Congressman Hunter's April Newsletter
It has been a very busy winter in Washington, DC. In March, I had the opportunity to meet with a number of San Diego businesses, host multiple telephone town halls, and introduce legislationthe DRIVE-Safe Act, which will help expand the job pool of qualified truck drivers. I also cosponsored H.R. 400, the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act, which limits federal funding for states and other localities that have incorporated sanctuary policies. Finally, President Trump signed a law to establish March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. This legislation codifies the annual recognition of this special day, and I want to thank those who served for their sacrifice. Over the Easter break, I had the opportunity to meet with constituents and local groups, and I look forward to having more meetings over the next month.
Increased resources for our troops
Our government’s first duty is to safeguard the security of our nation, and we are focused on our responsibility to give our men and women in uniform what they need to do that job. After nearly a decade of readiness gaps that jeopardized lives, we are rebuilding our military. Congress acted on a critical funding bill that delivers the biggest increase in defense spending in 15 years, gives our troops their biggest pay raise in eight years, and provides our men and women in uniform the resources they need to do their jobs.
The 2018 funding bill also contains several additional priorities including: opioids, infrastructure, school safety, and more.
POTUS visits border wall
A few weeks ago, I joined President Trump for his first tour of the Southwest border where he inspected eight border wall prototypes. The tour itself provided an opportunity to see firsthand the challenges that our Border Patrol agents face on a-daily-basis and the need for border security and enforcement. I shared with President Trump and General Kelly that one of San Diego’s greatest assets is the double-layered border fence that extends to the Pacific Ocean. Our region is a leading example of how effective the presence of physical impediments at the border are, when supported by manpower and technology. In fact, this has led to a drop-in crime and apprehensions. Despite having one of the most effectively secured border regions in the country, the San Diego region will continue to deal with vulnerabilities created by the existing immigration system. Until then, San Diego must continue doing its part, leading by example, and exposing aspects of the immigration process that desperately need to be fixed.
Protecting American Innovation and American Jobs
I have been a strong advocate for The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to conduct a full security review and investigation of Broadcom’s attempts to take over San Diego-based Qualcomm. In separate letters to President Trump and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, I raised my concerns, outlining the national security implications of the acquisition as well as my belief that the deal should not move forward until a full review has taken place. Why was this necessary? Broadcom’s extensive ties to China and Qualcomm’s significant intellectual property. Moreover, in previous mergers, Broadcom has a history of initiating layoffs that could devastate San Diego job market if this takeover were allowed to take place. I am pleased to report that President Trump put a stop to the dealindicating to me that it was important to him to not allow China to obtain Qualcomm technology. I want to thank President Trump for his leadership on this issue, for putting America first, and for keeping his promise to protect American workers and businesses.
Tijuana River Sewage Spill
The Tijuana River sewage spill continues to be a major problem for our area and is directly affecting our Border Patrol agents and our military training at Coronado. It is for this reason that I joined my San Diego colleagues Reps. Susan Davis, Darrell Issa, Scott Peters and Juan Vargas in sending a letter to the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) urging an investigation of the ongoing transnational sewage spills in the Tijuana River Valley. This issue is critical to our region, and I am committed to continuing to work with my colleagues and state and local officials to raise awareness and find ways to minimize the environmental impacts that have severely impacted residents in the region.
Last week, I introduced H.R. 5358, the Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy Act also known as the DRIVE-Safe Act, which amends federal regulations preventing truck drivers under the age of 21 from crossing state lines. This common-sense bill will give young adults the opportunity to step into a career that would provide the economic stability which might be otherwise unattainable or unavailable. Specifically, the measure creates a rigorous apprenticeship-training program for those seeking to drive in interstate commerce while, at the same time, creating job opportunities and addressing the vast driver shortage.
You can read more about the DRIVE-Safe Act in my recent op-ed.
Congressional Art Competition
Every Spring, Congress sponsors a nationwide high school art competition to recognize and celebrate young artists from each Congressional District. With this year’s competition around the corner, I’m honored to ask students once again to submit their artwork. The winner will have his or her artwork displayed in the U.S. Capitol Building for one year and will receive airfare to attend the national reception in Washington, D.C., at no cost.
For complete details on this year's competition, including information about how to submit a piece of artwork, please click here or contact Angelica Rodriguez in my El Cajon District Office at 619-448-5201 or by email at Angelica.Rodriguez@mail.house.gov. All entries must be submitted to one of my District offices by Monday, April 30th at 5:00 p.m. Good luck to all the participants!
Visiting Washington, D.C.
Our Nation’s capital is a popular destination for families during the summer months. If you’re planning your summer trip, my Washington, D.C. office can help in scheduling Congressional Tours at some of the city’s most beloved historical sites. I recommend that you submit your tour request 3-6 months in advance of your visit.
While you are in Washington D.C., I encourage you and your family to stop by my office.
If you have any questions, please contact my staff at (202) 225-5672. They will be happy to help you with any further requests you may have.
Hearing From You!
Last month, I hosted two live, telephone town hall meetings. I plan to hold several others this year.
If you would like to participate in future telephone town hall meetings, I encourage you to sign up here. Whether you’re concerned about health care, improving our economy, securing our border or fighting constitutional overreach I want to give you the opportunity to ask me questions about your priorities for our country and district.
As always, I hope to hear from you throughout the course of the year as Congress does its legislative work, in addition to providing effective oversight. Please contact my office with any questions, comments, or concerns. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter to keep track of upcoming legislation and events.