Saturday, January 6, 2018

Rep. Roybal-Allard Statement on Border Wall Funding Report

By Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA, 40th)

Washington, D.C. - January 6, 2017 - (The Ponder News) -- Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), the ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, issued the following statement about the Wall Street Journal’s report that the Trump Administration plans to spend $18 billion on a border wall with Mexico.

“I am appalled by this report that President Trump wants to waste $18 billion of taxpayer money on an ill-considered border wall. If the story is accurate, it’s deeply concerning. As the top Democrat on the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, I am acutely aware of America's security funding priorities. We will not address our security needs by building this wall.

“I urge the administration to join our fight to fund real solutions that keep Americans safe. The wall isn’t a solution, it’s a slogan.”

See more headlines at The Ponder News Web Site

Rep. Peters Strongly Opposes Trump Administration Request for $18 Billion in Funding for Border Wall

by Scott Peters (D-CA, 52nd)

Washington, D.C. - January 6, 2017 - (The Ponder News) -- U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) voiced strong opposition to the Trump Administration’s request for $18 billion over the next decade to expand the United States’ southwest border wall. If granted, the funding would expand the existing border barrier by more than 700 miles.

“In a selfish political appeal to his base, and on the heels of tax cuts that will cost the country $150 trillion, Donald Trump wants to waste another $18 billion of taxpayer money on a wall that most Americans oppose and that won’t secure the border as well as other more innovative, less expensive technology,” said Rep. Scott Peters.

“I visited San Diego’s existing border fence with local Border Patrol recently, and they said what we need most is technology to detect underground tunnels used to smuggle drugs and people,” Peters said.

“Let’s focus on the real problems without wasting billions on an edifice this President swore the U.S. wouldn’t pay for,” he added.

San Diego is the busiest border crossing in the world. Peters, along with most San Diegans, views the border as an opportunity, not a threat, since the southern border is an economic engine for San Diego and our country.

“When it comes to border security, we need to prioritize halting drug and human trafficking and national security threats with new and up-to-date tactics,” Peters said, adding money would be better spent modernizing new threat detection technology, additional surveillance towers, camera systems, grounds sensors, helicopters, planes, and ships.

Peters also supports better technology and an increased number of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel to more quickly and thoroughly clear legal cargo through customs while better detecting contraband.

Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill, with Peters’ support, that would authorize funding for technology to help CBP catch people attempting to smuggle illegal drugs, particularly fentanyl, which is the most recent opioid to strike the San Diego community.

Further funding is needed for ports of entry near San Diego. For example, Calexico West is still in need of $248 million.

See more headlines at The Ponder News Web Site


By Steve Pearce (R-NM, 2nd)

Washington, D.C. - January 6, 2017 - (The Ponder News) -- Congressman Steve Pearce introduced H.R. 4735, the Gold King Mine Spill Accountability Act of 2018, to provide compensation to those injured by the Gold King Mine spill and to provide funds for New Mexico’s long-term water quality monitoring program.

“The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was responsible for allowing millions of gallons of contaminated waste water to spill into the Animas and San Juan Rivers in New Mexico. This put the health and livelihoods of farmers, ranchers, tribes, and businesses who depend on the water from these rivers at risk, and no one has been held responsible for the damage caused by the spill.

This bill will ensure that New Mexicans affected by this spill will be rightfully compensated by setting up an office to process and better address the claims related to the spill. It will also mandate the EPA to fund a long-term water monitoring program developed by New Mexico to provide proof to the communities that the water is clean and safe following the spill. Lastly, this bill prohibits rulemaking by the EPA until all claims are processed. This recovery process has gone on way too long, and the people of New Mexico deserve certainty. A good government must be held accountable to its citizens, and this bill takes an important and necessary step forward to ensure those who were wronged are made whole,” stated Rep. Pearce.

In August 2015, the EPA cleanup crew, under instruction from supervision, opened the mine and dumped three million gallons of contaminated wastewater containing heavy metals at the Gold King mine in Colorado. Dangerous contaminants including arsenic and lead fouled rivers in New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. Shortly after the spill, the EPA attempted to claim that water quality had returned to conditions prior to the event, but a scientific team found evidence that contradicted the EPA’s position.

See more headlines at The Ponder News Web Site

Rep. Payne, Jr., Responds to Trump Administration‘s Claim that No Deal Exists for Funding of the Gateway Project

By Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ, 10th)

Newark, NJ - January 6, 2017 - (The Ponder News) -- Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr., released the following statement after the Trump administration claimed the federal government never agreed to fund 50 percent of the Gateway Project, one of the nation’s most important multi-year, multi-billion-dollar infrastructure projects.

“On December 29th, the Trump administration announced another petulant attack on the tri-state area,” said Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ-10). “For years, New Jersey, New York, Amtrak, and the federal government have cooperated to make the Gateway Project a reality. The Gateway Project is a multi-billion-dollar expansion and enhancement of the railroad that connects New Jersey and New York. The plan for Gateway's financing is centered on the principle of federal-state cooperation, but the Trump administration now says that the ‘50/50’ agreement is ‘non-existent.’ Trump has a long history of reneging on business deals, but the Gateway Project is not just another golf course. I am confident officials who led the Department of Transportation just one year ago will set the record straight.

“This is not a partisan issue, and it should not be written off as merely a project of local concern. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, have come together in good faith to demonstrate that the states are ready and willing to put up billions of dollars to make Gateway a reality. The assets Gateway will restore and enhance are Amtrak properties: the bridges, the tunnels, the rails, all of it. I will remind the administration that Congress created Amtrak to maintain the nation’s passenger railroad infrastructure and service. The Gateway Project will create thousands of jobs, pump money into the economy, and increase rail capacity along Amtrak's Northeast Corridor.

“I am disheartened by the Trump administration’s attack on our region, coming only days after enacting a tax bill that disproportionately hits homeowners in New Jersey. This one-two punch makes it glaringly apparent that this President has no interest in rebuilding America's infrastructure or putting Americans back to work.”

Rep. Payne, Jr., is a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

See more headlines at The Ponder News Web Site

Norcross Statement on Iran Protests

By Donald Norcross (D-NJ, 1st)

Cherry Hill, NJ - January 6, 2017 - (The Ponder News) -- Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01), member of the House Armed Services Committee, issued the below statement on the recent escalation of anti-regime protests in Iran:

“Everyone should have the fundamental right to protest against a repressive regime and I stand with the people in Iran who are expressing this right and desire to shape a better future for themselves and their families. The protesters have legitimate concerns about human rights violations and corruption, and the Iranian government should both listen and address these serious matters.

“One key reason I opposed the JCPOA in 2015 was out of concern that once sanctions were lifted, billions of dollars would be used to buy more weapons and outsource more terror. Today, I strongly urge the regime to spend its money on the social welfare of the Iranian people, not weapons for terrorists and separatist fighters.

“As protestors peacefully gather and express themselves, I support their fight against economic hardship, inequality and oppression.”

See more headlines at The Ponder News Web Site