U.S. Congresswoman Susan Davis | E-Newsletter
April 2014 E-News Report
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Dear Friend,

It is often said that budgets are an expression of our values.  Once again, the House majority has made it clear that their solutions to reducing the debt come almost exclusively from weakening the safety net for the neediest Americans.  I voted against this approach and instead supported a budget alternative that better reflects the needs of the 53rd District.

As we move forward with this year’s appropriations process, I hope to see more willingness by my colleagues to look at solutions that strengthen the middle class rather than make it harder to reach.  Here is an update on what I have been working on in Washington and in the District.  As always, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Warm Regards,

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TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. Leading Effort to Support Medical Research Funding
  2. Career Reentry and Development Panel
  3. When Women Succeed, America Succeeds
  4. Introducing the Student Loan Fair Prepayment Act - H.R. 4236
  5. Promoting U.S. Exporters
  6. Strengthening Labor Protections and Benefits
  7. House Armed Services Committee Oversight
  8. Receiving the Humane Champion Award
  9. 2014 Art Competition Deadline Approaching
  10. Community Snapshots
  11. Defense E-News
  12. Interested in an Internship?

I. Leading Effort to Support Medical Research Funding

Providing robust funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is necessary for our country’s long-term competitiveness and ability to treat and cure deadly diseases.  In San Diego, our universities and research institutes, both large and small, rely on NIH for grant funding.  That is why I led a bipartisan letter to House appropriators signed by 190 of my colleagues to fund NIH at appropriate levels. 

Last month, I was joined by Congressman Scott Peters and members of San Diego’s medical research community at a press conference and meeting to highlight this effort and discuss why NIH funding is so important to our community.  Representatives attended from UCSD, the Alzheimer’s Association’s San Diego/Imperial Chapter, the American Cancer Society Action Network, BIOCOM, California Healthcare Institute, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and JDRF.  San Diego County receives approximately $800 million in NIH funding every year, with funds flowing to thousands of scientists in laboratories throughout the region looking to make critical medical breakthroughs.

II. Career Reentry and Development Panel

I recently hosted a panel discussion at San Diego State University focused on career reentry and development.  Participants heard from local experts who gave an outline of opportunities in San Diego for people interested in becoming more competitive in today’s economy.  Experts provided an overview of the local economy and labor market as well as information on programs and certificates offered through community colleges, extended studies programs, and apprenticeship opportunities. 

After the panel, the audience posed thoughtful questions and got answers to concerns related to career reentry during the Q&A session.  To wrap up the event, there was a focused resource fair for attendees to gather information on specific programs and make connections with the panelists and resource tables.   If you were not able to make it, here is a good write up of the event with tips for getting back into the job market.

III. When Women Succeed, America Succeeds

April 8 was Equal Pay Day, a day recognizing the wage disparities between men and women doing the same work.  While achieving pay parity is an important social goal, it is also a critical component of strengthening the middle class.  The Paycheck Fairness Act, which I am cosponsoring, would help close the pay gap. Click here for more information.

IV.  Introducing the Student Loan Fair Prepayment Act - H.R. 4236

Many people assume that if they pay a little extra on a student loan, the surplus goes toward paying down the principal amount.  I was discouraged to learn that is not the case, so I introduced the Student Loan Fair Prepayment Act to ensure that extra payments to student loan debt are applied first to the principal of the highest interest-rate loan, unless the borrower requests otherwise. This technical change would save borrowers a significant amount and help them pay off their loans more quickly.  My bill, H.R. 4236, has been referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, as well as the House Financial Services Committee, where it is awaiting action.  

V.  Promoting U.S. Exporters

The U.S. Foreign and Commercial Service (CS) plays a critical role in helping small domestic producers export their products to foreign countries.   Due to recent funding limitations, many of the CS offices have been forced to close, putting U.S. exports at risk at precisely the time our economy can least afford it.  In order to remain competitive in an increasingly globalized economy, I think we should do everything appropriate to help our exporters gain access to overseas markets.  That is why I led an effort in the House to fund the department at an amount that will allow CS officers to help U.S. exporters and strengthen the overall American economy.

VI.  Strengthening Labor Protections and Benefits

In a bicameral letter to President Obama, I joined 174 of my colleagues asking the President to issue an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  The letter also requested an update from Labor Secretary Perez on the Department’s implementation of U.S. v. Windsor, which requires the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages.  Additionally, the letter expressed support for ensuring that benefits, such as family leave, job training, and non-discrimination practices, are implemented quickly.  I am an original cosponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to prohibit such discrimination in the workplace.  

VII.  House Armed Services Committee Oversight

Between February and April, the House Armed Services Committee held dozens of hearings with military leaders to hear their Fiscal Year 2015 budget requests.  Every service and combatant command noted the devastating impact of sequestration and that tough decisions have to be made.  While we must all work together during these times of fiscal constraint, we cannot place undue burden on the backs of our service members and their families.  However, military readiness is the most important priority and we must strike a balance between readiness and other functions such as compensation, modernization, procurement, research and development, and end strength.   

The ongoing rebalance of military assets to the Pacific, called for by the president in his 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance, will greatly impact the San Diego region, and showcase to the rest of the country all that our great city has to offer to our military.  I will continue to engage in conversations with the Navy and Marine Corps on how to best serve both the fiscal and national security needs of our country.

VIII. Receiving the Humane Champion Award

 

Protecting animal rights is one of my priorities in Congress and something that I know is important to many constituents in the 53rd District.  As in past years, I was honored to receive the Humane Champion Award from the Humane Society.  I always appreciate being recognized by a group that does so much on behalf of animal welfare!



IX.
 2014 Art Competition Deadline Approaching

As the former director of a youth leadership program in San Diego, I know that young people are often the most thoughtful and creative members of our community.  Since the Congressional Art Competition offers a national platform for displaying that creativity, I am encouraging high school students with all artistic backgrounds from the 53rd Congressional District to participate.  This annual contest is a great opportunity for young artists to potentially showcase their artwork in the U.S. Capitol. 

The winning student will receive scholarship opportunities and two round-trip airfare tickets to travel to Washington, DC for the exhibit’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.  The winner’s artwork will also be displayed in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol Building for one year.  The deadline to submit entries to my San Diego office is 5:30pm on Wednesday, April 23, 2014.  For more information on this year’s competition, please visit the Art Competition section of my website or call my San Diego office at (619) 280-5353.

X. Community Snapshots

Meeting with Superintendent Cindy Marten

It was great to talk to an education leader like San Diego Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten who brings practical, real-world experience to her leadership in education administration!

 
Discussing Cyber Security Efforts in San Diego

I joined a panel of cyber security experts to talk about enhancing cyber security through public/private collaboration and how to grow the cyber security sector in San Diego.    


 
Meeting with the VFW


Last month, I joined California veterans at a Veterans of Foreign Wars event at the Capitol.  San Diego is lucky to have a strong connection to the military and those who served.  We appreciate your service!

 


San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program's 25th  Annual Women's Resource Fair

How inspiring to see so many participants and providers at the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program's 25th Annual Women's Resource Fair. Thanks to the volunteers for their tremendous efforts!

 



 

XI. Defense E-News

As Ranking Member of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, I spend a lot of time focused on the needs of our military, especially our men and women in uniform and their families. Since I get questioned about how defense and veterans policies coming out of Washington will impact San Diego County, I have started sending out a periodic E-News for anyone who is interested in defense and veterans issues. I will only be sending this information to people who sign up to receive these updates, so please click here to be added to the list.

XII. Interested in an Internship?

Interns gain valuable legislative and public service experience by assisting with constituent inquiries, public events, casework, and other special projects. Internships are a minimum of 10 hours per week and qualify for credit at some colleges. If you are interested in interning in the San Diego office, please submit a resume and cover letter to CA53DOInternapp@mail.house.gov. If you are interested in an internship in my Washington office please submit a resume and cover letter to CA53DCInternapp@mail.house.gov
Website | Contact
U.S. House of Representatives
1526 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2040
Fax: (202) 225-2948
2700 Adams Avenue
Suite 102
San Diego, CA 92116
Phone: (619) 280-5353
Fax: (619) 280-5311