical to Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
Calvert authored legislation, which has been passed into law, that protects against identity theft by prohibiting the appearance of Social Security account numbers on or through unopened mailings of checks issued by the Treasury Department, providing additional educational dollars to states through a simplified collection process of oil and gas royalties, increasing the penalties for desecrating our national cemeteries, establishing the Medal of Honor Memorial at the Riverside National Cemetery as a "national" memorial, and reducing or eliminating the use of animals to test product and chemical safety by establishing alternative test methods throughout a coalition of federal agencies.
In 1996, Calvert authored legislation that created the Basic Pilot Program, the only tool available to employers to check the veracity of a name and Social Security number given on an I-9 form for employment In 1995 Rep. Calvert toured the southern border and a Border Patrol agent remarked on the job magnet that brings hundreds of thousands of people illegally to the United States Rep. Calvert, a former small business owner and employer, concluded that the best and quickest way to enable employers to check the legal status of newly hired employees was to set up a system that could check the name against the Social Security number Since the decade it was created, the Basic Pilot Program now serves over 16,000 employers nationwide and continues to evolve to meet new demands such as a photo identification tool Congressman Calvert has introduced legislation in the 110th Congress that would make employment verification mandatory over a period of seven years
Additionally, Rep. Calvert's legislative work has received top ratings from the Americans for Tax Reform, Christian Coalition, League of Private Property Voters, National Federation of Independent Businesses, 60 Plus Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Survival Committee and Citizens for a Sound Economy He has also been the California Republican Delegation's voice on the House Steering Committee, which determines House Republican committee assignments, in the 108th, 109th and 110th Congresses.
In the 110th Congress, Calvert's legislative plan includes: supporting our military in the Global War on Terror; strengthening our borders and reforming the immigration system; further reinvigorating the nation's space program; creating long-term solutions to California's energy and water problems; working towards the implementation and funding of new transportation corridors vital to Riverside and Orange County's future; continuing oversight and improving the efficiency of the Fish & Wildlife Office's enforcement of the Endangered Species Act; and, much more.