Anna's Weekly Update

July 14, 2017
E-Newsletter

Weekly Update From Rep. Anna G. Eshoo

TOWN HALL ANNOUNCEMENT

On Saturday, July 22nd I’ll be hosting an in-person Town Hall Meeting at West Valley College. This is part of a continuing series of Town Halls held throughout the 18th Congressional District this year.

Town Hall Meetings give me the opportunity to answer constituent questions and hear their concerns. For more details, you can visit my website here- http://eshoo.house.gov/about-anna/events/. I hope to see you there!

HERE’S WHAT CONGRESS DID THIS WEEK

Voted on H.R. 23, the Gaining Responsibility on Water (GROW) Act

Voted: NO

Republicans brought a bill to the Floor this week to upend decades of state and federal water law and needlessly pit water users against one another. On the heels of the worst drought in California’s history, this bill mandates that certain interests come out ahead of others.

This legislation weakens or overrides decades of state and federal law, including the state and federal Endangered Species Acts; the National Environmental Policy Act; the Central Valley Project Improvement Act; and the San Joaquin River Settlement Act. For over a century, the federal government has deferred to state water law whenever possible. The GROW Act unwinds that history entirely.

By discarding a century of water law and species protections, this bill will decimate the San Francisco Bay-Delta ecosystem, drive the Delta smelt to extinction, and accelerate the decline of the wild salmon and steelhead runs which have been an important part of the Northern California economy since the mid-19th century.

The Grow Act passed the House by a vote of 230-190.

Offered an amendment to H.R. 2810 – National Defense Authorization Act to authorize Hacking for Defense program at the Department of Defense

This week, I offered an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to authorize $15 million for an innovative program known as Hacking for Defense. I’m proud this was originally piloted at Stanford University in our Congressional District and has since expanded to six other colleges and universities around the country.

Hacking for Defense offers our country’s best and brightest students the opportunity to work directly with our nation’s military to identify our most urgent national security threats.

Students design innovative solutions using a lean-startup model that can quickly lead to the procurement of new technologies that solve real-world problems facing our military and the warfighter.

Hacking for Defense integrates entrepreneurism with public service and helps the federal government become more flexible and less bureaucratic in its approach to problem solving, something Congress has long sought to foster.

The Amendment was adopted by the full House.

LEGISLATION ANNA CO-SPONSORED THIS WEEK

The Western Water Recycling and Drought Relief Act

This legislation would authorize 33 recycled water projects in California to compete for funds under the Bureau of Reclamation’s Title XVI Program, which identifies and investigates opportunities to reclaim and reuse wastewaters and naturally impaired ground and surface water. In total, these projects would provide over 100,000 acre-feet of recycled water, enough to meet the needs of over 500,000 people.

Of the 33 projects authorized by this legislation, seven are in my Congressional District, including a proposed project to be completed at the Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club by the West Bay Sanitary District. This bill also authorizes water recycling projects in Palo Alto, Mountain View, and Los Gatos.

Original Cosponsor of the Refund Equality Act

This legislation would allow same-sex couple who were married in states that legally recognized same-sex marriage for more than three years to file amended tax returns. Before the Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor, a same-sex married couple could not file federal income taxes as a married couple. After Windsor, the IRS published guidance that stated a same-sex married couple could amend their previously filed tax returns, but only over the past three years. For states like California, who has recognized marriage equality for more than three years, these couples are at a loss and are unable to claim refunds for the prior years they were legally married.

The Refund Equality Act would create an exemption to the three-year statute of limitation period in the Tax Code and allow married same-sex couples to file for federal income tax adjustments back to when they married.

LETTERS ANNA WROTE AND COSIGNED THIS WEEK

Letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Urging him to Protect Net Neutrality 

Wednesday July 12th was the Net Neutrality Day of Action, and companies across the country took a stand against FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s efforts to unravel net neutrality protections. I authored a letter to Chairman Pai to express my vigorous opposition to his current proposal. In my letter I reference the views of several CEOs of startups who I met with at a recent roundtable in our Silicon Valley District. It’s critical that Chairman Pai consider the economic impacts that a repeal of the current net neutrality protections would have on startups and small businesses. To read the full press release, CLICK HERE.

Letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Unwanted Robocalls

I wrote another letter to FCC Chairman Pai applauding his leadership and the bipartisan effort at the FCC’s July Open Meeting to combat unwanted robocalls. The FCC took action to further examine how to curtail robocalls, including implementing a database of reassigned numbers. These unwanted calls are not only a nuisance that invade the privacy of our citizens, but they are also used by criminals to scam the American people.

This is consistently one of the top complaints I receive from my constituents and I appreciate the focus and attention the Commission has taken on this issue.

Letter to U.S Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Digital Trade and NAFTA

This week I joined fellow members of the bipartisan Digital Trade Caucus in a letter to Ambassador Robert Lighthizer to highlight the significant impact digital trade has on the U.S. economy, and the importance of modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to address digital trade issues.

Technology companies employ over 6.9 million Americans, including tens of thousands in my Congressional District. These companies employ 5.7% of private sector employment and account for 7.5% of U.S. GDP. Yet restrictive digital policies abroad are impeding U.S. exports and threatening the promise of digital trade to incentivize American workers. Our letter to Ambassador Lighthizer supports his work to modernize NAFTA to ensure every sector of the economy can fully take advantage of digital trade.

WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS

On Wednesday, July 12th I was honored to stand with hundreds of businesses, startups and public advocacy organizations across the country who are opposed to the FCC’s efforts to roll back critical net neutrality protections. Eliminating these protections benefits the largest Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and would be a significant loss for entrepreneurs, innovation and consumers.

It’s always a joy to have constituents visit me as they tour our nation’s Capitol. This week, the Essenmacher family from Palo Alto stopped by our office to say ‘hello.’

Constituents are always welcome in our D.C. office. We can also arrange reserved tours for five institutions in Washington: the Capitol; the White House; the Library of Congress; the Supreme Court; and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. My staff is always available to arrange tours and help make your visit to D.C. a memorable one. To request a tour or meeting with Rep. Eshoo, CLICK HERE.

ANNA IN THE NEWS

San Jose Mercury News- “Tech companies share pro-net neutrality messages for ‘Day of Action”

“More than 100 tech companies and organizations shared their messages promoting net neutrality on Wednesday’s “Day of Action,” urging users to reach out to the Federal Communications Commission.

“The groups joined together to protest the FCC’s proposed rollback of Obama-era net neutrality regulations. The now-Republican-majority FCC argue the regulations inhibit internet service providers’ ability to innovate and lay new infrastructure.” To read the full article, CLICK HERE.

Mountain View Voice- “Editorial: Health care proposal cruel and indefensible”

“There is strong resistance in California and across the nation to this travesty of a "health care" bill, which if passed would throw into reverse the country's progress in addressing serious problems with health care access for all Americans. We applaud Rep. Eshoo and state senators Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein for adding their forceful voices to the opposition.

The ACA has flaws, but they are fixable flaws. Whether congressional Republicans will get that message and change course remains to be seen, but they risk serious consequences in the 2018 election if they move forward with their current cruel plan.” To read the full article, CLICK HERE.

STAYING INFORMED

You can find more press releases, commentary and information on issues at my website, eshoo.house.gov. And please visit YouTube, Facebook and Twitter for more ways to stay informed.

Sincerely,

Anna G. Eshoo