This Week's Recap - 8/13/2021

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August 13, 2021

Dear friend,

This week was a pivotal moment in Congress as the Senate passed a bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill. This legislation is a once-in-a-lifetime project to invest in our nation's bridges, roads, rail, transit and electric grid. One critical element included in this bill is the POWER Act. This bill I authored promotes the interstate transmission of renewable electricity, helps decarbonize the power sector, adapts the grid to withstand the effects of climate change, and lowers costs for consumers.

The deal also allocates billions of dollars for community investments in wildfire resilience, which is urgent as millions across the West Coast battle another record fire year. We must get this done for the American people as soon as possible.

Below are important resources for the people I represent and another update on some of the work my staff and I have done recently to serve you.

This Week's Casework Success Story

Raphaela, a doctor living in Mira Mesa, contacted the office asking for assistance with expediting her work permit. She is currently working to create two new COVID tests, but her visa was about to expire. She applied for a work permit ahead of time back in December, but it is currently taking around 10 months to process those permits. Staff worked with Raphaela to gather personal documents and letters from her employer detailing the importance of her work so U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services could consider her application for expedited processing. This week, the work permit was approved so she will continue her work combating the pandemic. 

Friends of CalRTA Award

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Earlier this month, representatives from the California Retired Teachers Association recognized me with the "Friends of CalRTA" Award in person. I originally received this recognition in May during the association's annual convention, but it was great to meet Susan Dixon and Marcia and Lee Finney in person. I thank the organization for its partnership during my time in Congress and its tireless advocacy on behalf of retired teachers across California. As we continue dealing with this pandemic, my goal is to bring our students back to school safely. We would not be able to do that without the hard work and sacrifices of our educators. Thank you! 

Service Academy Information Night

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Every year, I have the honor of nominating students to attend our nation's service academies. The privilege of attending a service academy comes with a service obligation and commitment to serve in the military after graduation.

If you are interested in attending one of our nation's service academies and have questions on the nomination process, my office will hold an information night on Thursday, September 16 at 6 P.M. via Zoom.

Admissions counselors from each service academy and from college ROTC programs will participate as panelists to answer questions. Click here for more information and to download the Service Academy Nomination application form.

Information on Passport Renewals

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My office continues to receive a high volume of calls related to passport renewals. We thank you for your patience as my staff evaluates individual cases. Currently, regular processing takes approximately 18 weeks while expedite requests take around 12 weeks. Please check your passport expiration date before booking international travel as you may not receive your passport in time before your departure.

Visit the State Department's Passport Agencies website for more information.

City and County Resources for Rental & Utility Assistance

As many people in my district recover from the devastation of COVID-19, I want to remind you that there are still many resources for rental and utility assistance. City of San Diego residents can apply for the COVID-19 Housing Stability Assistance Program here. If you live in other parts of San Diego County, you can access the COVID-19 Emergency Rent and Utilities Assistance Program here.

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:

A new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change details how almost all warming that has occurred since pre-industrial times was caused by the release of heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, which are emitted when humans burn fossil fuels and perform other climate polluting activities. Do you believe world leaders are responding fast enough to combat the climate crisis?

Click here to submit your answer via Google Forms.

Last week's question was: "The federal government recently extended an eviction moratorium that had expired last weekend. It is intended to cover parts of the U.S. experiencing a high spread of COVID-19. As of this week, that means most counties in the country. Do you agree with this extension to avoid evictions as coronavirus cases rise?"

Here are the results:

365 Responses: 46.6% Yes; this is a necessary measure for our public health and for millions of families. 30.6% No; the federal government can focus on other measures to control the spread. 7.7% I agree with local and state eviction bans, not a federal moratorium. 15.1% Other