Good afternoon. I would like to provide you with a few updates about recent developments in Congress and share some important information.
INVEST Act Passes the House
Today, the INVEST in America Act passed the House, which includes six of our CA-17 community projects. The bill provides funding for various transportation and infrastructure programs within the Department of Transportation.
Specifically, our six projects included in the bill are:
- The North San Jose Bike Plan Implementation Project, which would receive $3,838,348 and bring roughly 11 miles of protected bikeways leading to housing, transit, jobs, and retail. The money would also go toward upgrading and building bike lanes separated from traffic.
- The City of Newark’s Thornton Avenue Pavement Rehabilitation Project, which would receive $2,000,000 to fix the crumbling pavement on Thornton Ave and install an on-road bike lane.
- The City of Fremont’s Mission Blvd and Pine St Safety Improvement Project, which includes $2,000,000 in funding for improvements to the Mission Blvd and Pine St intersection for safety enhancements for people walking, bicycling, using transit, and driving.
- The City of Fremont’s New Traffic Signal at Scott Creek Rd and Zinfandel St. The city will receive $950,000 for a new traffic light at the intersection and for a new neighborhood pathway that connects local parks and schools.
- The City of Sunnyvale’s Evelyn Avenue Multi-Use Trail Project, which would receive $3,800,000. The project would build a new pedestrian and bike path along Evelyn Ave, which would eventually connect the Caltrain stations & downtowns of Sunnyvale and Mountain View.
- The Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority’s Agnew Siding Project, which would receive $6,610,000 in funding. The initiative would build 2,900 feet of new train track near the Santa Clara Great America Train Station to improve service and prevent delays for the rail services that use the tracks, including Amtrak’s Capitol Corridor and Altamont Corridor Express trains.
I advocated strongly for all our community projects and I am pleased to see they made it in the INVEST in America Act and passed out of the House. Now, I am hopeful that it will pass the Senate and become law. Investments in our infrastructure are crucial to our communities and our economy.
Reintroduced the State-Based Universal Health Care Act
I recently reintroduced the State-Based Universal Health Care Act. This bill provides states with historic access to federal funding streams and the regulatory flexibility necessary to implement and support affordable, universal health care plans.
The State-Based Universal Health Care Act creates a waiver to allow states to develop their own plans to provide access to health care for all their residents by accessing federal funding. To apply for the waiver, participating states or groups of states must propose plans to provide health care coverage for 95 percent of their residents within five years. After that time, participating states would be required to demonstrate they reached coverage targets and provide a plan to cover the remaining five percent of their population. States that do not reach the 95 percent target after five years would have to revise their plan to achieve the targets, or risk losing their waiver.
The last year has made it even more clear that universal health coverage is not optional, it’s urgent and essential. We’ve seen the power in providing unfettered and easy access to rapid testing, treatment, and vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the wealthiest nation on earth, we must extend that kind of coverage to the whole of our health care system.
Endless Frontier Act passes the Senate
I am happy to report that my bill, the Endless Frontier Act, passed with bipartisan support in the Senate as the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act. America is in desperate need of major investments in science and tech innovation. To address those needs, I introduced the Endless Frontier Act with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Todd Young (R-IN), and Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI).
This legislation will increase investments in the discovery, creation, and manufacturing of technology critical to U.S. national security and economic competitiveness. It will also create millions of jobs in America and ensure we remain the world’s leader in science and technology in the 21st century.
I have been working with members of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology to build support for this diverse set of initiatives. Specifically, I worked with Subcommittee Chairwoman Haley Stevens and Rep. Jamaal Bowman to pass part of the Endless Frontier Act as an amendment to the annual National Science Foundation for the Future Act. It is now up to the House to pass the legislation. Based on its broad bipartisan support in the Senate, and backing by the White House, I am confident it will pass and become the law of the land.
Updates in the District
As COVID restrictions are lifted across California, I look forward to meeting with you in person in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for our return to live town hall meetings in August. I am excited to see everyone soon!
Meanwhile, our District Office has seen a sharp rise in passport related casework. If there is an emergency situation you must attend to overseas and the passport agency is being unresponsive to your queries, please contact our office. Over the past month our caseworkers have successfully helped procure passports for over two dozen constituents facing such emergencies. The passport agency slowed down their processing times by several weeks, but we will do our best to serve you while following the agency’s protocols and timelines. We continue to work with several other federal agencies as well, so if you require assistance or have a query, please visit our website.
Facebook Live Town Halls
Thank you to all who participated in this month’s Facebook Live town hall. In July, I will host a town hall on July 14th at noon Pacific. Please be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @RepRoKhanna.
Juneteenth Becomes a Federal Holiday
On June 19, 1865, Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger of the Union Army issued the order to free all remaining slaves in Texas, the last of the Confederate states to keep slaves, more than two years after President Lincoln’s original issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. Since then, June 19th, also known as Juneteenth, was celebrated as the official end of slavery in America. On June 16, 2021, Congress passed legislation making Juneteenth a federal holiday and the President signed it into law the following day. Juneteenth stands as a moment for both celebration and reflection. Our newest national holiday is an important step toward a national reckoning with our country’s dark history of slavery and working toward a better future for all Americans.
House Votes to Repeal the Iraq AUMF
Earlier this month, the House voted to repeal the 2002 authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) relied on for the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. The repeal of this AUMF is long overdue. Leaving this outdated authorization on the books risks future Presidents using it to justify wars that Congress never intended. Congress must reclaim its constitutional duty to decide if and when Congress goes to war.
Caseworkers in my Santa Clara office are available to help Silicon Valley residents navigate the bureaucracy of federal agencies and any other concerns during the COVID-19 crisis. My staff can help you solve problems with immigration, visas, Social Security payments and VA paperwork, among other areas. Please call my office at (408) 436-2720 between 9:00am and 5:00pm Monday-Friday if you need assistance. Your call will be promptly answered (remotely) by my staff. You can also contact me online at any time at Khanna.house.gov/contact. While we are unable to meet in-person, my staff is ready to help. Visit my website for more information.