From Jerry’s Desk, August 2014

August 12, 2014

I’m writing to you this month from home in California. I’m looking forward to spending the next month traveling around our area to hear from you directly about the issues that you care about. In the meantime, here’s an update on what I have been working on:

As you may know, veterans issues are a top priority for me. Veterans in my district are driving too far and waiting too long to get the medical care they’ve earned. That’s why I wanted to “walk a mile” in the shoes of one veteran from Stockton, Scott Halsey. Last month, I drove Mr. Halsey to a doctor’s appointment at the VA clinic in Palo Alto. It was a ten-hour day for a half-hour appointment. The next day, back in Washington, I introduced a bill to speed up construction of the planned VA medical facility in French Camp, so veterans don’t have to drive almost 200 miles just to see a doctor. You can read more about my day with Scott Halsey in the Stockton Record.

Last week, I voted for a bipartisan bill to start to fix some of the unacceptable and systemic problems with the VA health care system. But this bill is only a first step. I will keep fighting to make sure the VA continues to take the appropriate steps to address inefficiencies in its health care system and standardize care across all its facilities. I wrote an op-ed about this in the San Francisco Chronicle.

I’m continuing to lead the fight against the destructive BDCP twin tunnels at home and in Washington. I went to the House floor to propose an amendment that would prevent any federal money from being used to build the tunnels. We need to address our water issues in a common sense way, which is why I wrote several conservation bills last month: one that would create “smart grids” that would detect leaks in our water pipes and save billions of gallons of water, one that would use technology to save water and money in federal buildings, and another that would make sure consumers can buy the most water-efficient products available.

I also wrote a bill along with my colleague Rep. Jim Costa that would designate the Central Valley as an air quality “empowerment zone” so that we can get the federal funding we need to reduce smog and the incidences of childhood asthma that come along with that unhealthy air.

I am proud to continue to fight in Congress for our local families, farmers and small businesses. Please stop by and say hi when we when we open our campaign field office next Friday (8/15) at 3214 Pacific Avenue, Stockton, CA.