Darrell Issa

Darrell Issa


Issa To Host Service Academy Information Session in Oceanside


The Office of Congressman Darrell Issa invites interested high school students, teachers, and their parents to attend a Military Service Academy Night in Oceanside on Friday, September 22, 2017. The information session will provide area residents the opportunity to learn more about process for earning a nomination to serve in one of the United States Military Service Academies.

Representatives from each the academies including the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard Academy will be available to answer questions about the application and nomination process in addition to staff from Congressman Issa’s office. Students residing in any of the north San Diego County cities including Carlsbad, Vista, Solana Beach, Oceanside and neighboring communities are encouraged to attend!

What: Congressman Darrell Issa’s Military Service Academy Night

When: Friday, September 22nd from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.

Where: The Veterans Association of North County, located at 1617 Mission Ave, Oceanside, CA 92058

Who: Interested members of the public, students, parents and educators are all invited to attend.

Why: To give interested parties the opportunity ask questions about the nomination and academy selection process and to find out more about the incredible educational opportunities our service academies can provide.

For additional information please contact Joseph Pimentel in Congressman Darrell Issa’s office at (760) 599-5000 or joseph.pimentel@mail.house.gov.

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Reps. Issa, Vargas Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Clean Up Tijuana River Valley


At a press conference today in San Diego, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista) and Congressman Juan Vargas (D-Chula Vista) together unveiled new bipartisan legislation they introduced to rehabilitate the Tijuana River Valley following ongoing wastewater spills in the area and to implement important measures to prevent such spills from happening again in the future. 

Their legislation, the Tijuana River Valley Comprehensive Protection and Rehabilitation Act of 2017, would provide grant funding and develop a coordinated plan to update the area's infrastructure to prevent the flooding of sewage, trash, and sediment into the Tijuana River Valley.

Congressman Darrell Issa: “The impact of these continuing spills will be felt for generations to come unless we take action to stop it now. Allowing the sewage and wastewater to flow up into San Diego County not only hurts small business and our tourism-reliant economy but also poses serious health consequences for local communities and the border patrol agents who have been harmed in their ability to secure our border by the ongoing contamination. Solving this problem will come only with strong bipartisan and international cooperation. I’m proud of the work Juan and I have put into this bill to ensure that it gets cleaned up and that we take preventative measures to ensure it never happens again.”

Congressman Juan Vargas: “Sewage from Tijuana has been flowing into the Tijuana River Valley, into beaches in San Diego County, and our communities for too long. This legislation will help rehabilitate the Tijuana River Valley and rebuild the infrastructure needed to prevent future spills.”

A one-pager on the legislation is available here.

The bill text is available here.

The Tijuana River Valley Comprehensive Protection and Rehabilitation Act develops a coordinated program—including federal, state, local and international agencies—to provide technical assistance for the conservation, stewardship, and enhancement of the physical infrastructure in Mexico and the United States to clean up and prevent the ongoing flooding and wastewater spills that have occurred in the area.

Through the direction of the Army Corps of Engineers, the Secretary of the Army will produce a feasibility and technical assistance plan to update the wastewater infrastructure in the area to halt contamination. Once a plan is finalized, the Secretary will be able to provide grants for infrastructure projects needed on both sides of the border to stop this problem from continuing to pour waste into the river valley.

It would also create a Transboundary Waterway Alert System to monitor, warn, and protect residents from undue and avoidable harm in the case that any further flooding or spillage occurs. This alert system will ensure that updated and timely information on all water testing results and spills is easily and readily available to the public and government officials online, so that appropriate actions can be taken as quickly as possible.


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Rep. Darrell Issa: Why congressional DACA action may kickstart immigration reform


Why congressional DACA action may kickstart immigration reform
San Diego Union-Tribune
By: Congressman Darrell Issa | Sept. 15, 2017

The problem with governing by executive order is that it provides no reliable guarantee of certainty: what one administration assembles, the next can just as easily dismantle. That’s one of the many reasons DACA — the program created through executive order by President Barack Obama to protect from deportation the children of illegal immigrants brought here years ago in their youth — always made a poor replacement for actual immigration reform.

It’s also why, now that the Trump administration has decided to rescind this order, it’s important for Congress to come together to do the job they should have done years ago and finally fix our broken immigration system.

This posed a challenge for President Obama, who for years simultaneously refused to work with Congress while insisting he didn’t have the legal authority to take action on his own. Finding himself at a crossroads, he chose to rewrite the nation’s immigration law by executive decree, creating further uncertainty for the hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were brought here by their parents through no fault of their own.

I criticized this at the time, writing in an earlier column that “it is inherently un-American to create a new group of second-class citizens that are allowed to stay indefinitely but given an indefinite unknown status.”

The same still holds true today.

With a six-month deadline before the administration officially begins unwinding DACA, now is the time for Congress to step up and craft a meaningful solution.

It would be neither fair nor feasible to expel all of the dreamers from the country. First of all, hundreds are currently serving in the military, defending our nation. Others are decades into a life in America — educated, hardworking and law-abiding. Brought here by their parents as children, they spent their formative years in the U.S. where they learned their first words, attended school, graduated and obtained their first jobs. Still more are following the process outlined by their government: When asked to register for DACA status, they stopped hiding, came out of the shadows and did the right thing. The hundreds of thousands of dreamers are none other than the victims of their parents’ actions and hope to find some way to be brought into the system so they can legally stay in the only home they’ve truly known.

At the same time, it would be a mistake to simply declare blanket amnesty and grant full citizenship to anyone with a DACA designation. This would be a clear violation of the spirit of our legal immigration ideal, punishing those who have carefully complied with the law and patiently waited their turn.

There is a better way, one that gets to the heart of the problem, addresses it as a policy challenge and applies a lasting solution.

The plan I propose is a simple one. For the next five years, let’s set aside 15 percent of the over one million visa slots we already award every year in order to make them available to qualified dreamers, so they move into the legal immigration line and have a certain legal path forward in this country. So many are siblings or family members of legal immigrants and U.S. citizens, that it makes sense to use a small portion of these slots to provide certainty for these young individuals. The benefit of this approach would be clear. It keeps neutral the overall number of green cards issued, and provides a reasonable path forward that would allow us to address all of the dreamers who seek to stay within just five years — and all within our existing legal immigration frameworks.

But Congress must also go further. We must also right the failures of the past by reforming our immigration system as a whole. Having confronted and dealt with the DACA quandary, there can be no better time to enact the concrete measures we need to strengthen our borders, enhance enforcement of our laws and prevent this problem from happening again.

For years, I’ve put forth bipartisan reform proposals that would create a more efficient legal immigration system, that can adjust to the changing needs of our growing nation and, yes, improve the protection of our border. Those ideas must be part of the equation, too.

The American people deserve a sense of seriousness in Washington and a solution that lasts for all time. If we fail, we will be letting down a lot more than the 800,000 dreamers, we’ll also be letting down a nation that expects — and deserves — leaders with vision and action with integrity.

Issa, R-Vista, represents California’s 49th Congressional District. He is a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee which oversees immigration issues.


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Tax Reform: Share Your Priorities!


Washington's next big focus is fixing our broken tax code. It's an issue far too important to get wrong since it impacts the pocketbook of every American and the bottom-line of small businesses, employers, and job creators across the nation.

That's why I wanted to reach out to see what you think is most important to include in the bill.

*By participating in our online survey, you'll be subscribed to receive periodic updates on my work in Congress. Your email will never be shared with any third-party and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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House Approves Rep. Issa Amendment To Rein In Civil Forfeiture Abuse, Clear Nation's Rape Kit Backlog


The House of Representatives passed an amendment offered by Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista) to this year’s spending package – the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act – to curb civil asset forfeiture abuse and provide additional funding to help clear the nation’s growing rape kit backlog.
The legislation redirects $10 million from the Department of Justice’s budget allotted for the enforcement of civil forfeiture instead to the Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Grant Program, which provides funding to local government to analyze unprocessed DNA evidence. Estimates indicate that as many as 400,000 sexual assault evidence kits remain untested, sitting on shelves in crime labs across America.

"Civil forfeiture remains a tremendous threat to private property rights and due process," said Congressman Darrell Issa. "My amendment helps cut down on asset forfeiture overreach by refocusing the Department of Justice's limited resources away from enabling the theft of Americans' private property and instead towards providing the resources needed to help clear our nation's growing backlog of untested sexual assault evidence. For too long, our sexual assault evidence kit backlog has been allowed to pile up, as evidence has collected dust in the backrooms of crime labs across our country. The very least we can do for victims is provide authorities with the funding they need to get these kits tested and bring their offenders to justice.”

Congressman Issa also applauded the inclusion of amendments by Representatives Walberg, Amash and Raskin which would also block the expansion of civil forfeiture practices: 

"The growth, misuse and lack of accountability in our civil forfeiture practices have undermined far too many Americans constitutional rights," Congressman Issa continued. "I'm glad to see the level of attention this important issue has received in the appropriations process and look forward to working with my colleagues to continue our efforts to protect Americans due process rights."

Congressman Issa has been a vocal critic of civil forfeiture abuse, calling out Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his new policy aimed at increasing police seizures of cash and property. He is an original co-sponsor of the DUE PROCESS Act which would increase the burden of proof required in forfeiture proceedings at the federal level. Additionally, he was an important co-sponsor of the sexual assault Survivors Bill of Rights Act which was signed into law last year. 

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Constituent Survey: DACA Decision


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House Judiciary Approves Judicial Security Legislation


Today the House Judiciary Committee approved H.R. 3229, bipartisan legislation to protect the safety of federal judges by extending the authority of the Judicial Conference to redact sensitive information contained in their financial disclosure reports.  The legislation passed Committee by voice vote.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Subcommittee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), and Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), chief sponsor of the legislation, praised today’s Committee passage of the bill.

Chairman Goodlatte: “In recent years, we have seen increased threats and even assassinations of federal judges.  While any threat to a member of the Federal Judiciary is unacceptable and must be dealt with in the strongest manner possible, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk for federal judges.

“Today the House Judiciary Committee passed bipartisan legislation to ensure federal judges continue to have the ability to restrict the public availability of their home addresses.  I applaud Representative Jeffries for his work on this legislation which is critical to ensuring the safety of our Federal judges and their family members.”

Ranking Member Conyers: “Judges and judicial employees are often the subject of threats, harassment, and violence. A disgruntled litigant seeking to take revenge can learn of a federal judge’s sensitive personal information by requesting a copy of the judge’s financial disclosure report. H.R. 3229 is a bipartisan, commonsense measure intended to protect the safety of federal judges and judicial employees by allowing this sensitive information to be redacted from public financial disclosures. This bill will help those public servants who serve in the federal judicial branch avoid potentially life-threatening consequences.”

Subcommittee Chairman Issa: “This is an important step to ensure the independence of our judicial branch to rule freely, fairly, and without fear of retribution.  As a tireless advocate for government transparency, I appreciate the appropriate balance this bill strikes between the public’s safety and transparency interests to ensure our judges, who’ve often been targeted and even murdered following tough cases, can safely do their jobs.”

Representative Jeffries: “An independent judiciary is fundamental to our constitutional democracy and equal justice under the law. H.R. 3229 will protect judicial officers from threats, harm and harassment by those who would seek to compromise the integrity of our judicial branch. I am pleased that the Judiciary Committee was able to expeditiously advance this important and time-sensitive legislation.”

Background: In response to security concerns, Congress in 1998 authorized federal judges to request that certain information be redacted from their financial disclosure forms subject to the input of the Marshals Service and approval by a review committee of the Judicial Branch. This authority was extended in 2005 to cover the information of family members who are unfortunately also at risk of disgruntled litigants.

H.R. 3229 extends the existing redaction authority that is about to expire at the end of this calendar year by ten years to December 31, 2027.

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Issa Introduces Legislation to Block "Asset Forfeiture Bonanza"


Note: "Another amendment by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) would redirect $10 million from the Justice Department's Asset Forfeiture Fund into the Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Grant Program. The amendments head to the House Rules Committee, which will decide which amendments will be considered in floor votes on the bill. Those votes are expected to happen next week."

Legislation in Congress Would Block Jeff Sessions’ Asset Forfeiture Bonanza
August 31, 2017
Several House Republicans are proposing amendments to a large funding bill moving through Congress to block Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recent directive expanding the federal government's civil asset forfeiture program.
Last month, Sessions announced he was rolling back Obama-era restrictions on when federal law enforcement could "adopt" civil asset forfeiture cases from local and state police. Conservative and liberal civil liberties groups say federal "adoptions" amount to a loophole allowing local police to avoid stricter state laws and higher standards of evidence when seizing private property.
Nearly half of all states have passed some form of asset forfeiture reform over the past several years in response to bipartisan pressure and media investigations that revealed asset forfeiture abuses and their disproportionate impact on poor and minority residents.
Under typical civil asset forfeiture laws, police can seize property when they suspect it's connected to criminal activity, even if the owner is not convicted or even charged with a crime.
The four amendments are proposed to be added to H.R. 3354, a massive piece of legislation consolidating eight other appropriations bills. Each aims in slightly different ways to stop the Justice Department from spending any funds to implement Sessions' order.

Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), a vocal critic of asset forfeiture, introduced an amendment that would block the Justice Department from funding any of the activities prohibited by a 2015 directive from former attorney general Eric Holder limiting the program.
"When the government takes people's property without due process, it's a violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments—and it's theft," Amash says in a statement to Reason. "I'm writing a bill to end civil asset forfeiture throughout the United States. In the meantime, my amendment will prevent state and local law enforcement from teaming up with the federal government to sidestep state laws that restrict these unconstitutional takings."
Reps. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and Tim Walberg (R-MI) are asking for a change blocking the Justice Department from funding Sessions' directive. The department's forfeiture program existed prior to Sessions' order, so it's unclear what effects the amendments would have if passed.

A fourth proposed amendment by Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) would simply block spending for any transfer from the Justice Department's Asset Forfeiture Fund to state or local police.
The amendments were first noted by FreedomWorks, a conservative advocacy group that has opposed civil asset forfeiture.

"Let's be clear. Congress has to pass comprehensive legislation to reform federal forfeiture laws, which have been abused and will continue to be abused under Attorney General Sessions' directive," FreedomWorks vice president of legislative affairs Jason Pye tells Reason. "But an amendment prohibiting the use of funds from being used to carry out adoptive seizures is something that FreedomWorks will wholeheartedly support. It will be a positive step forward to address the issue until a bill like the DUE PROCESS Act, FAIR Act or some other yet to be introduced legislation is passed."
Another amendment by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) would redirect $10 million from the Justice Department's Asset Forfeiture Fund into the Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Grant Program.
The amendments head to the House Rules Committee, which will decide which amendments will be considered in floor votes on the bill. Those votes are expected to happen next week.
With the passage of legislation a small miracle these days, legislators have taken to tacking amendments onto funding bills needed to keep the government running. These bills are necessary with Congress unable to pass annual budgets.
The asset forfeiture amendments are similar to several that have been added to appropriations bills in recent years that block the Justice Department from spending funds to enforce marijuana laws in states that have legalized the drug for medicinal use.
Of course, such amendments have to be introduced and added again each time a new funding bill is passed, or else they stop taking effect. Without changes to the underlying laws, they are annoying but temporary roadblocks to administrations bent on continuing the war on drugs.

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Issa Responds To Trump Admin Decision to End DACA


Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista) released the following statement in response to the Trump Administration's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:

“When President Obama unilaterally created DACA, he unlawfully overstepped his executive authority and only put a temporary band-aid on a problem which prolonged uncertainty for many children brought here through no fault of their own. The Administration’s decision today puts the onus on Congress to address this challenge in the right way: for the long-haul, with respect for our nation’s laws, a desire to enhance the integrity of our borders, and a sense of compassion for those who were brought here in their childhood years ago and wish to stay as productive members of our communities. I’m eager to get to work on a permanent fix and call on Democrats and Republicans alike to immediately put political posturing aside and let this be a catalyst to achieve long-overdue reforms in this important area of concern.”


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ICYMI: Issa Presses For Job Licensing Reform To Help More Americans Find Jobs


Licensing Cartels Targeted By DC Lawmakers
Forbes | By: Jared Meyer

There is growing realization in Washington, D.C. and state capitol buildings that today’s level of occupational licensing has grown too large in both scope and scale. About three in every ten Americans need a license—or government permission slip—to earn a living. This is substantially higher than the 5% of workers who needed a license in the 1950s. Now everyone from locksmiths and interior designers, to tree trimmers and pet sitters, needs a license to work.
In light of this, Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) recently introduced the Restoring Board Immunity Act to push state-level licensing reform. Companion legislation is sponsored in the Senate by Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Ben Sasse (R-NE). In the following interview, Rep. Issa discusses how federalism, cronyism, and technology relate to the debate over occupational licensing’s effect on economic opportunity.
Jared Meyer: Most occupational licenses come from state-level laws and regulations. I know you are a dedicated supporter of federalism, so why get the federal government involved in this issue?
Rep. Darrell Issa: I’ve gotten that question before from some of my colleagues, so I am glad that you asked. You’re correct that occupational licensing requirements are typically governed by the states, but when the U.S. Supreme Court decided in 2015 that state licensing boards can be held legally liable under federal antitrust law if they unfairly prohibit competition, it created uncertainty that needed to be resolved at the federal level.
It helps to take a look at this issue from an antitrust perspective.  To ensure fair competition, federal antitrust law contains strong protections against collusion by firms in the marketplace. In the private sector, companies cannot sit around a table and decide what prices should be, or work together to keep their competitors from getting a foothold in the marketplace. State governments, however, have traditionally been exempt from antitrust liability.
For example, if Nebraska’s legislature decides to pass a law requiring dog walkers to complete a two-year apprenticeship and register with the state to legally work, that might be completely unnecessary, but doing so is legal at least as far as antitrust law is concerned. Legally speaking, it is up to Nebraskans—who would likely see higher costs and fewer options for dog walking—to decide that their legislators made poor decisions and vote them out of office. The Supreme Court upheld this kind of behavior in my home state of California in 1943 when an arm of the state sought to protect raisin growers through blatantly anti-competitive legislation.
Take this to occupational licensing boards now, and you can see the problem. For decades, it was argued that because these boards were recognized by states, they should be considered arms of the state government and allowed to engage in behavior that would otherwise be illegal.
But in 2015, the Supreme Court essentially turned this on its head, saying that since many state licensing boards are made up almost entirely of industry insiders and are run with minimal supervision from actual state government officials, some state boards look less like a government entity and more like a private cartel.
In that case, the North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners—the state's occupational licensing board for dentists—sent cease-and-desist letters demanding that companies that had set up in-mall teeth whitening services be shut down because they weren’t run by licensed dentists. The problem, of course, is that teeth whitening doesn’t really need to be done by a licensed dentist—it’s done at home by countless people every day. Dentists just didn’t want competition for the more expensive services that they offered.
A suit was brought against the board by the Federal Trade Commission alleging that this attempt to regulate teeth whiteners was about keeping competitors out of the market, rather than truly protecting the public. The Supreme Court looked at this case and said that certain licensing boards that are not “actively supervised” by the state can be held liable under federal antitrust law for working illegally to prohibit competition.
The question then became what does “actively supervised” mean and how can state boards retain immunity from antitrust law? That’s the question our bill hopes to resolve in a way that restores accountability and incentivizes the states to roll back these regimes that have clearly run amok.
JM: The Supreme Court’s decision clearly injects some level of democratic accountability into occupational licensing. How does your legislation encourage and take advantage of this change?
DI: The North Carolina decision creates uncertainty that Congress needs to fix by providing clarification and guidance. The Supreme Court has set up a litmus test of "active supervision" of licensing boards by state governments for boards to be immune from antitrust laws. The problem is that many state policymakers and licensing board members are unsure about what constitutes active supervision. I fear that without congressional action, states will try to get away with the bare minimum levels of board accountability while labeling it "active supervision."
The Restoring Board Immunity Act fixes this problem by giving states options. When our bill is law, states can ensure immunity for their occupational licensing boards by opting to enact one of two accountability mechanisms. The first is essentially a review process that would give citizens the right to challenge regulations to ensure they are actually necessary for public safety. Judges would be required to review these claims to ensure there’s a “rational basis” for the requirement.
The second option would be for states to institute a series of prescribed oversight measures—including stringent supervision mechanisms and input from the state legislature. As such, our bill essentially boils down to this: if you don't want prospective members of your board to fear damages from a lawsuit, then you must implement one of these two options. This pushes state occupational licensing boards to truly operate in the public’s interest and roll back a lot of the unnecessary requirements that have become more about picking winners and losers than about protecting the public.
And it’s worth clarifying that not all occupational licensing requirements are bad. The government does have a job to play in protecting the marketplace from unscrupulous or incompetent actors, but when nearly one in three Americans needs a license just to do their job, it’s clear that at least some types of licensing have gotten out of hand.
I came to Congress from the private sector and I can tell you that building a business or starting a new occupation is hard work. Our federal and state governments already subject job creators to far more regulations than are necessary. We certainly do not need occupational licensing boards creating further barriers to entry, and they especially shouldn’t be able to do that when they are unaccountable to the people. If state governments want to subject entrepreneurs to growth-killing administrative rules, they should be held accountable at the ballot box—that is a fundamental principle in a democracy.
Jared Meyer is a senior research fellow at the Foundation for Government Accountability and a senior fellow for the new economy at the Beacon Center of Tennessee. Follow him on Twitter here.

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Issa: North Korea greatest threat 'since Cuban Missile Crisis'

2017-08-09 21:41:59

Reps. Issa, Peters Call for Bipartisan Work To Fix Obamacare

2017-08-03 20:58:21

Issa Visits Orange and San Diego County Startups for "Startup Day Across America"

2017-08-02 16:54:24

Reps. Issa and Polis talk bipartisan work to support startups in Startup Day Across America

2017-07-27 16:54:21

House Holds Moment of Silence for Capt. Sean Elliott and Marines Killed in C-130 Crash

2017-07-18 19:07:25

Chairman Walden Commends Congressman Issa For Work To Help Advance Nuclear Storage Solutions

2017-06-28 17:00:41

Issa and Vargas Cross Party Lines to Help Solve Tijuana River Sewage Spill

2017-04-17 21:57:32

60 Minutes Looks at H1-B Visa Abuse

2017-03-20 20:16:34

Morning Joe on MSNBC: Issa Spends 90 Minutes Answering Questions At Town Hall

2017-02-23 00:14:14

Darrell Issa Talks H1-B Reform To Protect Jobs for Best and Brightest

2017-02-09 02:18:10

Issa Asks GAO About Giving All Americans Access To Same Healthcare as Federal Employees

2017-02-01 00:20:24

Outside the Capitol! Just about to introduce my legislative priorities for the new year

2017-01-13 16:49:27

Congressman Issa Discusses His Bill To Stop Outsourcing of American Jobs

2017-01-05 15:39:25

Veterans Help Make San Diego a Hub for Start-Ups

2017-01-04 22:03:33

Obamacare is broken. Next year, we’re going to fix it.

2016-12-20 20:45:20

Issa Holds Public Forum on Sober Living Homes Reform

2016-10-06 02:59:59

NBC 7 Talks Armed Services Visit to Pendleton and Miramar

2016-09-02 16:11:04

Congressional Delegation to Miramar and Pendleton on Military Readiness

2016-09-01 16:11:13

22 Push Up Challenge

2016-08-19 23:23:10

Congressman Issa Tours San Diego Startup Companies for "Startup Day Across America"

2016-08-05 17:47:22

Contact Information

2347 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-3906
Fax 202-225-3303

Congressman Darrell Issa represents the people of California’s 49th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives, a seat he has held since 2001. The 49th District includes Camp Pendleton, the largest Marine Corps training facility in the United States, and the northern portions of San Diego County and southern Orange County. Congressman Issa and his wife Kathy live in Vista, CA. They have one son, William, and celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in 2010.

As a senior in high school, Issa enlisted in the United States Army. Through his Army service, he received an ROTC scholarship and graduated with a degree in business from Sienna Heights University in Adrian, Michigan. Upon graduation, Issa was commissioned as an Army officer, and ultimately obtained the rank of captain. He completed his active-duty military service in 1980 and turned his interests to the private sector.

At the height of his career in business, Issa served as CEO of California-based Directed Electronics, a company that Issa founded and built in the mid-1990s to become the nation’s largest manufacturer of vehicle anti-theft devices, including the highly-successful Viper system. In 1994, Issa was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Inc. Magazine, Ernst & Young and The San Diego Union Tribune. During his leadership of Directed Electronics, Issa served as chairman of the Consumer Electronics Association, an organization of 2000 companies within the consumer technology industry that hosts the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. When he stepped down as CEO to serve as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Directed Electronics employed nearly 200 people.

As a Congressman and leader in California grassroots politics, Issa has championed the cause of smart, efficient government, and has pushed legislation to balance the federal budget and promote transparency across the federal bureaucracy. In 2003, Issa was the architect behind the successful popular uprising to recall former Democratic California Governor Gray Davis.

Issa currently is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where he serves as the Chairman. Previously, Issa served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Energy & Commerce Committee, and the Small Business Committee. As the holder of 37 patents himself, Issa has been vigilant about protecting the intellectual property rights of artists and other entrepreneurs to help protect America’s position at the forefront of innovation and creativity in the entertainment and technology industries. His successful efforts to fight human trafficking along the United States border has resulted in tougher laws, stiffer penalties, and more consistent enforcement. His watchful concern to guarantee that U.S. taxpayers receive the royalties they are owed from mineral interests on federal lands exposed fraud and mismanagement at the Mineral Management Service (MMS) in 2006.

In 2008, when Congress was asked to pass the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in the wake of an historic financial crisis, Issa stood by his instincts as a businessman and opposed giving a blank-check bailout to Wall Street – he voted against all bailouts during the financial crisis. Refusing to give up and concede to those who favored a bailout-centered response to this and future financial failures, Issa put forward a proposal to create a bipartisan commission to uncover the root causes of the financial crisis. This idea was passed into law in early 2009 and the investigation commenced in January 2010. Issa expects the results will reveal government mistakes and protect U.S. taxpayers from future runaway government intervention in the financial and housing markets.

Recognizing his success as a Congressional watchdog of taxpayer dollars, at the beginning of the 111th Congress House Republicans tapped Issa to serve as the top Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is the main investigative committee of the United States House of Representatives charged with the protecting the interests of U.S. taxpayers and eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in the federal bureaucracy. In the first year of his leadership, the committee has undertaken numerous detailed investigations of the Countrywide Financial VIP Program that benefited government officials with special reduced-rate mortgage loans, the illegal use of taxpayer dollars by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), the decades-old misplaced government agenda to manipulate the U.S. housing market through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that created the housing crisis, the politicization of science at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and a broad investigation into the financial crisis of 2008-2009.

As a fiscal conservative committed firmly to low taxes and free markets, Issa has opposed the rise of out-of-control government spending and fought tirelessly for the responsible, transparent use of taxpayer dollars. He’s pushed to achieve more whistleblower protections for those who report waste, fraud and abuse in the federal bureaucracy. And he’s offered substantive reform initiatives to open up government so that Americans know what’s happening in Washington and can become more democratically engaged in the day-to-day oversight of their government.

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