Reaching across the aisle to get things done
Amidst partisan gridlock in Washington, I want to share with you some ways I’ve been cutting through the noise and reaching across the aisle on key issues for the North Coast of California and beyond. From water conservation to the Postal Service to environmental protections across the country, we’ve been able to make progress by building bipartisan coalitions.
Ending the tax on making water-efficient choices
As tax season approaches, I introduced bipartisan legislation along with a fellow Californian, Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa), to ease the tax burden on homeowners by clarifying that rebates provided by water utilities for water-efficient home improvements should not be subject to federal taxes. No one should be penalized for saving water, especially during the drought! Water utilities across the country – and especially in California – are increasingly offering rebates and incentives to people who make investments that reduce water use and ease the strain on public infrastructure. Read why we must fix this tax problem for green infrastructure here.
Keeping Postal Facilities in Eureka& Petaluma Open
I was excited to announce my bipartisan legislation to halt wrongful postal facilities closures in Petaluma and Eureka. We all want a modern, efficient Postal Service, but continuing to reduce service standards and close facilities is not the way to deliver for the American people. The proposed closures in Eureka and Petaluma would result in mail delays, and would be particularly taxing on seniors, veterans, and rural communities who depend on timely deliveries for prescriptions and other services. My legislation, which I introduced with several Republican colleagues whose districts are facing similar situations, would stop this reckless consolidation plan and ensure that any future closures are based on data and the unique priorities of our local communities. Learn more here.
Restoring Critical Estuary Habitats
The North Coast is home to some of the most beautiful and ecologically vital estuaries, which help support numerous fish and shellfish, the Pacific flyway, and the coastal economy. That’s why I introduced legislation, along with my fellow Californian, Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock), to remove bureaucratic hurdles that have prevented important ecological restoration work from going forward in sensitive wetland habitats across the country. In 2013 alone, the existing program failed twice in our area, meaning that important work in the Humboldt Bay and Eel River estuary was stalled. We must do more to protect these important ecosystems that improve our clean water sources, support coastal economies, including fishing and shellfish industry jobs, and provide recreational opportunities for millions of Americans. Our bill offers a no-nonsense, cost-neutral solution so that important estuary restoration work can move forward. Read more.
Protecting the Arctic Refuge
As Edward Abbey said, the idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders. That’s why I took bipartisan action recently to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Alaska, a uniquely American treasure. My amendment would designate the refuge’s Coastal Plain as wilderness, finally recognizing the intrinsic value that this land holds and protecting it against potential oil and gas drilling activities. This was the first time in its long history that the proposal was voted on, and I thank my colleagues from both sides of the aisle who stood up as defenders of wilderness and voted for my amendment. Learn more.
Creating real progress is never easy or convenient, but by working together, we can make our community a little greener, safer, and a better place to live. Please don’t be a stranger- I’m always open to new ideas to best serve you!