This Week's Recap - 5/28/2021

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May 28, 2021

Dear friend,

This weekend we pay tribute to the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. Memorial Day is a day of reflection and a special time to honor the families and communities fallen servicemembers left behind. It's an honor to represent you and the memory of your loved ones in Congress.

As we anticipate gatherings this holiday weekend, I'm encouraged by the rate of COVID-19 vaccines that have made this possible. Over 165,000,000 Americans, or half the population, have received at least one dose. This moves us closer to the lives we all had before the pandemic hit. Let's keep headed in the right direction!

This week, I continued my work here in San Diego. Below is another update on some of the work my staff and I have done this week to serve you.

This Week's Casework Success Story

Esther and her daughter from Serra Mesa contacted my office in March to request assistance with obtaining her 2019 tax refund. Due to her age and deteriorating health, Esther's family was worried she was not going to receive the refund to which she's entitled. My staff worked closely with Esther and her daughter to follow up with the Internal Revenue Service on the release of funds. After my staff contacted the liaison and made sure the IRS had all the correct information. Esther received a check for $4228.80 last week.

Legislative Work

Energy & Commerce Subcommittee Hearing: “A Shot at Normalcy: Building COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence”

ec vaccine confidence witnesses

On Wednesday, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing on increasing confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine. Experts from Yale Institute for Global Health, Trust for America's Health, Vaccinate Your Family, and the Virginia Department of Health served as witnesses. They discussed misinformation on social media, bipartisan support of vaccines, and the effectiveness of incentive programs to boost vaccination campaigns. Actor Nick Offerman also spoke during this hearing to urge Americans to trust the science behind the vaccine.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Common Grounds Event

common grounds

On Thursday, I joined my colleague Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) and Neil Bradley, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, for an in-depth conversation about energy and climate policy.

We talked about the importance of bipartisanship, where our legislative priorities overlap, and the initiatives we support to protect the environment and enhance our country's energy systems.

District Work

World Trade Month Roundtable

On Monday, I hosted a roundtable to mark World Trade Month. A panel of leaders from the Port of San Diego, World Trade Center San Diego, U.S. Commercial Service, and the Export Import Bank of the United States joined me to discuss the role of trade in the San Diego economy. They also explained how the organizations they represent can help small businesses expand trade operations. As our local economy recovers from COVID-19, we learned that our cross-border region will keep drawing investments to San Diego and that there are many opportunities for continued growth. If you missed this event, you can watch it here.

Senior Scam Stopper Seminar

senior scam sally screenshot

senior scam jackie

This seminar on Tuesday helped inform the people I represent about prevalent scams targeting seniors, including scams related to COVID-19. The speakers from the California Contractors State License Board, California Department of Insurance, and California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation explained how these scammers operate and how to protect yourself from fraud. Among their helpful tips, they recommend the following:

- Be skeptical 

- Be cautious with technology 

- Do not disclose your personal information to unsolicited callers 

- The more knowledge you have, the less likely you are to fall victim to scammers

If you missed this important event, you can watch it here.

Congressional Art Competition Virtual Reception

art competition reception

On Monday, I announced the winner of this year's Congressional Art Competition during a virtual version of this yearly event. Sarah Dong's painting titled "Reaching Out" will be sent to Washington, D.C. and displayed in the Capitol for one year. Sarah is a junior at Westview High School and a very talented artist as well!

reaching out

Thank you to the students, parents, teachers and members from the Congressional Art Competition Judging board who participated and attended our virtual reception.

Tour of PedWest Facility at San Ysidro Port of Entry

pedwest visit edited pic

On Thursday, I visited San Ysidro Port of Entry's PedWest facility for a briefing on the unwinding of the Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as the "Remain in Mexico" program. My staff and I observed how 36 asylum seekers moved through this process, which included a medical screening from UCSD Health and legal assistance from Jewish Family Services after passing through Customs and Border Patrol security.

We also viewed a vaccination site for Mexican employees who work at American-owned maquiladoras in Tijuana that was recently set up at the PedWest facilities. I learned how the consulates on both sides of the border and local authorities worked together to carry out this operation.

Participate in Our Weekly Poll!

This section in our e-newsletter allows readers to weigh in on current events. Thank you to everyone who has participated so far. Here's this week's question:

Many states are offering incentives for residents to become vaccinated against COVID-19. Do you believe these incentives (cash, products, food/drinks etc.) are a good investment to protect the public health?

Click here to submit your answer via Google Forms. Last week's question was: This week, the House passed a bill that appropriates nearly $1.9B in emergency funding to reimburse expenses following the events of January 6, and to further secure the United States Capitol. Do you believe this funding is necessary?

Here are the results:

297 Responses: 41.2% Yes, the events of Jan. 6 shed light on major security weaknesses that need to be fixed. 25.3% I support more security at the Capitol, but this amount is too high. 25% No, I don't believe Congress needed these funds for more security. 8% Other

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or need assistance with a federal agency, reach out to us through our website or by calling the district office at 858-455-5550.

To stay updated on my work throughout the week, you can also follow my social media accounts by clicking on the icons below.