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Dear Friend,

June is here and it’s time for another update from Congress!  In this edition, I’ll be covering issues ranging from immigration to school vouchers and the opioid crisis.  Please stay in touch and let me know about the issues that matter to you.

Warm regards,



Calling for an End to Family Separation at the Border
Speaking out against family separation at the border. 

According to the Department of Homeland Security, as many as 2,000 children have been separated from their parents since the Trump Administration announced its "zero tolerance" policy.  Reports indicate that families are often separated by hundreds of miles, and children – many of whom are very young – are being held in inadequate facilities. 

I joined my colleagues in inspecting facilities holding migrant children in the San Diego region and repeated my demand that the Trump Administration stop separating families.  I'm also working with my colleagues to end this policy through legislation.  The United States should have a zero tolerance policy for the immoral and inhumane treatment of children.

House Moves to Address Opioid Epidemic 

In a bipartisan effort, the House of Representatives passed a number of bills to address the opioid crisis. Among the bills was H.R. 5327, Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers Act, which amends the Public Health Service Act to require the Department of Health and Human Services to award grants to establish or operate comprehensive opioid recovery centers.  I voted for the bill because it provides much needed resources to areas heavily affected by opioids.

The House also passed H.R. 5891, a bill that establishes a task force to recommend ways in which Federal agencies can better coordinate responses to substance use disorders and the opioid crisis.  I voted for this bill and was glad to see that my colleagues in the House are working together to address this serious problem. 

Speaking Out for Public Schools
Speaking during the Education and Workforce Committee hearing.

As a senior member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, I had the chance to ask questions during a hearing held on the topic of school vouchers. We discussed Secretary DeVos' push for alternatives to public education, and I reiterated that public dollars should stay in public schools. Every family should choose the school that best fits their children, but that choice should not come at the expense, quality, or accountability of our education system.

Cosponsored Legislation


H.R. 898
, Credit Scoring Competition Act, a bipartisan bill that would allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to consider alternative credit-scoring models beyond the FICO credit score they currently use.  The bill would help more people who pay their bills on time to qualify for a mortgage.

H.R. 4525, Living Shorelines Act, a bill that directs the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to make grants to States and local governments and nongovernmental organizations for purposes of carrying out shoreline stabilization projects utilizing natural materials.

H.R. 5045, STOP Homelessness Act, a bill that amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow taxpayers to designate overpayments of tax as contributions and to make additional contributions to a Housing and Urban Development fund, to be known as the Stop Homelessness Fund.




2018 Congressional Art Competition Winner
With Jenny Nguyen, winner of the 2018 Congressional Art Competition.

I was delighted to host the 2018 Congressional Art Competition at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park.  This year, my office received over 50 entries from five different high schools throughout the district.

After much deliberation among the art competition judges, this year’s winner was Jenny Nguyen from the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts for her piece “Timeless Distortion.” The artwork will represent the 53rd congressional district in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol Building.
 
Celebrating National Small Business Week
Visiting Le Caramel in El Cajon during National Small Business Week.

As a part of National Small Business Week, I toured two local small businesses, Le Caramel and Mail Management Group, Inc.  During my visit, I heard from the owners about different ways Congress can support small business leaders in San Diego County.

Visiting Students at Helix High School
Answering questions from students in American Government class.

Recently, I visited the students of Helix High School’s Advanced Placement American Government class.  We had an open conversation about some of the challenges Congress faces.

Speaking with South County Economic Development Council
Addressing the Board of Directors at South County Economic Development Council.

I was honored with speak with the Board of Directors at the South County Economic Development Council about issues affecting the South Bay region. At the meeting, I spoke about my work in Washington on higher education.  We also discussed my efforts to address how construction of the future Navy SEAL training site could be affected by cross-border sewage spills in the Tijuana River.

Visiting Citizenship Class at IRC
With International Rescue Committee's Citizenship Class students.

I had the opportunity to visit the International Rescue Committee's office in El Cajon and see firsthand how new immigrants are working toward sharing the talents they have brought to their new home country.

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