Happy New Year! This Tuesday, I was sworn in as the United States Representative for California's 39th Congressional District. I thought about the trust our community has placed in me. I'll continue to work as hard as I can on behalf of you and your family.
During the first week back in Washington, my colleagues and I continued our ongoing efforts to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs. Under current VA policy, an admonishment and reprimand can only stay in an employee’s record for two and three years, respectively. These limitations make it difficult for VA managers to properly review an employee’s performance or grasp an accurate picture of their work history, as there is no record of their poor performance or acts regardless of how many different jobs they have held within the VA.
The Ensuring VA Employee Accountability Act, which the House passed with my support, would require all reprimands and admonishments given to VA employees to remain
in their file for as long as they are employed by the department.
In case you missed the news, the Pentagon has reversed course after hearing from me and is reimbursing California National Guard members after trying to wrongfully claim their bonus payments.
Thank you again for the opportunity to continue to serve the 39th District.
News for December 30 - January 6, 2017
||House Passes Bipartisan Royce Resolution on Supporting Israel
Yesterday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce’s bipartisan legislation – H. Res. 11 – which opposes the anti-Israel United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 and calls for its repeal.
The vote count was 342-80.
“The United States has long recognized that a solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict can only come about through direct, bilateral negotiations between the two parties. That’s why it is longstanding U.S. policy to veto the many one-sided or anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations Security Council that violate that principal. But just the other week, the Obama Administration broke with this longstanding U.S. policy by failing to veto UN Security Council Resolution 2334. This dangerous resolution effectively states that the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem and the Western Wall – Judaism’s holiest site – are “occupied territory. That’s why today’s action is so important – to demonstrate our united opposition to U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334 and call for its repeal; to head-off any more moves the Obama Administration might have in the next few days; and to provide the foundation for the next Administration to move forcefully to counteract its dangerous impact," said Chairman Royce on the House Floor to his colleagues before the vote.
A fact sheet on the resolution can be viewed here.
||Rep. Royce Seeks Summer 2017 Interns
Rep. Royce's Washington and Brea offices are currently accepting applications for Summer 2017 internships.
These internships are highly selective, and offer participants a first-hand look at the legislative and political process. Interns are given a wide variety of tasks and leave with a greater, more practical understanding of the legislative branch of government. Interns perform legislative research, attend hearings, answer phones, read mail, give tours of the U.S. Capitol, attend events in the district, and much more.
Candidates may learn more and apply here.
|The Midnight Push to Empty Out Guantanamo
|The excerpt below is from a Wall Street Journal opinion editorial authored by Rep. Royce that can be read here.
With less than a month remaining in office, President Obama is racing to free 19 more detainees from the terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay. If history is any guide, this means that dangerous jihadists will be released to countries ill-equipped to handle them.
While many wondered whether Mr. Obama would fulfill his 2008 campaign promise to close Gitmo by breaking a bipartisan law barring him from bringing detainees to the U.S., the House Foreign Affairs Committee has remained focused on the president’s push to empty out the prison through reckless transfers to other countries.
We began our investigation two years ago, after the White House released six hardened terrorists to Uruguay. The administration had repeatedly promised Congress that it transfers detainees to foreign countries only after securing specific assurances about how those countries will reduce threats. Meanwhile, the administration wrote Uruguay’s president that none of the detainees had ever been involved in facilitating or conducting terrorism. Both Congress and the Uruguayan government were misled.
Uruguay proved to be a terrorist haven. Under Uruguayan law, its government was prohibited from monitoring, surveilling or imposing travel restrictions on the former detainees because of the “refugee” status it gave them. Not surprisingly, one of these individuals—a trained al Qaeda document forger—soon went missing, fleeing abroad.
The case in Uruguay was not isolated. The White House has repeatedly released detainees to countries it knew lacked the intent and capability to keep the detainees from returning to terrorism.
The results have been deadly. At a March hearing, the administration’s special envoys for Guantanamo Bay closure admitted for the first time that as many as 12 former Gitmo detainees have returned to the terrorist battlefield and killed Americans. The list of countries to which they had been released is classified.
In July the State Department named a former detainee a “specially designated global terrorist” after reports of his involvement in the June terror attack at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport. He had been released to Russia.
According to the office of the director of National Intelligence, nearly one-third of the detainees freed from Gitmo—208 of the 693 detainees who were released under Presidents Bush or Obama—are confirmed or suspected of returning to terrorism.
Read more here.