U.S. Congressman Ed Royce | In The News
District Update | March 17, 2017
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U.S. Congressman Ed Royce
Dear Friends,

The vast majority of VA employees are hard-working and have the best interests of our veterans at heart, but there are still too many bad apples within the Department that are impossible to remove.

A recent study completed by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that, on average, it takes six months to a year to remove a permanent civil servant in the federal government. President Obama’s former Department of Veterans Affairs Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson testified to Congress that it was too difficult to fire substandard VA employees. In fact, President Obama himself said about VA employees, “if you engage in an unethical practice, if you cover up a serious problem, you should be fired. Period. It shouldn’t be that difficult.”

The VA’s arcane civil service rules have hampered the Department’s ability to dismiss an employee that engaged in an armed robbery; discipline a VA nurse that participated in a veteran’s surgery while intoxicated; and hold employees accountable for the continued failures to manage several major construction projects. Our nation's veterans have suffered as a result.

That's why I voted for passage of the bipartisan VA Accountability First Act of 2017 yesterday. The bill will provide the VA Secretary the tools he or she needs to swiftly discipline employees who fail in their mission to provide world-class health care and services to the men and women who served in uniform. This legislation doesn’t just build back the trust of America’s veterans; it gives VA employees the trust to know that bad actors within the Department will no longer have the power to taint their good name. I will continue to put our veterans' interests above all else, and look forward to continuing our progress in creating a culture of accountability at VA.

Sincerely,


Ed Royce

News for March 10 - 17, 2017

















Rep. Royce Takes Action on Rise of Anti-Semitism
This week, Rep. Royce joined a bipartisan group of 166 Members of Congress to urge President Donald Trump to prioritize the appointment of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism at the U.S. Department of State.

Recent reports suggest the Trump Administration has considered eliminating the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism at the U.S. State Department for Fiscal Year 2018. Southern California has been the site of multiple displays of Anti-Semitism.

“As Members of Congress who care deeply about anti-Semitism at home and abroad, we urge you to maintain and prioritize the appointment of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism at the U.S. State Department’s Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. During previous administrations, this office was crucial in documenting human rights abuses against Jewish communities abroad as well as developing and implementing policies designed to combat anti-Semitism,” the letter read.











Rep. Royce Meets w/ Local Government Representatives
This week, Rep. Royce met with representatives from local municipal governments, including city council members from Diamond Bar, Walnut, and Chino Hills. The main topic of discussion was ensuring that the federal government continues to invest in Southern California's infrastructure, including its freeways. Rep. Royce has been instrumental in obtaining funds for local projects such as the 57/60 confluence.
 

Bill in Congress Aims to Take Shark Fins Off the Menu
The excerpt below is from a Los Angeles Times story here.

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It’s been four years since California’s ban on the purchase and possession of shark fins went into effect. And yet, more than 60 tons of shark fins arrive at the Port of Los Angeles each year, bound for chefs and grocers in states where sales of the Asian delicacy remain unfettered.

Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) hopes to change that. On Thursday, he plans to introduce a bill in Congress that would prohibit the buying, selling and possession of shark fins throughout the United States. If all goes according to plan, the measure would discourage the practice around the world.

The Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act “is needed to eradicate shark finning for good,” Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement Tuesday.

“While California led the way with a statewide ban, there are still almost 40 states where the purchase of shark fins is legal,” he said. “The United States can set an example for the rest of the world by shutting down its market for shark fins, which are often harvested by leaving these animals to die a slow and painful death at the bottom of the ocean.”

Experts estimate that as many as 73 million sharks become victims of the shark-fin trade each year. The fins sold for as much as $2,000 a pound in California before the ban took effect in 2013.

So far, 11 states including New York, Washington and Hawaii have joined California in banning the sale of shark fins. So have the Pacific territories of Guam, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Nineteen shipping companies and 36 airlines around the world have stopped carrying shark fins as cargo.

Read more here.

Rep. Royce Seeks Summer Interns
Rep. Royce's D.C., Brea, and Rowland Heights offices offer internship opportunities for college students and recent graduates. Interns complete legislative research, attend Congressional hearings or events in the district, answer phones, read mail, and much more.

All three offices are currently accepting applications for Summer 2017. Candidates can learn more about how to apply here.

ORANGE COUNTY OFFICE
210 W. Birch Street, Ste 201
Brea, CA 92821
T (714) 255-0101 l (909) 420-0010
LOS ANGELES COUNTY OFFICE
1380 S. Fullerton Road, Suite 203 
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
T (626) 964-5123
WASHINGTON, DC OFFICE
2310 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
T (202) 225-4111
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